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Tips for Sellers: Preparing Your Home for Sale
Front Entrance: The first impression starts at your front door. Clean or paint, fix broken glass or clean glass, make sure the locks work easily and the exterior is well lighted. Put a new welcome mat at the front door. Consider some seasonal potted plants for the front porch.
Lawn: Remove clutter, edge walks, trim hedges and weed gardens. Make sure lawn is mowed. If you have vacated the home, make arrangements to have the lawn maintained. In the winter, it is essential that the sidewalk, driveway, and porch are free of ice and snow.
Gutters & Spouts: The majority of basement problems are caused by the inadequate extension of downspouts and poor grading. Make sure downspouts are extended and gutters are clean.
Windows: Wash your windows! They make your home sparkle. Replace any missing storms or screens.
Garage: Garage doors should work without effort. Remove debris and organize.
Foyer: The entryway should be welcoming. A floor mat helps keep your home clean and makes the prospect feel that you are concerned about your home. Don't expect the buyers to imagine how the house would look "if only" Do it!
Clean and Spacious: The general cleanliness of your home reflects its overall maintenance. This is important! Remove clutter. Clean, vacuum and dust. Clean carpets. Place fresh throw rugs over worn carpet near thresholds. Ask your agent if your furniture arrangement is optimum for showing. The feeling of spaciousness is crucial. Remove unneeded items to make the room look bigger. You may even need to put some items in storage off premises.
Personal Property: Store any items that you intend to remove (or if they're essential to your daily living, clearly mark as "not included in sale"). Remember, a Purchaser will not include any items in a sales agreement that he or she hasn't seen. However, please consider the fact that items you exclude (curtains, appliances, etc.) may not be appropriate or necessary in your new home. The offer price may reflect the omission of these items.
Firearms: For safety and to create a friendly atmosphere, lock and store all firearms out of sight.
Closets: Over-crowded or poorly arranged closets imply a lack of adequate storage space. This applies to front hall closets and bedroom closets.
Halls and Stairways: Clear away clutter for an open appearance.
Kitchen: Remove all clutter from workspaces, including unnecessary appliances and decoration. Stove should be cleaned, as well as sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Empty garbage. Remove clutter. Clear items such as artwork and lists off front of refrigerator. Kitchen cabinets should be organized to emphasize adequate storage. Consider replacing outdated kitchen faucets.
Baths: Your bathroom should be spotless. Clean tub and tile. Re-grout or caulk if necessary. Remove rust stains. Clean sinks and toilets. Repair leaking faucets and toilets.
Hardware: Repair loose doorknobs, sticking drawers, warped cabinet doors. Oil hinges.
Lighting: Replace light bulbs and faulty switches. Remove unnecessary extension cords.
Shower/Tub: Replacing old shower curtains with new ones is an inexpensive way to give the bath a "new home" smell.
Basement: Clean exterior of furnace unit. Remove cobwebs, replace light bulbs, and organize storage. Make furnace, water heater, and electric box accessible. Use a dehumidifier to remove musty odors.
Odors: Purchasers are especially sensitive to odors. You may not even be aware of them. Pet odors are the most common and problematic. Make sure litter boxes are clean, carpets are clean, and the home is well ventilated. It may be necessary to replace carpeting if odors persist. Other odors that are sometimes objectionable are smoking odors, cooking odors (highly seasoned food), and must or mildew. Please discuss these problems with your agent.
Your agent will have other suggestions specific to your home. Be sure to take full advantage of the knowledge and experience your Edward Surovell Realtor offers to present your home in the best possible light.