Homeowner Hints to enhance your house for a Successful Sale
Cost of Repairs should be minimal, this is not about remodeling, just make sure that things are in working order.
- Grass and shrubs. Keep trimmed. Is your landscaping at least average for the neighborhood? If it is not, buy a few plants and improve the greenest of your lawn.
- Pets. If you have a dog, clean up any dog dirt on a daily basis. If you have a cat, change the litter box daily. Pets should be crated or kept away from the property during a showing.
- Fences. Make any needed repairs. A neat, well-painted or pressure washed fence gives a positive impression.
- Flower. Plant seasonal blooming flowers, especially near the front door and in any patio area. A profusion of color can have your home half-sold before the door is even opened.
- Bird Feeders. Hummingbird feeders and bird houses create a pleasant mood, especially when they are close to any patio area.
- Paint. Concentrating on the following two areas may be the most profitable.
a) Front door. Front door should be refinished, pressure washed or painted if it shows excessive wear.
b) Condition of exterior. A home with a clean fresh appearance will bring buyers and offers. Pressure washing or improving the paint on the trim will freshen up the house appearance.
- Lawn furniture. Place lawn furniture and barbeque grill in an attractive, leisurely manner.
- Roof. If the roof needs to be repaired or replaced, it’s best to have the work done. Otherwise, buyers will want to deduct the cost even if your price already reflects the required work. Delaying the repairs can actually cost you twice as much.
- Housekeeping. Because you are competing against other homes, your home must good as possible. Floors, bath fixtures, and appliances must be sparkling. Make beds early in the day. Unmade beds and late sleepers create a very negative image.
- Odors and aromas. Avoid heavy frying, using vinegar, or cooking strong-smelling foods. Odors often last and work against the image you are trying to create. If you or your family smoke, don’t smoke in the house and don’t allow guests to smoke. Stale tobacco odors can be masked with some odor sprays, if the temperature allows it, open windows and air out the house every morning.
- Paint. If you have leftover paint, you can accomplish a great deal by doing touch-ups where needed. If the surface is dark, repaint with light colors such as off-white, oyster, light beige, or pale yellow. Light colors make rooms appear fresh as well as large. Another secret is a “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser”, which works wonders on spot cleaning painted interior walls.
- Plumbing. Repair any leaky faucets. Make certain that you don’t have a gurgling toilet.
a) Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and that the faucets do not leak.
b) Sink fixtures should look shiny and new.
- Shades and blinds. Replace any torn shades or broken blinds.
- Drapes. If drapes need cleaning, have it done. If they are old and worn, stained or dark, consider replacing them with either light-colored drapes, or off-white vinyl vertical blinds.
- Carpets. Carpets should be either professionally steam-cleaned (preferred), or you should rent or have in possession a heavy-duty cleaner. If the carpet is badly worn and outdated in style, replace it with new carpet (and a quality pad) in a neutral color. Consider either a plush or Berber carpet.
- Hardwood flooring. If you have hardwood floors, gleaming hardwood floors give a positive impression.
- Lighting. If any room appears dark, increase the wattage of your light bulbs. Before a showing, open the blinds and turn on the lights, even during the day—you want the house as bright as possible. Be sure your light fixtures and windows are clean.
- Closets. If closets appear crowded, remove items not needed and put in boxes. They can be stacked neatly in a corner of the attic or garage.
- Too much furniture. Many homes appear crowed, with too many pieces of large furniture and too much bric-a-brac. Consider putting excess furniture in a storage locker.
- Garage. Spruce up your work area. Consider a garage sale to get rid of items you no longer need. Put excess items in boxes and stack them neatly in a corner. Consider using a commercial garage floor cleaner on oil and grease marks on the garage floor and driveway.
Your Best Role during Showings
- When your home is shown, it’s best that you disappear. Buyers feel restrained with an owner present. If buyers hesitate to voice their concerns, then their questions cannot be answered and their problems cannot be solved.
- If you must remain, try to stay in one area. Excellent places to be are working on the lawn, or flower garden or workshop. While soft music is fine, please turn off the TV.
- Never, never follow the agent around the house during the showing, volunteer any information, or answer questions the buyers ask the agent. You have engaged professional real estate salespeople. We will ask you questions if necessary.
Brenda Walker Realtor