Preparing Your Property for Showing

Before showing your property to potential buyers, your Diane Turton, Realtors sales associate will work with you to make the property as appealing as possible. Here are a series of steps you can follow to put your home in top shape:

The Outside

Clean Front Yard
The first impression any agent or buyer has is of the outside of your home as they pull up to the curb. Toys and tools should be put away, and hoses should be put up properly. The lawn should be mowed, walks trimmed, hedges shaped (cut below any windows), trees pruned. Window screens and screen doors should be in place and serviceable.

Clean Facade
Window coverings should appear correct from outside. Wash the windows - try to make them sparkle. Also wash the window frames and screens. Porch lights and rain gutters should be clean and neat. The roof should not have any missing shingles or tiles. The house number should be clear and visible. Remove any other unnecessary items in the yard or house.

Eliminate Clutter
Keep the garage door closed. If the garage is filled with lots of things and storage items, move them to a storage locker. Garages need to appear big and roomy. Also, motor homes, boats, trailers and extra cars visually shrink the size of a yard and home. It is a good idea to store these elsewhere during the home for sale period.

A Front Door that Invites You In
The front door is very important. It seems to have a much greater impact on buyers than seems reasonable. If you paint anything, it is recommended that you seriously consider painting the front door. Also, colorful, flowering plants near the front entrance and a nice welcome mat help.

The Inside

A Great Entry
The entry way needs to be very neat and clean. It make a big impact on buyers. Extra coats, jackets, gloves and umbrellas should be put away.

Get Rid of Clutter
One of the most important things you can do to sell your home for top dollar is to remove clutter before its first showing. An important part of the price is based on the size, or square footage, of the house. You do not want it to look like you have outgrown your home because there is not enough storage or square footage for all of your belongings and furniture. Do everything you can to improve the visual apparent size of your home. The best thing to do is to get rid of any extraneous furniture and put it in storage. Also, you should go through all of the rooms, closets, cupboards, even the attic and basement and eliminate clutter.

Floors You Can Eat Off Of
Tile, linoleum and wood floors should be kept clean and in good condition. Carpeting should be vacuumed, and if necessary cleaned or replaced. Interior walls should be cleaned, and painted if necessary.

Clean Rooms, Counters and Appliances
It is very helpful during the marketing period of your home that you keep all rooms clean, including the kitchen and kitchen counters and sinks. The bathroom should be kept smelling fresh, with the toilet seat down. Sometimes, something as small as replacing a bathroom curtain can make a big difference in a buyers perception of your house. The kitchen is very important, and clean appliances, especially the stove, are necessary if a home is to sell quickly for its best price. Also, sometimes updating an outdated or broken light fixture can pay back ten times.

Get Rid of the Orange Formica and Avocado Appliances
There are some items that age a home significantly that are not too expensive too change or replace. It is wise to explore the options and if nothing else, at least be able to share with a buyer what it would cost to change a particular item.

It is helpful in selling your home if items that could distract potential buyers be put away. This includes political signs and posters, rock music signs and posters, religious items, pictures of models, etc. Prospective buyers may or may not share your views and tastes, and could be offended. In any case, you want them focusing on your house, not being distracted by these other items.

Make It Smell Nice
Pets, smoking, cooking and mildew are all elements that can cause odors in a home. You may not notice these smells, but buyers may. These odors can be reduced by steam cleaning your carpets and upholstered furniture. Floors can be cleaned with a disinfectant. Clean ash trays and be very vigorous about keeping a clean, often-changed litter box.