(March 01, 2017
Positive first impression of a prospective home buyer means so much to the successful sale of your home that making a small effort to ensure a good impression can pay off with big returns. This checklist covers many of the little things that set a good example, from the outside…in. EXTERIOR¨ Keep lawns and hedges neatly trimmed, weed flowerbeds¨ Clean out your garage or carport to show off its full size ~Arrange garbage bins and recycling neatly¨ Clean the outside windows and repair any broken panes ~Cleaning windows with newspaper and on a cloudy day will help eliminate streaks¨ Oil all the gate hinges and latches- squeaky hinges make fences seem old¨ Power wash any decks and walkways to remove any green moss or debris¨ Check that all outside lights are working; house number is clean and easy to read¨ Touch up exterior paint as required, especially street side¨ Keep walkways and exterior stairs clean of leaves, snow, etc. ~Re-painting a set of stairs can make a big difference- the idea is to make the house look newer¨ Clean roof gutters to avoid “waterfalls” on rainy days¨ Don’t let anything obstruct the street view of your “For Sale” sign INTERIOR ¨ Wash down or paint the entry walls ~Avoid spot cleaning, it can make the rest of the wall look dingy¨ Repair drawers and cupboard doors that squeak, stick or don’t close¨ Free up hard-to-open windows and doors – especially closet doors¨ Repair leaky faucets or toilets that run continuously¨ Replace loose tiles, re-grout if needed and scrub away any mildew¨ You are going to move anyway, so start now to remove all clutter from every room and get rid or store anything you can live without; pay particular attention to the basement¨ Clear off countertops!, and give the kitchen and bathroom a good top-to-bottom scrub, to make the walls, cabinets, appliances, counters and sinks shine ~ To eliminate odors, clean the inside of the fridge with a baking soda and water mixture, boil lemon juice and water in the microwave, and put lemon rinds down the disposal.¨ Make the bedroom look bigger by clearing off tops of dressers and making your bed- this is the time to use those decorative pillows¨ Make sure the closets are clear of everything except clothes that are neatly hung or folded to best show the size of the closets ~Showing Tip: box up and store items that are out of season- the idea is to make the closet look as big as possible.¨ Lighting is important! Replace any burnt out light bulbs and use appropriate bulb wattage to lighten dark areas SHOWINGS¨ Keep all curtains and blinds open to let the maximum natural light in; add to this by turning on every light and lamp. ~Spring is the time to replace heavy drapes with Sheets to make your house look airy and fresh¨ Avoid cooking any meal that might cause a lingering odor; let lots of fresh air in¨ Take the dog for a walk and place the cat in their kennel during the showings, try to eliminate any pet odors.