Homes that show will sell for the highest price and in the quickest time. First Impressions are important and create an instant and lasting image in the mind of a potential buyer, particularly the condition of the front garden and walkways and especially the front door. Equally important is the use of “staging” to show off the beauty, features, and benefits of your home which often bring in greater values and sells quicker.
Steps to Enhance Your Success:
Prior to Listing:
- Clean: Clean and polish everything. The walls, floors, hardware, appliances, and hardware should smell and look fresh and clean.
- Garden: Trim, weed and freshen the garden. Mulch unsightly areas. Replace dead grass with sod. Add seasonal color in flower beds and planter boxes. Cut branches and shrubs away from windows and the house to improve light and street appeal.
- Inviting Entry: A new doormat and potted annuals welcome buyers to your door.
- New Paint: New paint, particularly light colors, makes rooms appear brighter and larger.
- Floors: Have carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned. Have hardwood floors polished. Consider refinishing or replacing badly stained or scratched floors and carpets.
- Repairs: All leaks, replace all bulbs, repair sticky windows, doors and loose cabinet knobs, and put new batteries in all the smoke detectors. A buyer’s confidence can decrease when minor everyday things are not attended to; it calls into question the general maintenance of the home.
- Furniture: Avoid clutter by removing excess furniture and decoration. If your home is vacant, consider staging.
- Mirrors: Mirrors can brighten a room with reflected light and make a room appear larger.
- Grout: Check and repair all tile grout and caulking. Make sure that cabinets, tile, and appliances are free of mildew and stains.
- Closets: Clean out all closets and storage areas. Remove ¾ of the items in your closet. Pack and remove any excess and place neatly in the garage or a storage facility. Boxes specifically designed for “hanging” clothes are available.
- Trash: Haul away all trash and yard debris. Typically there is a “free” pick up 2x’s per year in your area.
- Photos: Remove all personal photos. The new family needs to envision themselves in the “lifestyle” you have created for them.
- Detectors: The most recent change in the law states there must be carbon monoxide detectors installed in the home. This MUST be done prior to inspections and appraisal. They are to be installed near the floor, as Carbon Monoxide is a heavy gas.
- Showing: When the home is being shown, dust and vacuum constantly. The home should be spotless when you leave in the morning, with all dishes, clothes, and toys neatly stored. All beds should be made. Closet doors should be slightly open so buyers can feel free to examine the size and space available.
- Lighting: Turn on ALL LIGHTS to highlight your home’s best features and make your property look bright. Keep window coverings OPEN unless they reveal an objectionable view.
- Fresh Flowers: Add color and warmth with fresh flower arrangements.
- Cooking: Don’t cook food with strong odors.
- Pets: Move any litter boxes outside or to the garage. Clean up after pets daily.
- Leave the House: Arrange to be gone during showings. This allows potential buyers to ask any questions without embarrassment. This includes your pets.
- EACH DAY – Before leaving for the day, walk through the house to make sure everything is in its place.
- OPEN WINDOWS: Bes sure to air out your home regularly to keep it fresh.
- Your Move: Plan for the move to take twice the amount of expected time.
- Cleaning: Hire a house cleaner for the final cleaning, you will be too busy to clean the home properly yourself.
- Lists: Leave behind a list of the service providers you have been using in the home:
- Pool Maintenance
- Heating and Air
- Any other services you may have used on the property
- Leave any original architectural plans you may have been given
- List of paint colors and sample cans
- Leave extra keys, garage door openers and remote controls marked with the location item it is for.
- The last special touch would be to leave a personal note for the buyers, wishing them years of happiness in your home, just as you have experienced!