Getting your home ready for its first date
Rememeber when you were about to go on that first date with someone. You spent time figuring out what you were gonna wear and so on. Will that shirt match the pants? How were you gonna style your hair? What parfum or after shave would you wear? What jewelry would you wear? Which shoes would you wear? Maybe you went to the salon or barber to freshen your hair style. Well, getting "sell-ready", is just like that! Just like going on a first date.
Also, remember that friend that you consulted with? You may have had them to come over to your house to make sure you looked your best.
Well, that's who I am.
I am your Listing-to-Sold Best Friend!
To make your home stand out from the rest, prospective buyers need to be able to picture their family in the home and not your family.
Neutralize, depersonalize and de-clutter.
These are 3 key words to the success of a home sale. Remember, first impressions are extremely important.
Statistics tell us that the average buyer considers 78 homes and inspects the interiors of 22 or more homes before making an offer.
Your home needs to stand out. The list may be long, however there is always something from the list that can be implemented to boost your home's appearance. In addition, if your home is in a condition where you would be hesistant to have one of your neighbors to come inside your home right now, this list will help you to prepare your property for any one to view it. Start with a few of them and add to your completion list.
Here are a few tips:
- Start with the mailbox, remove all signs of deterioration, repaint, and put on new numbers.
- If there are flowers around the mailbox base make them look as fresh as possible.
- Fix the front door bell!
- Invest in a new doormat.
- Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. work wonderfully!
- Replace dated or tarnished outdoor light fixtures, install new bulbs.
- Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times!
- Keep flower beds – weed-free, pick up dead branches, trim trees and shrubbery.
- Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc. from the yard.
- Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways, and patio.
- All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight.
- Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
- Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
- Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight.
- Make all those minor repairs to the exterior.
- Repair any cracks in the driveway and walk ways, remove any mud or weeds.
- Make any repairs to fences on the property that appear run down, sagging or squeaking gates, missing pickets, rusty latches, or pealing paint.
- Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks.
- Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
- All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replace. If the roof leaks – Fix it!
- Shutters and trim should be in perfect condition.
- Clean all windows and screens inside and out.
- Make sure all doors open easily and keys and locks work smoothly.
- Paint all entry doors.
- If the exterior has not been painted in the past 3 years, consider repainting, you will recover this expense.
- Have the roof in good condition, missing shingles, curling, leaves and debris, and discoloration bring fear and apprehension.
- Clean and polish all accessories: doorknobs, knockers, lamps, address numbers, etc.
- Remove mud dauber’s and wasps nests.
- Open the draperies, pull up the shades and let in the sunlight.
- Clean every room thoroughly. Give your home a “ready to move in look”.
- Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. Open the curtains during the day.
- Install higher wattage light bulbs to show our home brightly – in its best light. Turn on all lights.
- Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them.
- Create the illusion of spaciousness.
- Play soft music in the background when your home is scheduled for a showing.
- If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
- Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
- Have a family emergency “game plan” to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
- Air out your home one half hour before the showing if possible.
- Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that is has a chance to diffuse and air before the buyer arrives.
- Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before the showing and place it in an out of the way place in the kitchen or install vanilla plug ins (one in foyer, one in kitchen, and one at top of stairs).
- Create a master “suite” effect in your decorating.
- Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
- Clean out and organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
- Remove some of your clothes if necessary to eliminate that sardine look.
- In a home office, clear your desk, organize your paper, empty your trash make the space seem efficient, identify extra electric, phone lines, or separate wiring for computer use.
- Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean.
- Straighten the items in vanities, medicine cabinets, linen closets. Throw out what you don’t use.
- Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
- Re-caulk if the caulking is not sparkling white!
- Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings.
- Set the scene by setting the table! Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table!
- The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean. Buyers judge overall housekeeping by how clean the kitchen is. Don’t give them a reason to turn up their noses.
- Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stovetops, walls, etc.
- Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
- Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
- Fix dripping faucets, repair or replace damaged fixtures.
- Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily.
- If the carpet does not clean up well you should consider replacing it!
- Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks, hobby items, children’s items, etc. However, try to avoid creating a “sterile” looking environment.
- Clean rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the winter.
- If you have numerous family photo’s put them away until your home is under contract. Perspective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren’t aware of your family photo memories.
- Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one. Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale.
- Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put unnecessary items in storage.
- Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc. and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
- Regardless of the season, tackle spring-cleaning. Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement!
- Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.
- Remove clutter from the garage, make it seem as though there is room to easily park any size car or truck.
- Curtains should be fresh, clean and attractive.
- Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers to brighten the home.
- Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
- Put out unobtrusive dishes or baskets of potpourri.
- Straighten, tidy and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Create the feeling of spacious closets. Put all unnecessary items in storage or invest in under-the-bed storage boxes.
- Remove posters, adhesives, children’s glow in the dark stars from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
- Depersonalize teenagers’ rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament.
- Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls. Many people do not like to live around strong or bright colors.
- All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger.
- Repair or replace all doors, closet doors, and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease.
- Repair and/or tighten banisters and handrails.
- Quiet any annoying squeaks on the stairs or floors. Carpet contractors can be hired to screw down squeaky floors.
- Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs.
- Repair or replace loose or dangling wallpaper.
- If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damage it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer’s report.
- Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean.
- Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
- Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains form basins.
- Water and prune all indoor plants.
- Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and out.
- Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight.
- Remove any excess extension cords and exposed wires.
- Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc.
- Close all other closet doors and cabinets.
- Make the most of your attic’s potential.
- Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out.
- Add visual appeal to stairways, especially in unfinished stairways to the basement.
- Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants.
- Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
- Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems.
- Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home later in the season.
- Display these photos in your home in the wintertime.
- Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
- Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones.
- An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between “turning on” the buyer and sending up a red flag about the condition of the home.
- Arrive at an equitable asking price using a certified and objective appraisal.
- Have a home inspection completed by an ASHI certified inspector, provide it to the buyers.
- Offer a one year warranty on the HVAC, plumbing, electric and appliances.
- Don’t be afraid to accept the first offer.
- Never volunteer unfavorable information about your situation.
- Obtain a floor plan of your home if possible.
- Assemble house records, appliance instructions, warraties for buyer perusal.
- Have copies of the utility bills if favorable for the buyer to inspect.
- Provide a map of the area and highlight special interest items.
- Identify special features such as central vac, security system, built-ins, attic fan, extra insulation, recent improvements, outside motion lights.
Are you ready for your home to have its first showing date?
Call me @ 470.239.0330 or click the link below to send me a message!