Getting Your House Ready To Sell

Dated: 06/02/2018

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Getting your house ready to put on the market can seem like an overwhelming task. Simplify the job by tackling one room at a time, with this handy checklist.

If you are short on time, it's especially important to remember to prioritize this list. Cleaning, packing up & de-cluttering should be your top priority. You want to make your home look as new as possible if you want to get the most out of your sale, in the least amount of time. Consult with your REALTOR early on in the process for the best results.

WHOLE HOUSE: Objectively Evaluate Every Room!

Home buyers are going to be much more critical of your home than they are of their own. Most people don't dust their house top to bottom weekly, but they will notice if yours isn't.   When your home is on the market, it needs to stay in show condition- what you would expect of a new Model home.

Opening up floor space by removing excess furniture, de-personalizing, and de-cluttering invite prospective home buyers to imagine themselves in your home. They will feel welcomed and relaxed; hopefully imagining where they might put their things! We always tell our sellers: once your home is on the market, it's no longer your home.

CLEAN/REPLACE AS NEEDED:

Light Switch Covers

Fireplace

Light Bulbs

Front door

Carpets

Blinds

Doors and Door Knobs

Interior & Exterior Paint

AC/Heater vents

DUST EVERYTHING:

Walls

Blinds

Ceilings

Baseboards

Windows

A/C Intake Vents

Ceiling Fans

MAKE IT INVITING:

Rearrange furniture to maximize visual floor space

Pack up all knick-knacks and figurines

Prune and nurture all house plants

Reduce or add house plants to a balanced number

Remove any furniture that you can live without

Remove all but a few decorative books from bookshelves

Pack away personal family photos to de-personalize the home

Reduce the amount of wall art to one or two items per room

Add lamps to any dark spaces to brighten the room

Avoid using Scented candles, sprays, and plug-in air fresheners

Leave your home smelling fresh and clean with an essential oil diffuser

LIVING ROOMS & FAMILY ROOMS:

Keep coffee tables clear

Remove any ashtrays

Keep furniture at a minimum

Any toys should be stored out of sight

Use pillows and throws to soften the space

DINING ROOMS:

Bottom of Chandelier should be at min. 60” from the floor

Keep dining table clear except for one nice centerpiece

Remove extra chairs from the table and dining room

Remove extra leaves from the table

The table should seat 4 to 6 chairs max.

KITCHEN:

Clear all items from kitchen countertops

Clean tile grout; bleach if needed

Clean the stove, oven, and microwave

Clear the refrigerator of magnets, pictures, and messages

Repair broken or loose corners on Formica countertops

Replace burner pans on the stove if worn

Keep all mops, brooms, vacuums, etc., put away.

Empty the garbage before each showing

Remove any pet food and water dishes before showings

Organize pantry to look nice and neat

Box up any dishes & cooking supplies you can live without

Scrub/polish the sink to make it look like new again

BEDROOMS:

Make beds daily

Invest in new bedspreads if necessary (consult stager first)

Clear off bedside tables, dressers, etc.

Store daily necessities in drawers or closets

Organize closets to be nice and neat

Keep closet doors closed

Keep all the floors clear and vacuum regularly

Remove all wall decor, other than a tasteful piece of art

Repair any holes or damage to walls

LAUNDRY:

Put soap and supplies in cupboards

Keep all surfaces and sink clean and empty

Use high watt bulbs to make it look brighter

Remove any and all clothing, dirty or clean.

Keep floors cleared of clutter and mop regularly

BATH:

Clear and clean ALL surfaces

Display a bottle of hand soap or a clean bar of soap

Purchase new towels if necessary (consult stager first)

Coordinate all linens in one or two colors

Fold towels in thirds on towel rack

Remove all unnecessary items out of shower stalls and tubs

Clean or replace all shower curtains

Clean any moldy areas in the showers and baths

Replace caulking to make it look new again

Take off all cloth toilet lids and keep lids closed

Hide garbage cans and cleaning supplies

Organize cabinets to be nice and neat

EXTERIOR:

Look at your house objectively from your neighbor's yard

Clean or repaint the front door if needed

Repaint the exterior and trim if needed

Replace any rotten wood on the exterior

Sweep all walkways, patios, porches, and decks

Pressure wash any dirty/stained concrete

Re-stain deck wood as needed

Wash windows, inside and out

Use outdoor furniture to show use of space

Outdoor drapes, pillows, and throws create an inviting retreat

GARAGE:

Clean and sweep out the garage

Keep storage nice and neat

Repaint dirty areas

Pack anything you can live without

YARD:

Prune bushes and plants to look healthy

Do not allow shrubs or plants to block windows

Weed all planting areas

Put down fresh mulch to restore color contrast

Keep the lawn freshly mowed, edged, and fertilized

Remove any dead plants

Add a few flowers for a splash of color if needed

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It might start to seem like it will take forever to accomplish, but getting your home ready before listing it is imperative. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Don't make the costly mistake of listing your home for sale before you have had time to finish up the process. 

If you start to lose focus, just remember: your goal is that prospective home buyers won't be able to tell whether or not anyone lives in the home. Your home should stand out above the rest because you have gone above what the average home seller would do. Rest Assured, all your hard work will pay off at the closing table.

Source: NAR. Posted by Shari Fortune on Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

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