Cleaning up and clearing out
Prospective buyers are looking for a home that they-and their furnishings- can move right into. To that end, you can best prepare your home for sale by putting your home in move-in condition and neutralizing your décor.
Some of the most effective merchandising efforts are inexpensive projects you can tackle yourself. Begin wit a thorough cleaning of all rooms in your home. Every room and window in your home should be kept squeaky clean.
Rid your home of aromas such as pet odors and smoke. Clean litter boxes and eliminate cigarette stubs, then clean carpets and wash wall thoroughly. Add pleasant odors with candles, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks r putting a bad of vanilla on cold light bulbs.
And while you’re at it, begin to organize and sort all your possessions. That’s because your home will show best if you pare down. Remove about half of the items stored in closets and cabinets and toss or give away items you don’t use. Also consider storing out-of-season items and excess furniture as a way of clearing your home.
Neutralize the interior
Nothing makes a home look newer faster than painting… and its and instant cure for outdated wall paper and colours. Painting walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can make. For broader appeal among prospect buyers, paint walls and ceilings in light neutral colours such as beige, white, off white or gray. These colours suggest newest and cleanlinessd and can really brighten a dull or outdated room.
Kitchen cabinets and appliances can be given a new outlook on life with a paint job.
The key to a quality paint job is adequate preparation; it’s important to patch holes, scrape peeling paint, sand the surface and, if necessary, put on a primer coat. Choose a premium-quality paint; the difference in results far exceeds the difference in cost.
In addition, if you have repaired a leaky roof, patch and paint the ceiling. A water marked ceiling ids a signal to prospect buyers that the roof leaks- or has leaked at one time. However, don’t paint to hide a problem, always fix then paint.
Pay attention to details
- You may not notice the dripping faucet in the kitchen, the lack of storage in the bedrooms or the outdated light fixtures in the dining room, but be assured that potential buyers will notice. Tackling a few fix-it projects may pay in big dividends as you sell your home.
- Repair leaky faucets or freshen sinks by installing new faucets. If the sinks are slightly scratched or the colours are outdated, consider re-enameling or simply replacing them.
- Paring down possessions will help your closets appear more spacious. To give your storage areas an even neater look, add organizers or storage tubs. Use baskets or dividers in medicine chests and drawers to corral supplies. Kitchen cabinets can be better organized with utensil dividers, pull out baskets, lid holders, under-the-sink organizers or other creative holders.
- Brighten the lighting in your home by updating fixtures and switchplates. Replace bulbs with the highest-wattage bulbs allowed for the fixture. Consider brightening dark areas with easy-to-add strip lighting and reading lamps.
- Potential buyers will notice details such as windows and screens and doors. Besides cleaning windows and doors, you will want to repair cracked panes, torn screens, broken sashes and ropes and cords as well. Doors and window frames may need a fresh coat of paint or varnish.
If your floors are badly worn, outdated or stained, you may need to make improvements. If you decide to replace floor coverings, concentrate on the high visibility areas- the living and dining room- first. But rather than replace, there are some other steps you can take.
- Clean carpets and vacuum often
- Check for hardwood floors beneath the carpeting. You may be able to pull up the carpeting and refinish or simply clean and wax the floors to create a classic, new look.
- Make use of neutral-color area rugs to diminish the impact of the flooring beneath.
Call in the professionals
You may be able to make some repairs, such as replacing a faucet a faucet or painting, but may not be able to tackle others such as electrical or plumbing problems.
If you must call on professionals to have repairs made, get several estimates before proceeding with the job. Ask your real estate professional about whether the projects should be tackled before putting the home on the market-or if creating an allowance to allow the new homeowners to tackle the job might be more realistic. If so, having bids available will be helpful on letting buyers know the scope of the project.
- Clean your home thoroughly and pare down on possessions before beginning and do-it-yourself projects
- Strip outdated or worn wallpaper and repaint walls and ceiling in neutral colours; repair cracks and nail holes in the wall or ceiling
- Steam clean your carpet and wash title or vinyl-covered floors; make repairs to title and vinyl or polish wood floors.
- Update storage area with holders such as baskets and tubs to organize your possessions.
- Clean all windows, storms and screens; repair screens, storm doors and any broken window stashes
- Fix or replace leaky faucets, cracked or rusted sinks, outdated or non-functioning light fixtures
- Make sure appliances and all systems (furnace, water heater, etc.) are in working order.