Get Your House Ready to Show to Buyers
A house that sparkles on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbour.
Buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is well maintained, they assume that what they can’t see, has probably also been well maintained. In readying your house for sale, consider:
- How much should you spend to prepare your house for sale?
- Exterior and curb appeal
- Interior appeal
How Much Should You Spend to Prepare Your House for Sale?
Don’t overspend. There is a big difference between making inexpensive touch-ups to your house (such as new knobs on cabinets or fresh paint on the walls), and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen (don’t do this!)
Maximizing Exterior and Curb Appeal
When preparing to put your home up for sale, your first concern is the home’s exterior. If the curb appeal looks good, people will more than likely want to see what’s on the inside.
Here are some tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal to buyers:
- Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered. Same goes for hedges and other shrubs
- Be sure your front door area has a “Welcome” feeling. That may mean a new coat of paint on the front door.
- In spring and summer, put out some bright flower pots.
- Clear snow and ice in the winter.
- Check foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and deterioration, and fix any problem areas.
- Remove and repaint any peeling paint on doors and windows.
- Clean and align gutters.
- Inspect and clean the chimney.
- Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
- Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
- Reseal old asphalt.
- Keep the garage door closed.
- Store RVs and old cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
Maximizing Interior Appeal
You want your home to look as spacious, bright and clean as possible. Also the home should look neutral – without a lot of your personal and sentimental objects – so buyers can begin to imagine living there.
Here are some tips to enhance your home’s interior appeal to buyers:
- Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Rent a storage locker if you have too much stuff.
- Use a professional cleaning service every few weeks while the house is on the market.
- Remove items you don’t use often from rooms, closets and cupboards- you have to pack it all up eventually!
- Make sure that table tops, dressers and closets are free of clutter.
- Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms: they should look as modern, bright and fresh as possible. It is essential for them to be clean and odor free.
- Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
- Buy new towels for the bathroom, and put them out for showings.
- Spruce up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by installing new curtains and cabinet knobs, or applying a fresh coat of neutral paint
- If necessary, repaint dingy, soiled or strongly-colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
- Check for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement, and fix any problem areas.
- Seal basement walls if there are any signs of dampness or leakage.
- Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint and tiles.
- Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.