1. Welcome buyers! Make your front door is freshly painted, be sure the walkway and driveway is clear, and that dead flowers are pruned or tossed. If they are, be sure to plant some new ones to attract attention from a distance. It should go without saying, but be sure to fix any broken doorbells, put new bulbs in outdoor lighting fixtures, and replace the doormat.
2. Make sure it is clean. When a home is downright dirty or messy, buyers assume you haven’t maintained the house. And that probably is correct. Buyers usually fully inspect the kitchen and bathrooms. Be sure to re-caulk the bathroom sides so they look new and fresh. No one wants to look at grey, discolored molding. If you have carpet, it is essential for it to be professionally cleaned and vacuumed. If you do not have the time to complete these tasks yourself, hire a professional. There are many services that provide a housecleaner and an organizer at the same time, so all it takes is a phone call.
3. Start packing. Nothing turns a buyer away like clutter. Even friends that come to your house are somewhat embarrassed for you. It’s not a good look. A home packed with your personal belongings also makes it difficult for others to envision living there. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos. Read: Must-Do Tips to Sell Your Home This Year – Bankrate.com.
4. Paint. Put a fresh coat of paint on white or beige walls, and repaint walls that have bold colors. Taupe and subtle gray are the best choices. Don’t forget the trim and molding either, which are equally as important. And a fresh paint job on outdated cabinets goes a long way as well.
5. Fix the small stuff. Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. You can install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods – fixtures that are readily visible to homebuyers – rather inexpensively. New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components. Read: What to Do Before You List Your Home – Zillow.
6. Update lighting. Replace decorative light fixtures that no longer fit your home’s cleaner, fresher look. Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home. For example, ambient, low-key lighting fills a room, whereas directional or task lighting works better in areas like a reading nook. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers’ attention to certain selling points.
7. Windows. Be sure you have the right window treatments, which enhance natural brightness and boost the appearance of a home. Window treatments also can impact a room’s temperature because they reduce or increase the amount of light entering the space. Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings. See: Before Putting Your Home Up For Sale – Realtor.com.
8. Set the table. Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch. Also, keep place settings handy for your tables so you can quickly set them out right before showings or an open house. Pull out all the formal stops for a dining room, and keep the table casual in the kitchen.
9. Hide everyday items. Clean up pet and children’s toys before showings. Move dog bowls, dog crates, kids’ legos. If you have nowhere in the home to store them, bring them to a friends house.
10. Don’t forget the back of the home! Keep your backyard presentable. Plant colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.