Prepare Your Home to Sell
An attractive, well-maintained home will generally sell faster and for a higher price than a similar home that looks tired or run-down. When you prepare your home for sale, take a critical look at the exterior and interior of your home. We've listed some specific areas below that you may want to address.
Obviously, the outside of your home is the first thing buyers see. Make a good first impression. Step back and take an objective look at the exterior of your home. How can you make it more attractive? Review the following suggestions:
- Keep the lawn cut and the shrubs well trimmed.
- Remove dead tree limbs and other yard debris.
- Enliven your landscape with fresh plantings of shrubs or flowers.
- Arrange outdoor items neatly; put away lawn equipment.
- Check siding, trim and doors (especially the front door) for dirt and peeling paint; wash or touch up with paint where needed.
- Inspect the condition of your fence and repair or paint if needed.
- Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles or flashing.
- Clean and repair broken windows or screens.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Wash the driveway and sidewalk; patch holes.
- Clean and neatly arrange the garage or shed.
- Make sure the gas grill is ready for use, especially in season.
- Make sure the entry light and doorbell work. (If a repair is needed on anything listed, fix the entire defect so it will not cause a distraction.)
Take a look inside your home. Make every room look as spacious, organized, bright and warm as possible. The following suggestions may help:
- Wash walls, ceiling and trim; if possible, paint with light neutral colors.
- Repair cracks in plaster.
- Tighten loose doorknobs, pulls on drawers and cabinets, towel racks, switch plates and outlet covers.
- Fix sticking doors and windows, squeaking doors and loose stair banisters.
- Repair and clean caulking around tubs and sinks.
- Fix leaky faucets; remove water stains.
- Organize the basement and attic so that they appear as spacious and neat as possible. Discard anything you are not taking with you.
- Organize closets and remove clutter; limit the number of items stored overhead or on the floor.
- Organize the contents of kitchen cabinets and remove clutter from kitchen countertops.
- Launder draperies, blinds and curtains if necessary.
- Shampoo carpets and wax floors.
- If you have not sprayed (or "bombed") for bugs lately, now is a good time.
- Arrange furniture so that the room appears as spacious as possible.
- Remove items you are planning to take with you, including chandeliers, coordinating drapes, mirrors, etc.
- Ultimately, the value of your home will be determined by the market. Basically, the market value is the amount buyers are willing to pay at the point in time that you want to sell. A Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) is the best way to judge market value.
Avoid the urge to price your home based upon considerations that do not affect its market value, such as:
- How much money you need to purchase your next home.
- How much you paid for your home.
- How much you paid for improvements to your home.
- The value of a similar home in a different community.
- Area appreciation statistics.
- The cost to build the same home today.
- Personal attachment.
- Remember, the market determines price!