Take a look at your house from the street. What do you notice? Have your shutters faded over time? Does your front door need a fresh coat of paint? How does your mailbox look? Ask yourself: “Can I do something simple to make it look like I take pride and ownership in my property?”
Consider your backyard as well. Curb appeal means the back, not just the front. Have your decks power-washed, or painted or stained. Clean up all the fallen branches and rake the lawn to freshen up the grass and fertilize to get it to green up faster.
Check the condition of the garage and driveway. The garage and driveway often take up a lot of visual real estate in the front of a house, so problems here can seriously detract from curb appeal. Have any driveway cracks repaired, power wash the garage and the door or paint them.
Inside your home clear the clutter. It’s time to get out the packing boxes. If you are serious about moving, start packing now. Think about getting a small storage locker. Lighten up the house. If the living room has too much furniture, it can make the room seem smaller than it is. De-personalize your home, put away the family photos and clear the counters and coffee tables. Buyers want to see themselves in the house not you and your family.
Pack away your winter clothes, so the closets appear more spacious. People want to go into a property and see that there is ample room for their things.
Make sure that everything goes together throughout the house. Does your bedspread match the room color? If not, buy an inexpensive bedspread that will coordinate. The same goes for throw pillows on your couch. Use small, inexpensive items to pull color themes together to create an appealing appearance.
Consider getting a home inspection. Most home buyers get a home inspection before completing the purchase of a home. Why not find out ahead of time which items the home inspector will report need attention?
The key is to be proactive. Maybe there is a small drip in the faucet or there aren’t electrical ground-fault circuit interrupters where they are supposed to be, near water. These can be a small fix, and it creates a less-hassled transaction.
Some of the big items that can make a transaction fall through are septic problems and issues with the water if you have a well. Get your water tested including tests for Radon, Arsenic and Uranium. Even if you don’t fix the problems you will know ahead of time and during negotiations with buyers you will know what the costs associated will be.
We see transactions fall through because of issues over home inspections. Then the house has to go back on the market, and everyone is disappointed. The bottom line: Don’t give prospective buyers reasons to check your house off the list. When people look at a house, they are really looking for reasons not to buy. They are looking for things wrong with it.
The bottom line is be proactive and prepare your home to put it on the market in every aspect and it will stand out from the other homes that look neglected and not well cared for. You will benefit in the end and get your home sold.