Selling Your Home – Part 3
Don’t get caught off-guard when selling your home
Prepare your home for listing
This is part three of a three-part series on preparing your home for selling. In Parts one and two we spoke about preparing your home for sale by making updates to the inside of your home, as well as the outside of your home. In this part of the series we will discuss final touches, and extra details.
Listing Your Home, the Final Touches
The following final touches can improve the appeal of your home when preparing for sale. In fact, these items can have more of an impact than many of the larger updates, simply because not completing these items can have a very negative impact on the value of your home.
Ceiling – Ceilings are often the most ignored aspect of a home, and least maintained, but for those potential buyers who do bother to look up, the ceiling should appear well-maintained. Be sure there are no cobwebs in the corner of your rooms, and be sure to touch up any stains or clean any smudges that may exist on your ceiling. If you have a small water stain, a can of Upshot can cover the stain, and prevent it from bleeding through the paint as it dries. If you have had a large leak of some sort, and the ceilings are in bad condition, have the ceiling patched and re=painted.
Hardware – While we discussed hardware related to specific rooms, we will bring up the topic again now, in order address a few critical elements. Check every doorknob in the house. They should not be loose, and all screws should be tight. If in bad shape, consider replacing them. Check the doorknobs and locks for all doors exposed to the elements, are they weather-worn? If so, replace them.
Doors – Be sure all screens are functioning. Nothing speaks more to an Ill-maintained home than a screen door that is torn, or stuck in its track. Check weather-stripping as well. As a final point, be sure all doorstops are in good shape as well.
Vents – Be sure floor and ceiling vents are clean and in good order. If they are not, clean or replace.
Light bulbs – go through the entire house and check light bulbs once again. Be sure the bulbs are appropriate for the fixture and location. Vanity bulbs should be for a vanity, and wattage should be bright, but not too bright.
Attic – Organize items in the attic. Make sure there is no evidence of pests, and if there is, consider calling an exterminator.
Basement – Organize your basement as well, and remove any items you no longer need. A well-lit basement is critical, so be sure you have bright enough bulbs to lighten the room. Consider painting the stairs to the basement if cement, and be sure the walls along the stairs are in good order. If some are is cluttered, but with items you can’t remove, consider placing a partition in the room to clock this section off from the rest of the room.
Garage – A well-organized garage speaks volumes to many buyers, so be sure to organize your garage where possible. Consider hanging lawn tools and other items on a single wall. Place items in a rack to keep them neat and off the floor. Depending on budget, those with doors are best. If these racks are too expensive, metal racks are fine, but items should be placed in boxes before storing in such a rack. Wall or ceiling mounts for Bicycles can keep the corners of the garage clean. As a final note, be sure the floor is free of oil stains. If the floor is in bad shape, paint it grey with a good oil-based paint.
Pool or Spa – The swimming pool or spa should be pristine. Be sure the pool and surrounding area are perfectly clean. Replace any broken tiles, and patch any crack in the deck.
Listing Your Home, the Extra Details
Small details can have dramatic impact. Attempt to appeal to the senses wherever possible.
Temperature – Even if you normally keep the thermostat at a different temperature during the day for budgetary reasons, when selling your home consider leaving it at an appropriate room temperature (typically between 70-72 degrees).
Scent – Scent can make a dramatic impact on the overall feel of a home. Strong smells are not good, but rather light citrus and or floral smells are best. The placement of candles or flowers can add a fresh scent to a room, not to mention the visual impact provided as well. Take the trash out daily to avoid even a chance of a bad odor in your home.
Visual – Small touches can make dramatic impact in many areas of the home. In the bathrooms a collection of guest soaps and rolled guest towels in a basket; in the living room, bedrooms, and master bath set of large scented candles can an elegant touch (particularly along the edge of a bathtub where you can set a romantic tone) . Bright flowers can add a splash of color to any room, but in particular to the kitchen and living room.
Listing Your Home, the End Result
By showing special attention to detail and understanding the buyer’s need to visualize your home against a neutral backdrop, you enable these potential buyers to better imagine themselves in your home. A home that is bright, well-lit, organized, and free of clutter is the key to selling your home quickly – and for top dollars.