Selling a house means putting your home in order before putting it on the market. Suppose a great opportunity came along that required moving to another state? Maybe you'll be hosting a gala event at your home later this summer? Is your home ready?
One fun way to deal with ordinary home maintenance and cleaning chores is to pretend you're selling your home! Pretend you've got just 2 weeks to get everything done before you hang a “For Sale” sign out front. The 2 week deadline is a great idea because it helps you prioritize what you can (or can't) get done and it's short enough time frame that you can maintain your focus.
So why not pick your dates, plan a party to celebrate and prepare your home for sale?
Selling A House and Curb Appeal
First impressions are important so you want to make sure your home looks attractive and well cared for on the outside. Here's a quick checklist to make sure you're home is ready.
- Make sure the lawn is well manicured, including shrubs and other foundation plantings.
- Consider adding a splash of color with some seasonal flowers that don't need too much care.
- Maybe pressure washing (vinyl only or loose paint will get stripped away), window cleaning or a fresh coat of paint on the front door will brighten things up? For windows on the second and third floor, it's best to hire a professional window cleaner used to working from a ladder.
- At a minimum, you want to tackle minor repairs to your front door and windows so your home looks well maintained.
- Get rid of clutter and tidy up any outside storage, i.e. around garbage cans (nice to hide these behind a fence or shrubs).
- Make sure light bulbs are working and maybe add some solar lights along the walkway.
- Summer is the perfect time to repair and seal your asphalt driveway.
Buyer First Impressions When Selling a House
Front doors were once the primary way you entered a home … when people stepped outside, walked down the stairs and walkway to the sidewalk, and continued walking a few blocks to catch the trolley, train or bus.
Then cars happened, changing many of our daily routines. We seldom use the front door today because the driveway takes us into the garage or a side door into the kitchen. However, prospective home buyers will enter your your home through the front door! Today's homer buyers want a house that's “move-in ready” so let's get to work.
- Make sure your front hallway is bright and inviting, which might mean a fresh coat of paint?
- Get rid of clutter everywhere as you want your home to feel bigger than it is, and you'll actually find your home more peaceful with less clutter.
Clutter isn't good. It makes it hard to find things, wasting time and frustrating us. Don't hide the clutter, get rid of it in kitchen drawers, the kitchen pantry, bathroom vanities and linen closets! You'll find things you forgot you owned (and don't need if you won't use in the next 30 to 90 days). Focus on donating unused items to people who can benefit from your gifting!
- Bright is beautiful so open curtains and shades (are your windows sparkling?) and replace any burned out light bulbs.
- Clean, clean, clean … your kitchen, bathrooms and this might be a great time to get your carpets cleaned too.
- Walk through your home and make sure your home's best features pop out at you. You may find a few rooms that could use a fresh coat of paint, some colorful pillows or maybe you'll get more impact by removing a piece of furniture or wall hanging.