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97 Easy ways to make your home sell faster

Suggestions and ideas to improve your home's appearance...
...and help you prepare to sell it faster!

If you are thinking of selling your home there are a number of things you can do to make your home more sellable. But you must first see your home from the perspective of a buyer and not a seller.

New Sold Sign

This booklet contains tips on things you should be looking for when evaluating your home through the eyes of the buyer. Most of the suggestions are no-cost or low-cost improvements and this early investment in your home's appearance really pays off when selling the home.

  • Open the draperies, pull up the shades and let in the sunlight
  • Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. Open the curtains during the day
  • Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly - in its best light. Turn on all lights
  • Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them
  • Make your home look as spacious as possible
  • If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating
  • Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times
  • Have a family emergency "game plan" to get the home in order quickly if necessary
  • Air out your home one half hour before the showing if possible
  • Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air before the buyer arrives
  • Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before the showing and place it in an out of the way place in the kitchen
  • Create a master "suite" effect in your decorating
  • Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean
  • Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage
  • Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean
  • Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use
  • Recaulk if the caulking is not sparkling white!
  • Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings
  • Set the scene by setting the table! Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table!
  • The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean
  • Kitchen
  • Expand your counter space by removing small appliances
  • Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner
  • Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily
  • If the carpet does not clean up well, you should replace it!
  • Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick knacks, hobby items, children's items, etc.
  • However, try to avoid creating a "sterile" looking environment
  • Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stove tops, walls, etc.
  • Clean rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the winter
  • If you have numerous family photos, put them away until your home is under contract. Prospective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren't aware of your family photo memories
  • Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one
  • Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale
  • Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put unnecessary items in storage
  • Fix the Front Door Bell!
  • Invest in a new door mat
  • Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. work wonderfully!
  • Welcome Mat
  • Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc. and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
  • Regardless of the season, tackle spring cleaning. Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement!
  • Wash all windows, inside and out
  • Curtains should be fresh, clean and attractive
  • Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers to brighten the home
  • Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies
  • Straighten, tidy and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Create the feeling of spacious closets. Put all unnecessary items in storage or invest in under-the-bed storage boxes
  • Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps
  • Depersonalize teenagers rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament
  • Clean or paint the basement walls and floor
  • 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. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger
  • Repair or replace all doors, closet doors, and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease
  • Repair or replace banisters and handrails
  • Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs
  • Repair or replace loose or dangling wall paper
  • If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damage it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer's report
  • Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean
  • Replace shower curtains and keep them clean
  • Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains form basins
  • Water and prune all plants.
  • Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and out
  • Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight
  • Remove any excess extension cords and exposed wires
  • Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc
  • Close all other closet doors and cabinets
  • Make the most of your attic's potential
  • Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out, and decorating if possible
  • Add visual appeal to stairways, especially in unfinished stairways to the basement
  • Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times
  • Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc., from the yard
  • Sprinklers Flowers
  • Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed
  • Lawns and gardens should be weeded at all times
  • Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways, and patio
  • All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight
  • Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary
  • Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight
  • Mail boxes should be evaluated with a critical eye
  • Paint and repair the mail box or replace it if necessary
  • Make all those minor repairs to the exterior
  • Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition
  • Paint all entrance doors
  • Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks
  • Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants
  • Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
  • Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems
  • Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home later in the season
  • Display these photos in your home in the winter time
  • Clean and shine all accessories (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail boxes, address numbers, etc.)
  • Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts
  • All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replace. If the roof leaks - Fix It!
  • Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary
  • Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones
  • An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between "turning on" the buyer and sending up a red flag about the condition of the home

Some final things you can do to help your home sell quickly!

  • Arrive at an equitable asking price using an appraisal
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate and accept the first offer
  • Never volunteer information
  • Obtain a floor plan of your home if possible
  • Assemble house records for buyer perusal
  • Provide a map of the area and highlight special interest items
  • Only consider written offers by lender-prequalified buyers
  • Enlist the services of a professional marketing agent such as Rob Grey and Associates to market your home in trade magazines, newspapers, and with sign brochures

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