Clean everything. Cleanliness
signals to a buyer that the home has been well cared for and is most likely
in good repair. A messy or dirty home will cause prospective buyers to notice
Unclutter your home before
you show it. Have a garage sale. Empty closets. Throw away what you cant
sell. The less stuff in and around a home, the roomier it will seem.
Let the light in. Raise
the shades. Open the blinds. Pull back the curtains. Put brighter bulbs in all
the lamps (but not bright enough to cause a glare). Bright, open rooms feel
larger and more inviting. Dark rooms feel small and gloomy.
Let fresh air in. Get rid
of odors that may be unfamiliar or unpleasant. People are most often offended
by odors from tobacco, pets, cooking and musty or sour laundry. Fresh flowers
and potpourri can be used to your advantage. Other smells that attract positive
attention include fresh baked bread and cinnamon.
Fix anything that is broken.
This includes plumbing, electrical systems/switches, windows, TV antennas, screens,
doors and fences. If it cant be fixed, replace it or get rid of it. (No
window screens are better than broken ones.) A buyer will make a much lower
offer if your house is in disrepair and will probably still insist that everything
be fixed before taking occupancy. Youre better off if you leave potential
buyers no reason to offer less than you are asking.
Send pets away or secure
them away from the house when prospective buyers are coming. You never know
if people will be annoyed or intimidated by your pets or even allergic to them.
And you never want a prospective buyer to have to avoid animal droppings.
Send the kids to grandmas
or take them on a walk around the block. Children can be noisy and distracting
to someone interested in looking at a home.
Paint. Theres nothing
that improves the value of a home for a lower cost than a fresh coat of paint.
And its often easier to paint a room than it is to scrub it. Stick with
neutral colorsoff-white is safest. Be sure to avoid black, violet and
Keep noise down. Silence
is a restful sound that offends no one. Turn off the TV and radio. Soft, instrumental
music is fine, but avoid vocals. If necessary, close the windows to eliminate
any street noise.
Fix squeaky floorboards.
Dont run any noisy equipment like a vacuum cleaner or table saw while
people are looking at your home, and, if possible, ask your neighbors to avoid
Make sure the temperature
in your home is comfortable keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If itís cold outside, and you have a fireplace, a nice fire will make your home
seem cozy and inviting.
Be available in case prospective
buyers have questions, but donít crowd them.
Provide an exhaustive written
list of the features of your home.
Answer questions professionally
and truthfully, but donít volunteer any information.
Know the distances to
schools and shopping centers.
Let the home and the salesperson
do most of the selling.
Refer any prospect who
calls or comes by to your broker for pre-screening and pre-qualification as
well as for your own safety.
Provide a home warranty
and promote it.