Easy steps to getting your home ready to sell.

Real Estate

Get Your Home Ready To Sell

A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5,000 on remodeling will not add $5,000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic, readily seen features like interior painting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.

If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results.

First things first – declutter! Less is definitely more when it comes to selling your home.  Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done. Prospective buyers want to imagine their things so keep it neat with just a few pieces to create ambiance. How do you de-clutter?  We recommend having a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell can be donated to one of our favorite organizations Household Goods in Acton. Now you have decluttered and made a donation to a great cause.  Check and check!

This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one.

-Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.

-Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.

-Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.

-Buy a new welcome mat.

-Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible.

-If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting in a neutral shade. This is especially important if there is any peeling.

-Make sure the porch light works.

-Clean and align gutters and downspouts.

l Inspect and clean the chimney.

-If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.

-Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.

-Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.

l Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.

-If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice. Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.

-Repair broken outdoor steps.

-Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.

-Keep your garage door closed.

-Wash the windows inside and out.

-Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.

-Paint the front door.

If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. So the first thing to do:

-Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.

-Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.

-Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – pale gray is a perfect neutral!

-Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.

-Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.

-Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.

-Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.

-Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.

-Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.

-Clean out the fireplace and lay some birch logs in it.

-Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.

-Check to see that all windows will open and close.

-Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs or consider edison bulbs - tres chic!

-Make sure every light switch works.

-Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).

-Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture.

-Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).

-Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.

l Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.

-Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.

Hope this checklist helped to prioritize and help get you ready for selling your home.