You've started marketing your property and hopefully you've had some interest.
It's time to talk about what you need to do around the house, inside and out, to be appealing to a buyer.
- Curb Appeal. You may usually pull into a garage to park the car, but one time pull in front of your house and look at it as a buyer would. Check on these things:
- Do you see any peeling paint?
- Is your roof & gutters in good condition?
- Is the walkway accessible or are there obstacles in the way? Make sure it is clear and easy to get up.
- If you have a concrete walkway, are there any major cracks or breaks that could cause someone to become injured?
- Front Door
- It needs to be clean.
- It needs to look freshly painted.
- It needs to be a good color and not something crazy.
- No peeling paint around the door frame.
- Does the doorbell work?
- Front Stoop
- The buyers are going to be standing here waiting for either you to open the door for them or for an agent to let them inside. They are going to be looking all around the front to see if they see any issues before they come inside.
- Make sure that cobwebs are swept away.
- There should b no dead leaves, flowers or others that need to be cleared away.
- A nice welcome mat is always a nice touch.
- If the weather is warm, take the time to power wash the siding to give it a clean, crisp look.
- You know that you're going to be moving anyways, so now is the time to start getting rid of some stuff. If you're not going to be using it anymore, give it away or throw it away. If you're not going to be using it right now, box it up. That's one less thing you will have to do later!
- It is wonderful to walk into homes that have 1,000 baby pictures on the walls or amazing accomplishments and awards...but those things become distractions. Buyers are more busy looking at these items instead of at the house. Put those things away. It is also a great idea to put away any religious items. You wouldn't want to offend someone, or turn off a buyer because they didn't have the same belief as you do.
- If you have rooms that need a fresh coat of paint or need to be neutral, it is always a good idea to do this before showings begin. DON'T PAINT ALL WHITE!
- Clean Carpets
- Sometimes a perspective buyer will look at a house and think that it needs new carpet when all it really needs is a good cleaning. By doing this one step, it could save you some money because buyers will try to lower the price with the thought that new carpet is going to need to be installed.
- Run the Sweeper
- Before a buyer comes to look at the house, run the sweeper. This assures that everything is nice and clean. They know that you have put an effort into the house and that you really care.
- Close Toilets
- You would be surprised at how many homes I go into that they have not done this...and some of them don't even flush!!!! That is just a gross thing. Most buyers are not going to lift up a lid or look at the inside on an initial showing. When they stick their head inside a bathroom, you just don't want the inside of a toilet bowl to be the thing that they remember!
- Take Out Trash
- This means for the kitchen and the bathrooms. Trash in the kitchen can lead to odors that you wouldn't normally have or that you would want a buyer to smell. And in the bathroom, things are usually put into there that you don't want strangers to see and that they really don't want to see. Dump it before they get there!
- Change Light Bulbs
- You want the house to be flooded with light when they come in. Because you are going to go around the house and turn on all the lights anyways, make sure that all of the bulbs are working. If they are not, change them.
- During the showing process, you will want to make sure that the normal areas are dusted. But about once a month, make sure that you get those areas that you don't normally think about like ceiling fans, plant ledges, light fixtures, etc. These are things that you may not normally look at, but a buyer will pick up on them quickly.