Your Home for Sale
The three most important factors in selling a house are
location, condition, and price. Since
the location can’t be changed and the price had been properly set - the
most crucial thing you can then accomplish is to make your house ready for
sale and look better than any of your competition.
Even if you have been extremely conscientious in the maintenance of your
home during the time that you have owned it, putting it on the market
requires taking the next step. Check
every aspect of your house by repairing, freshening or changing whatever is
a little paint and some repairs can help substantially to add to the selling
price. Steps below will help you in this preparation:
Preparing Your House
Room by Room
The first step in preparing the exterior of your house - a
buyer's first introduction - is to take a
long look at the house from the street.
Stand at the curb and look at your house as a buyer might.
What stands out and catches your eye?
The beautiful landscaping and the new roof?
Or does something else strike you?
The faded exterior paint? The
ruts in the driveway? The 2
missing shutters? Remember,
this is how your home will "introduce" itself to a potential
buyer. If the appeal isn't there, they will likely move on to the
next available house, no matter how beautiful the interior of your house may
If you need major improvements or renovations to your house, do them before
you put it on the market. The
average buyer simply does not have the "vision" necessary to see
the job done. (And, they often
multiply the cost of these improvements by 10 times (on average) and deduct
that amount from your listed price.)
Overall appearance: Remove any junk or clutter from the yard. This includes tree limbs
and leaves, but especially goes for junk cars or parts, lawn tractors,
Overall appearance: If the exterior of the house is dirty or moldy, power-wash it. If
it is in need of paint, get competitive bids if you can't do it
Grass: If possible, reseed any bare areas of the lawn.
Landscaping: Trim all shrubbery and plantings. Trim trees if necessary,
especially dead limbs.
If the driveway is stone and looking lean, add a coat of gravel. If it
is asphalt, consider resealing.
Decks and porches: Power-wash and seal, stain or paint.
Gutters and downspouts:< Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear and
Make sure that all exterior lights are operational.
Landscaping: If the season is right, plant colorful flowers where appropriate.
Landscaping: Add mulch to planting beds and around trees. An inexpensive but
very effective way of brightening the look of the yard.
Make sure the exterior (and the interior) of windows is clean and
Many home sellers make the mistake of ignoring certain repair
or maintenance items in the hopes that a potential buyer will not notice.
Most buyers do not have vision.
They are not able to look at a room that needs paint and carpet and
imagine it fresh and attractive. Telling
buyers that something will be cleaned, painted, or repaired may work with
some, but the majority will not be able to envision the house after the
changes have been made and will scratch your house from their list of
When it comes to preparing a house, painting gives you the best
return for money spent. Which
rooms should you paint? Any
walls or ceilings that have dirty or marked walls or any rooms
that are currently painted in dark colors.
Keep it neutral--off-white or antique white is the best.
At the very least, all carpeting needs to be steam cleaned.
Any worn, stained or foul smelling carpet should be replaced.
You may be tempted to give a "carpet allowance" and
that may work. Just remember, most buyers do not have vision.
If you are not having a whole
house inspection done before your list your house for sale,
check all faucets, toilets, and electrical items for correct operation.
sure that your house is safe. Not
only can a wobbly railing stop a sale, it could also cause an injury to
a potential buyer who is not familiar with your house (and is spending
time looking instead of being careful).
If an item is not necessary for your day-to-day life, box it up and
store it or throw it out!
Have a professional fireplace or woodstove cleaning and inspection.
The buyer will most likely request it anyhow.
Getting it done in advance impresses the buyer and makes the home
appear cleaner and fresher smelling.
Make sure all closets are neat, clean and organized.
See above item on clutter.
Doors and Windows: Check all for smooth operation. Replace any cracked window panes.
Even though you may consider your house clean and tidy, a
thorough cleaning - including dusting, washing and waxing everything -
will always make a house more appealing.
When a buyer gets into the house, it is important to make
their visit as pleasant as possible - and that means having the whole house
ready. You want them to be as
comfortable as possible and to linger in the home. A "turn off" issue will send them scurrying quickly
to the next house on their list!
be especially inviting for your guests (your potential buyers).
Make certain it is well lit, clean and has nothing lying around
either inside or outside. Paint
the front door if it even remotely needs it.
you normally use a back or side entrance to your house, pay particular
attention to the front entry. You
rarely see it but this is where the buyers will enter!
Living Room or Great Room
possible, keep furniture at a bare minimum so that traffic flow is
easier and the room does not appear smaller than it actually is.
bookshelves, entertainment centers and the like are overflowing with
books and knick-knacks, remove some of them.
Family Room or Den
this is the room you live in the most, make it look inviting but not
overly lived in.
furniture at a minimum but make the room look like a comfortable place
to spend time.
the exterior of all appliances. Clean
the oven interior.
or replace the stove hood filter. This
is often overlooked, usually dirty and greasy, and looked at by a lot of
cabinet faces. Make them
all clutter and unnecessary items from countertops and clean all
countertops and backsplashes thoroughly.
vinyl or ceramic floor.
you have ceramic tile elsewhere in the kitchen, pay particular attention
to the grout - make sure that it's clean.
If it is discolored, there are "grout whitening"
products that are available.
all clutter. If you don't
need it, store it or pitch it!
or remove furniture to maintain good traffic flow through rooms.
Remember, there may be three or four people in each group that
walk through your house.
sure all bulbs are working and have the highest wattage available as
safe for each fixture. Brighter
all ceramic tiles. Check
the grout for cleanliness and deterioration.
faucets drip, fix them.
clean sinks and tubs. If
rust spots are on the porcelain, attempt to remove them.
any evidence of mildew from the shower and bathtub. Products are available that spray on and quickly kill
the basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier.
prospective buyers room to move around.
Clutter...well, you know the drill!
all junk: broken tools, old car parts, toys from the 1960's, etc.
floor has oil marks, clean it (cleaning solutions are available at most
home improvement stores and work with a normal garden hose).
Replace the furnace filter.
©Copyright 2016 Brenda Jones Real Estate Group
Licensed in the State of Vermont