realtors also know
that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for
a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a
well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't
see has probably also been maintained. In readying your house for sale,
- how much should you spend
- exterior and curb appeal
- preparing the interior
How much should you spend
preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers
will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough
extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and
inexpensive "polishes" and "touch-ups" to your house, such as putting new knobs
on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing
extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. Your realtor,
who is familiar with buyers' expectations in your neighborhood, can advise you
specifically on what improvements need to be made. Don't hesitate to ask for
Maximizing exterior and
putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little
money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal. Tips to enhance
- Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered
- Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds,
and prune trees regularly.
- Check the foundation, steps, walkways,
walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
- Inspect doors and windows for peeling
- Clean and align gutters.
- Inspect and clean the chimney.
- Repair and replace loose or damaged
- Repair and repaint loose siding and
- In Northern winters, keep walks neatly
cleared of snow and ice.
- During spring and summer months
consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front
- Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- Store RVs or old and beaten up cars
elsewhere while the house is on the market.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to the
- Giving every room in the house a
thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your
house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have
actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a
sleeker, more spacious look.
Hiring a professional cleaning service, once
every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment
for owners who are busy elsewhere.
- Removing the less frequently used, even
daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas
much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage
sale at this point is a great idea.
- If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled
or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or
beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
- Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of
dampness in the attic and basement.
- Repairing cracks, holes or damage to
plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
- Replacing broken or cracked
windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork. Inspecting and repairing the
plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
- Repairing dripping faucets and
showerheads. Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only
when prospective buyers are on the way.
- Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more
major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of