Tips for Selling Your Home
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and if you can overcome potential objections before they arise, you will be ahead of the game.
Look at your home from the viewpoint of a buyer. Be critical. If you think something looks bad, a prospective buyer will probably feel the same way. Pick up, clean up, freshen up.
Here are some ideas to put you ahead of the competition...
- Keep your grass cut, walkways and curbs trimmed and flower beds free of weeds. Plant some inexpensive flowering plants. Hang a few ferns on the porch. Give your home good curb appeal.
- Pay attention to the front door. Make sure it--and the trim around it--are clean and freshly painted. Be sure your door knob, locks and doorbell all work. A lot of first impressions are made before a buyer even walks through the door.
- Lighting is important. Replace burned-out bulbs promptly, and put high wattage bulbs in smaller, dark spots like hallways. Brighter is usually better.
- Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. Make sure drains empty freely and repair any leaky faucets and handles. Don't forget the bathtub and shower. Clean or re-caulk around tubs and showers where mildew forms. Don't leave dishes in the sink. Put "guest" towels out in the bathrooms, and keep bath mats clean and free of fuzz. Replace mildewed shower curtains. Keep the bathrooms and kitchen sparkling clean! Make sure all doors and cabinet doors and drawers open easily and noiselessly.
- Paint paint paint. Again, if you think something could use touching up, a prospective buyer will feel the same way. If you can't paint the exterior, consider the inexpensive alternative of bleaching or pressure washing. Don't put it off; the effort will pay off.
- Clean clean clean. If you think it looks dirty, it does. Pay special attention to cabinet doors, trim around doors, baseboards and corners. They get dirty quickly.
- Declutter declutter declutter. You are going to move, so go ahead and get rid of unnecessary items, clean out closets and organize garages. Make potential buyers feel like they will have plenty of room for their things. Call the Salvation Army or local shelters to take items you no longer need. Go ahead and pack up out-of-season clothes. Stack moving boxes neatly in a spare room or garage, and make sure there is room to move around them.
- Replace rotten wood on the exterior, especially on fascia and soffits. Most buyers will have a home inspection conducted, and rotten wood is a top offense. Also, an FHA appraiser will require it to be repaired before signing off on the final appraisal.
- If your gutters are leaky and past their prime, replace or remove them.
- Replace your heating and cooling system filters, and clean the air flow grills. Many buyers view this as an indicator of how well you maintain your home.