to Prepare Your Home First Impressions Are Lasting! When potential
buyers approach in their cars, they make their first decision: whether
or not to STOP and look inside. Therefore, a neat, attractive yard
entices a buyer to view your home. Please carefully evaluate every
aspect of your yard.
A Few Suggestions:
1. If applicable, keep your yard mowed, raked, fertilized, and watered.
2. Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash
items, debris, etc., from your yard.
3. Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed. Lawns and gardens
(if applicable) should be weeded regularly.
4. All hoses, garden equipment and trash cans should be out of sight.
5. Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if needed.
Stack firewood out of sight.
6. Walkways and driveways should be clear of debris. In the winter,
clear off snow and ice. (You don't want a potential buyer to slip
7. Ensure that your street number is legible.
8. Porches, steps, balconies, patios, and other areas should be uncluttered,
swept, and in good condition.
9. Paint all entrance doors. It is at this point that potential buyers
form an opinion of the house.
10. Paint or refinish the decks or porches if they show any signs
11. Ensure that the exterior paint on your home is in good condition,
and if it is in need of any paint, paint it. Investing in painting
your house can make the difference between "turning on" the buyer
and sending up a "red flag" about your home's condition. You may lose
buyers due to what you consider an insignificant issue.
12. Gates, fences, sheds, and other outer buildings should be cleaned,
repaired, and painted.
13. Clean, repair, and paint all gutters and downspouts.
14. All loose roof shingles, tiles, and the like should be secured
or replaced. If the roof leaks, fix it! Remove all traces of prior
water damage to the ceiling inside your home.
15. Make sure that the garage door opens easily. Repair and paint
it if needed. .
Now… Evaluate the Inside of Your Property Through the Critical
Eyes of the Buyer!
1. Wash all windows, inside and out, adding to the overall impression
and to help your property show in a nice, bright light. Curtains should
be clean and attractive.
2. Remove all smoke, pet, and hobby odors from the property.
3. Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures, and chandeliers so that
the property is brighter.
4. Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them often. If the carpet does
not clean up well, replace it. Use a neutral color, or remove the
carpet if hardwood floors underneath are in good condition.
5. Clean everything in your house from top to bottom, from the attic
to the basement.
6. Remove all "junk" from the attic, basement, closets, garage, tool
shed, and especially from the storage area if your property has one.
Large storage areas are appealing to buyers. Rent a storage area for
those items that need to be cleared out of these areas.
7. Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors. Putty and paint
any holes that result from nails or other mishaps.
8. Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.
9. Remove all cobwebs.
10. Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use two or more
coats to cover bold, bright, or dark walls. All walls should be painted-not
just washed-brightening the property and making it look much larger.
11. Ensure that the doorbell is in good working order.
12. Make sure that all entrance doors-front door, storm door, screen
door-are in excellent condition. If not, replace them. Again, this
is the first impression the buyer has of the property. Lighting and
cleanliness are especially important.
13. Repair or replace broken tiles on walls or floors in showers.
14. Repair or replace loose wallpaper.
15.. Improve the plumbing to increase water pressure. Buyers will
check this every time. Replace the washers in the faucets and remove
16. Clean under all sinks and around the furnace, hot water heater,
17. Keep countertops clear.
18. Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms need to be spotless.
Your house is being "interviewed" by the potential buyer.
Use these tips to ensure that your home's best features are displayed.
1. Open the draperies and leave them open. Pull up the shades, and
let in the sunlight. Rooms bathed in sunlight appear bigger and make
a positive impact on buyers.
2. Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your property brightly-in
its best light. Turn on all lights.
3. Remove all "clutter" from each room. Remove things such as coats,
shoes, clothing, pet toys, pet-food bowls, trash cans, toys, child-safety
barriers, playpens, and the like. Keep all nonessential items off
the floor so that the room doesn't appear cluttered. Uncluttered rooms
4. Make sure that beds are made with bedspreads smoothed out. Also,
linens and curtains should be fresh and clean. Keep laundry out of
5. Organize closets. Remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
Large closets sell houses and a well-organized closet looks much bigger
than one crammed with clutter.
6. Dust and vacuum floors often. Don't leave soiled towels lying
around. Wipe showers after each use.
7. Re-caulk the shower or bathtub if the current caulk is not spotless.
8. Create a positive mood. If it is cold outside, keep a comfortable
level of heat. If it's summertime, keep your property cool.
9. Keep pets out of the way-preferably out of the house. Some people
are afraid of or do not like animals and their odors, and buyers may
raise undue concerns about the condition of carpeting.
10. Play soft music during the showing of the property. Turn off