Before the "For Sale" sign officially goes up in the front yard, there are a number of things you can do to make your home look more appealing to potential buyers.
Things like staging your home, paying attention to specific cleaning tricks and boosting your curb appeal will help your home sell faster and for more money.
Start with these 10 steps that can help your home fly off the market - for the price you want - this year.
1. Get rid of the clutter. Throw out - or pack up and store - the stacks of paperwork, newspapers and magazines around the house. Keep the decor simple and uncluttered by packing up extraneous decorative items. Store out-of-season clothes to give closets the impression they are more than big enough to store the average wardrobe. Clean out the majority of items in the garage so it can store your car and just the basics like cleaning supplies and tools without looking overstuffed.
2. Get rid of any furniture that won't be making the move to the new home. Sell it, or donate it to a charity. Our agents can recommend a number of local charities where you can donate furniture for a tax deduction.
3. Wash windows and screens, and open up all windows, blinds and curtains. You want your home to be full of natural light, and feel airy and not stuffy. You can either tackle the project yourself, or our agents can recommend qualified professional window-washing companies.
4. Keep everything neat, clean and tidy. You never know when potential buyers are going to want to stop by with their agent. So floors, counters and surfaces need to be clean and sparkling, and clutter needs to be tucked away. Check out these tips for making your home appear cleaner than it actually is.
5. Get rid of smells. Clean all carpeting and drapes to get rid of any lingering odors. Pet or smoking odors may take a little more effort. Keep windows open as much as possible to help wash them out.
6. Help your home seem brighter. Get rid of any energy-efficient light bulbs and replace them with high-wattage bulbs. That way rooms light up quickly when being toured, and your home appears full of light at all times.
7. Take care of any needed minor repairs. Things in need of fixing can create a bad impression. For example - at least once a week we come across a home for sale with a note taped to the front door telling us how to finagle a tricky lock. Do yourself a favor and take care of all the small projects that have been lingering on the to-do list before putting up that sign in the front yard.
8. Tidy your yards. Cut the grass, pull the weeds, rake the leaves, trim the bushes and edge the walkways. Put a few pots of bright, colorful flowers out front to kick up your curb appeal.
9. Touch up driveways and walkways. Trust us, checking those things off a potential buyer's list of things they notice they would have to do upon moving in can go a long way in swaying them in your favor.
10. Clean out the gutters. Roof gardens might be all the rage, but certainly not gutter gardens.
"Move-in ready" is what buyers really want to see - and are willing to pay for. By taking care of these simple, around-the-house projects, you will increase your home's appeal and lure home-buyers in.
Need advice on what to tackle, or recommendations for professionals? Just ask!