Selling your home can be challenging and a little bit stressful, however, with these articles I can help you decide what to do in order to make the process go as smooth as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions!
Tips on preparing your home for sale:
Before you place your house on the market, you should go through each room (and your yard/lot) to make your home picture perfect.
- The house must look clean, smell clean, and be clean.
And most important, it must look neat and tidy — from inside closets to shelving in the garage.
Expect buyers to check everything from cracks in the walls, untidy closets, dusty ceiling fans, musty odors, unsecured handrails, etc. Any indication of “lack-of-care” in the home could delay a quick sell.
What to do for the kitchen:
- Clean the counter tops:
Remove everything except for a potted plant on the large counter. Scrub the counters and cabinet faces to remove grime and stains.
- Straighten the cupboards:
Make sure dishes and pans are stacked nicely and in order of size. Clear out some of the items to give your cupboards more room. Lay a fresh sheet of cupboard paper.
- Stove and Refrigerator:
Clean, clean, clean. Scrub the stove top, clean the nooks and crannies, pull out all appliances and clean behind. Make sure the walls next to stove have been cleaned of cooking grease and stains.
- Clean walls, flooring, and lighting:
Repair any tears and cracks. Wash the windows. Clean window seals.
What to do for the bathrooms:
- Bleach the tub, shower stall, basins and toilets:
Remove any apparent stains, especially molds and mildews in tile grout and drains.
- Clean the mirror. Scrub the floor. Hang fresh towels:
Clear the counter except for soap dispensers / dishes. Remove all personal medications and other hygienic products from the shelves/cupboards. Your buyer will certainly look into these storage spaces.
If you have a glass shower door and walls, remove glass water stains and grime. Make the glass appear like new.
What to do for the bedrooms:
- Clean away everything from behind – under the bed:
Remove clutter from bedroom dressers and nightstands. Recycle old magazines or arrange them nicely in a magazine rack.
- Make the bed:
Put on clean sheets and bed spreads. Use decorative pillows sparingly.
- Make a special effort to straighten out the closets:
This is one area the buyers will definitely view.
Make some empty space on the shelves. Hang clothes individually with some space between each garment. Hang them together by length. Your goal is to create space so that the closet appears large.
What to do for the dining room
- Remove any clutter:
Place a clean, pressed tablecloth on the table with a vase of fresh flowers or other decorative piece.
- Polish the chandelier and dining room crystal:
Clean and polish the dinnerware and all dining items. Polish the glass in the hutch.
What to do for other living areas of the home:
- Remove all clutter:
Make sure pillows for couch and chairs are nicely arranged and full. Remove blankets and any other personal items from the room.
- Clean the TV:
Dust and polish the stereo and any related glass. Clear the mantel down to a few items — again your objective is to create space.
- Dust and polish lamps and tables:
Remove any personal icons that make a statement. No need to raise questions.
For all rooms in the house
- Ceiling and Walls
Dust and wash down walls to remove stains, markings and finger prints. Dust and clean all lighting fixtures, especially sconces and ceiling lights that have accumulated insects.
Remove from the wall any offensive political or other items that make a statement. No need to raise questions in the minds of the buyers.
Repair any cracks in the plaster. You may need to apply a fresh coat of paint especially on walls that look bad.
Question: should you paint over exotic colors? It depends. If a room has some usual color like a bright orange, you may want to apply a more neutral color. Note that most home buyers will likely repaint the entire house anyway. So why waste your money.
Clean, scrub and polish the floors. Remove any stains from carpets and rugs. Wash the baseboards.
Repair any floor damage such as cracked tile, torn linoleum, holes in the carpet or buckled wood. If a floor needs to be replaced, you may consider offering a replacement allowance in your sales contract.
Dust light fixtures. Replace any burned out bulbs. You will want to turn on all lights when showing the home, even in daytime. Make sure the lighting fixtures are polished, cleaned and working.
- Doors and Windows:
Clean each door, getting inside the nooks and corners. Polish the door knobs and replace any knob that isn’t working.
Windows need to be cleaned and polished — inside and out. Clean the sills and check each window to open.
Wash or dry-clean the drapes. If you have blinds, they must be cleaned. Have them open when you show the home.
- Front Door:
Clean the inside and outside of your front door, especially along the seal. Polish glass and remove all streaks. Polish the door knob. Place a plant or flowering bucket out front. This is the first thing the buyers will view. Make a good impression.
- Entry / Foyer / Hallway:
Clean and remove any clutter. The only thing visible should be a nice house plant and perhaps a table with a lamp or other decorative vase. This will be the first area of the home that the buyer will see.
If you have a closet in the foyer, clean it out completely. You want to show a spacious closet.
Polish and clean the stairway. Repair any cracks or other damage.
- The basement is usually a place for all the “extras”:
You need to clean it out. You might arrange a garage sell or do the impossible, throw it away.
Remove any musty or damp odors.
Laundry room: make sure all your clothes have been washed and put away. Clean all shelving and racks.
- The garage is another area used for all the “extras”:
You need to clean it out, remove cob webs, sweep and wash the floor. Clean all shelving and racks.
Remove bicycles, lawn mowers, garbage cans, and other items from the main garage area so the buyers can view a full size garage.
- Step outside and view your home from across the street:
Does it make a good first impression.
You may need to paint the woodwork, clean the gutters, polish the exterior lighting posts and lamps, clean the patio / deck, wash down the siding, etc.
The exterior home and yard are the first things that buyers will see when judging whether they want to tour the house. So make it right.
- Again step outside and view your front and back yard:
What looks good and what’s looks bad? The look of your yard is an important first impression when buyers drive by your home.
Mow the lawn, trim around the edges, remove dead scrubs and limps, trim tree branches and bushes, plant some flowers, etc.
Why Use a REALTOR®?
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be unwise to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:
What a REALTOR® will do for you:
There are many important reasons to use a REALTOR®. Some of the duties your REALTOR® will perform for you include:
- Walking you through the process of selling your home from beginning to end
- Providing comparable information about the prices for which other properties have sold and analyzing data for you to gain a true comparison
- Supplying information regarding local customs and regulations you may want to consider
- Sharing information about your home through the Multiple Listing Service and on the Internet
- Placing advertisements for your home
- Fielding phone calls
- “Qualifying” potential buyers to make sure they would be financially able to buy your property
- Negotiating the sales contract
- Alerting you to potential risks
- Complying with the disclosures required by law
- Providing you with an estimate of the closing costs you will incur
- Helping you prepare for a smooth closing of the transaction.
At Main Street Realty, we are here to assist you in every way possible in the sale of your home. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at any time.