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Preparing Your House for Sale

Preparing Your House

for Sale

Preparing a house for sale and marketing it effectively can make the difference between attracting buyers and those "just looking" and can determine whether it sells quickly or not.

Two ways to interest buyers include creating a visually pleasing appearance for the house and making the economic factors of buying the house more favorable than others on the market.

Home buyers usually decide within two minutes whether they like your home or not. "They often start forming their opinion before they even walk in the front door!"

Physical Appearance

To make the house visually appealing, sellers should first inspect the outside of the house. An appealing yard will attract more prospective buyers and conveys the message that the owner has maintained high standards for the home's interior as well.

Painting the outside of your home, if necessary, can do more for appeal than any other factor.

Repainting the exterior can be expensive and usually is unnecessary if the window sashes, trim, shutters and doors are painted. Take a close look at the front door, the first thing the prospect will see. If it's faded and in need of repair, then repair it and paint it. Be sure the entry light and doorbell work.

Repair broken windows and be sure the windows are clean.

Simple maintenance projects to make the house's exterior more appealing to buyers include cutting back overgrown shrubbery, mowing lawns and trimming bushes. It may help to add some flowers at the entrance or shrubbery in the yard.

Also inspect the roof and gutters and replace missing shingles on the roof.

In the kitchen, replace a badly worn floor or loose tiles, remove clutter from kitchen counters and clean the stove's ventilating hood.

Bathroom projects include repairing dripping faucets and unclogging drains to removing stains from sink, tub, showers and toilet. Hang fresh towels.

Wash windows and paint water-leak stains, making sure that windows will open and close and doors do not squeak. Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Inspect the house with a screwdriver in hand to tighten such things as switchplates, doorknobs and cabinet handles and hinges.

The interior may need a fresh coat of paint. White, off-white or beige walls make a room look bigger and lighter and these colors likely will go with the buyers' furnishings.

If it is necessary to repaper, choose a light-colored, very simple pattern likely to have more universal appeal.

If carpeting is dirty, have it cleaned. If it's worn, consider replacing it or removing it, especially if it covers hardwood floors which have returned to popularity in recent years.

Use air fresheners to eliminate bathroom odors and musty smells.

Make sure closets and storage rooms are uncluttered. It is wise to remove unnecessary stored items and put them in off premises storage for showing the home. This gives the impression that you have ample storage space in your home.


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