Preparing for the Sale
From Home Depot

Here are some general tips for preparing your house for sale

General Preparation

• Clean everything thoroughly. Ask a friend to help you assess your efforts – especially in sensitive areas such as odor removal.

• Put out clean towels, new soap, a nice tablecloth, and fresh flowers.

• Don't be at home during a showing or open house. Your absence will put buyers at ease so they'll feel free to linger and ask questions.

• If you do stay, be polite, but let your sales associate do the talking.

• Don't apologize for the condition of your home.

• Make sure kids and pets are out of the house.

• Eliminate clutter from all areas of your home to create an impression of spaciousness and plentiful storage space. A great way to clear away clutter and make money at the same time is to hold a yard or garage sale.

• Nothing makes a home look new more quickly than a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white and gray have a broad appeal to prospective buyers. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness. It's a good idea to stick to neutrals when making any improvements prior to selling your home.

Ask home buyers what area or room of the home they consider most important, and chances are they'll say the kitchen. When prospective buyers look at your kitchen, they will pay particular attention to its cleanliness, layout, and storage capacity

If major appliances are being sold with the home, make sure they are spotless, odor-free, and in good working condition. Polish chrome surfaces. Fix any leaky faucets, loose cabinet hardware, drawer handles, and outdated or inefficient light fixtures. Make more efficient use of drawers and cabinets with dividers and cutlery trays

It's true that first impressions are often lasting. So take a good look at the paint on the outside of your house. Is it cracking, peeling or chipping? If it is, a fresh coat for your exterior may cost you a bit of time and money but may elevate your home from "fixer-upper" to "move-in condition." If you decide your home needs painting, choose colors that are appropriate for the style of your home and that blend in well with your neighborhood.

Repair any cracks or holes in the walls and ceiling, and repaint if necessary. Strip outdated wallpaper.

Clean interior and exterior windows and screens. Repair cracked panes, torn screens, broken sashes and ropes or cords as well. When your home is being shown, open your curtains to let daylight in, especially if the view is noteworthy. While you're at it, wash all the mirrors in the house too. Launder or dry-clean curtains and drapes.

Carpeting has a major impact on the look of a home. Vacuum thoroughly or have it steam-cleaned. If the carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider having it replaced, despite the expense. Pull up any carpeting that is outdated or worn. Check wood floors to see if they need to be refinished. Scrub and wax tile floors, and repair or replace cracked tiles.

Make sure light fixtures, switches, switch plates, and outlet covers are clean and in good working order.

Buyers will pay close attention to the condition of your roof. Re-patch or re-shingle where necessary, and fix leaky, corroded downspouts and gutters. Inside, a watermarked ceiling is a sign to buyers that the roof has leaked – even if the damage has been repaired.

A neat and clean entryway creates a positive first impression. A freshly-painted door and trim with sturdy hardware add a welcome touch. Replace faded house numbers with new ones. Make sure the doorbell is in working order.