Here are a few tips for sellers to help make your home more saleable...
1. Get rid of clutter...get rid of clutter in your home. Get rid of newspapers and magazines, or if needed put them in a box and store them away. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Organize items on shelves & in closets. Arrangements of 1, 3 or 5 items are interesting. Store out-of season clothing to make closets appear roomier. Now is a good time to donate the clothes that you haven't worn in 2 years to charitable organizations or sell them at a second hand store. Don't forget cleaning out your garage and organize items there too.
2. Have clean windows....wash your windows on the inside and outside, wash screens & storm windows to let in more light. Wash the casings too.
3. Put away personal photographs....potential buyers can't invision themselves in your home with your personal photographs in sight. If they see you in the home then it is hard for them to see themselves in your home.
4. Keep everything clean...wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop floors, wash walls, clean the stove and refrigerator, dust the cobwebs out of corners, clean sticky railings and furniture, keep furniture dusted and polished, bathrooms picked up, keep sinks and toilets and tub/showers clean, etc... A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well taken care of.
5. Get rid of smells...clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to allow fresh air in. Wash woodwork, cabinets, trim and baseboards, and remove any pet dander or hair. Vacuum out cold and hot air returns. Use Fabreze or other odor neutralizing products if necessary. You may need to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Bad odors are one of the major turn offs to potential buyers.
6. Replace burnt out light bulbs...also, use the highest watt light bulb allowed for the appliance light fixture. Make dark rooms brighter by adding more lights. You may need to paint a room that has an extremely dark color with a lighter more neutral one.
7. Make the minor repairs that can create bad first impressions....small problems like sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, dripping faucets, missing moulding, broken hinges or handles, cracked cement, broken blinds, broken door bell, etc...may not seem like a big deal to you but, they will give potential buyers that the house has not been taken care of. What is worse about small problems is that once the potential buyer sees something that needs to be fixed or repaired they start looking for more things and then get turned off with the work that they will have to do if they purchased the home. Your home will then be off their "yes" list of homes to consider purchasing.
8. Keep the home picked up...keep clothes hung up, put dishes away, put shoes in closets when not in use, have dirty laundry put away, put magazines and newspapers away. Put away food. Keep the kitchen clean. Basically, keep all things in their place and not lying around the house.
9. Keep toys picked up...keep them in your child's room in a toy chest, or picked up in a toy room, or put them away in a closet. Do not keep toys in the main living room and/or great room areas. Pick up and put away toys outside too.
10. Tidy up your yard...cut the grass, trim bushes and plants, pull weeds, edge the walks, rake the leaves. Put out a pot or two of attractive flowers near the entryway. Keep the entryway and side walks swept. Patch holes in your dirveway and apply sealant if needed. Put new bark in landscaping.
11. Spiff up the outside of your home...clean gutters, have sticks or leaves picked up off the roof. Have the outside power washed and painted if needed. Replace any rotted wood, tack back in place any siding that is out of place. Put hoses away and out of sight. Polish up or replace your front doorknob and door numbers. Consider replacing outdated outside lights.
12. Purchase fresh towels...for the bathroom(s) and kitchen. Also, replace pillows on your sofa or chairs if needed with fresh new ones. Don't forget the bedroom....keep your bed linens and covers clean. Keep the bed neatly made. Add a new pillow or two on your bed too.
13. Stage your home...you don't have to hire a professional stagger or purchase new furniture. You can if you want to but, before you do check out the resources available on home decor websites like http://www.HGTV.com and http://www.bhg.com (Better Homes and Gardens) websites. Assess each room in your home as far as purpose, traffic flow, and lighting. You may need to remove or rearrange furniture to achieve that rooms full potential. Don't over accessorize the rooms. Remember, sometimes less...is more.
14. Paint your home if needed...consider painting the walls in your home with neutral colors that are appealing to a larger buying pool. Avoid painting rooms with dark paint which make rooms appear smaller, you want to maximize their size by applying a lighter color paint. You may want to also consider painting old worn out cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. Consider replacing outdated cabinet hardware too. Check out http://www.PotteryBarn.com for their color palette of the latest current trend in wall colors.
Remember...your home is in a "Price War and Beauty Contest". And, 9 out of 10 times the better looking house wins!
If you have any questions about the items on this list, or are considering listing your home in Holland, Michigan or the West Michigan Lakeshore Area and are looking for a listing agent to help you, please contact Janice at #616-355-6326!