Preparing your home through the eyes of a buyer
The effort you devote to repairing and cleaning your property is more likely to be returned in a fast sale at an attractive price. As buyers approach your property the first time, impressions are formed quickly. Steps to consider:
- Paint house – this can do more for sales appeal than any other factor.
- Yard – remove all toys, garbage, garden tools and other items from view.
- Mow the lawn.
- Close garage doors.
- Place colorful flowers in front of the house.
Often, while waiting to be let in, a buyer will look at closely is the front door. Simple improvements can include painting the door or buying a new doormat. In addition, buyers often take a close look at the basement of a home. They will look for bad wiring, leaky pipes and signs of decay. Clean out the basement and dispose of everything you are not going to move. Ensure that there is plenty of lighting. Sweep or vacuum the floor. Stack items neatly against walls.
The kitchen and bathrooms are important rooms in the house.
The kitchen and bathrooms are important to buyers. These are some simple steps for making them bright and attractive.
- Put a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table.
- Replace kitchen curtains or clean existing ones.
- Remove appliances from counters.
- Create a pleasant fragrance in the kitchen and bathrooms
(e.g., vanilla or cinnamon).
- Install a new shower curtain and replace worn throw rugs.
- Polish all fixtures.
- Open windows (in season).
- Hang bright, fresh towels.
- Remove stains from toilets and bathtubs.
- Display colorful soaps.
The living room is also important...
Special attention to the living room can make a difference as well... Some basic ideas:
- Clean out the fireplace and place logs or a nice plant or candles display in it.
- Polish all woodwork.
- Remove items so living room (and others) are not cluttered or crowded.
- Place larger pieces of furniture in storage.
Repair & Cleaning Checklist
Following is a helpful checklist in preparing your home for sale.
House Showing Tips
Before your house is shown
Remember, buyers will want what they see and like. Tag or remove items not included in sale (i.e., water conditioner, chandeliers, plants, drapes).
- Open shades and curtains to let in light.
- Turn on enough lights so home is well lit during showing.
- At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting.
- Tidy all the rooms. Neatness makes a room easier to view.
- Clean dirty dishes in the sink and put away any dishes on counter.
- Keep toys in the children's rooms.
- Put away items in the yard such as bicycles, gardening tools and skateboards.
- If fall or winter, light a fire in the fireplace.
While your house is being shown
It is best to leave while the property is shown. If this is not possible, remain in an area not being shown by the sales associate. Other steps:
- Let the real estate expert show your house. If introduced to the buyers,
answer questions candidly when asked, but avoid questioning potential buyers.
- Refer inquiries about seeing your house to your Realtor®.
- Do not mention items you wish to dispose of unless asked.
- Keep pets outdoors or in one area.
- Keep children quiet and in one area.
- Keep radio, stereo or TV on low volume.
- Keep money and other valuable items out of sight.
Why you want a REALTOR® as opposed to just a real estate agent
What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent? REALTOR® identifies real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. Additionally, REALTORS®, through their local REALTOR® boards and councils, continually build upon their real estate knowledge with comprehensive, continuing education classes on all the various aspects of the real estate profession.