A few years ago, you could put an ad in your local paper, a “For Sale” sign in your front yard and wait for the offers to roll in. Sadly, those days are gone. If you want to sell your house in today’s market you really have to price it right, and do what ever you can to make it your home stand out from the competition.
Start by making sure your home is squeaky clean from top to bottom. Make sure that it smells clean, too, especially if you have pets. You may be so used to the way your house smells that you may not notice pet odors. Have an objective third party, who is not a friend and regular visitor, come in and do a “sniff test”.
Next, eliminate clutter from all rooms and closets. If you have too much “stuff”, have a garage sale to get rid of what you don’t need, or consider renting a storage unit if it’s too painful to get rid of your stuff. Take down your family portraits and photos and replace them with nature scenes, or other impersonal wall hangings.
A new coat of paint in a light, neutral color makes walls look fresh and clean and rooms look larger. If you’ve got old, outdated wall paper, take it down. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Shampoo all carpeting. If you’ve got stains that won’t come out, or if there are worn spots, consider replacing the carpeting, again with a neutral color.
Your homes curb appeal may be a deciding factor in whether a buyer wants to come inside. Make sure your lawn, both front and backyard, is neatly mowed at all times, and as free of weeds as possible. Keep all shrubs neatly trimmed. If any trees or shrubs are blocking windows, cut them down to where they no longer do. You want to let as much light into your home as possible. While we’re on the subject of light, make sure all shades and blinds are open when your house is being shown. And make sure your windows are clean.
Keep walkways and driveways in good condition. Repair stains and cracks, if possible. Check the condition of your home’s exterior-do you need a fresh coat of paint? If you have shutters, be sure that they are in good shape.
Fix leaky faucets or running toilets. Speaking of leaks, make sure your roof is in good repair. Repair and repaint water spots on your ceilings from old leaks.
Finally, consider hiring a professional home “stager”. They will tell you, either for a flat fee or an hourly rate, how to make your home look more appealing, by moving, adding or removing furniture, artwork, etc.
Now you are ready to put that “For Sale” sign in the yard and that ad in the newspaper, and wait for the phone to start ringing. Good luck!