Preparing To Sell

Some things to consider...

Preparing To Sell

The Exterior Check List
Lawn The yard should be neatly mowed, raked, and edged.
Trees And Shrubs Should be pruned and shaped to complement the property.
Flowers Consider adding seasonal flowers.
Painting Check the home for any needed maintenance just as a buyer would. Repaint or touch up as necessary. You can't find a better investment when you are selling your house! Don't let the outside turn buyers off before the inside turns them on.
Door and Windows All doors and windows should be in good working order. Clean and paint doors if necessary, wash all windows and replace any broken or cracked window panes. Screens should be free of any tears or holes. Inspect all locks to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Roofs, Gutters and Downspouts Check for loose or missing shingles. Clean out gutters and downspouts. Touch up peeling areas on gutters.

The Interior Check List:
Atmosphere When placing yourself in the potential buyer's shoes, you will want to consider the overall atmosphere of your home. Keep color, lighting, and smell in mind as you go through the home. Create an atmosphere within your home as one of shelter, a place that is safe and warm, and in good condition.
Smell A clean smelling house creates a positive image in the buyer's mind. Be aware of any odors from cooking, cigarettes, pets, etc., that may have adverse affects on potential buyers.
Colors When painting or replacing carpeting, use good judgement in selecting colors. The key is to promote your home to the largest segment of the buying market as possible. Stay with neutral colors that let the new owner choose his or her own color scheme.
Lighting Take advantage of natural light as much as possible by cleaning windows, opening shades and drapes, etc. Add lamps and lighting where necessary. Be sure that all fixtures are clean and have functioning bulbs. Increase the wattage of the bulbs in the basement area.
Wall Check for peeling paint, loose wallpaper. Consider replacing unusual or bold colors with neutral tones.
Floors Clean all wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs. Clean and polish linoleum. Consider refinishing wood floors if necessary.
Closets Empty closets of off-season clothing and pack for the move. Organize them to demonstrate the most efficient use of space. Leave as few items on the floor or shelves as possible.
Furniture Arrange furniture to give the rooms as spacious a feeling as possible. Consider removing furniture from rooms that are too crowded. Avoid clutter. Pack up knick-knacks, both to protect them and to prepare them for moving.
Woodwork Clean and polish all woodwork if necessary. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bath cabinets.
Bathrooms Cleanliness is the key! Make sure that all surfaces are spotless and remove non-skid decals that are in poor condition. Replace worn or dirty shower curtains, clean and repair caulking, store all personal care products out of sight. Repair any faucets that leak or do not function properly. Clean off mineral deposits with vinegar and or commercial products. Clear off countertops. Clean and organize all cabinets and drawers. Consider bringing out your best soaps and towels. Add a plant for color and freshness.
Fireplace Sweep and clean the fireplace. Place a few logs on the grate to create an attractive appearance. You might consider having a fire going during showings. It creates a great atmosphere.
Appliances and Light Fixtures Remember: clean, bright, sparkling and shiny!
Dining Room Consider adding fresh or silk flowers, or setting the table with an attractive arrangement.
Kitchen Avoid clutter. Store small appliances whenever possible to maximize the appearance of workspace. Clean and organize all storage space. Sinks, cabinets, appliances and countertops should be clean and fresh.
Basement and Attic The basement and attic should be cleaned and organized. Be sure that the stairs are cleared, well-lit and that the handrail is secure. Remove and dispose of any items that will not be moved with you. Pack other items neatly in boxes.
Garage Sweep and wash the floor to remove dirt and stains. Organize tools, garden equipment, bicycles, etc.

Items Not Included In Sale
Remove (and replace if applicable) any items that will not be included in the sale of the property, such as light fixtures.