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A Buyer's First Impressions Are Lasting!
When the potential buyer approaches in their car they make their first decision... whether or not to STOP and look inside. A neat, attractive yard is invaluable to enticing a buyer to view your home. You’ll need to use a keen eye to carefully evaluate every aspect of your yard.
- Keep your yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered.
- Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash items, animal debris, and so on from your yard.
- Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed. Lawns and gardens should be weeded regularly.
- All hoses and garden equipment should be out of sight.
- Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if needed. Firewood should be stacked out of sight.
- Walkways and driveways should be clear of debris. In the wintertime, clear off snow and if icy, apply salt. (You don’t want a potential buyer to slip and fall!) At other times of the year make sure walkways, driveways and curbside are trimmed with edge trimmers.
- Paint your mailbox if needed. Ensure street number is legible.
Put your home’s best face forward!
Is the outside as attractive as the inside?
- Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions should be uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
- Paint all entrance doors. This is where the potential buyer forms an opinion of the home.
- Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace them if the color has faded. Remove windsocks, chimes, etc.
- Keep trash cans deodorized, covered and out of sight.
- Gates, fences, wall sheds and other outer buildings should be cleaned, repaired and painted.
- Clean and shine all metal accessories (door knobs, door knockers, lamps, mailboxes, street numbers, etc.).
- Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
- All loose roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks, fix it! Remove all traces of prior water damage to the ceiling inside your home.
- Make sure the garage door opens easily. Repair if needed and paint it.
- Paint the chimney vents. Inspect and repair any loose bricks or stones. Caulk where the chimney meets the roof.
An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between “turning on” the buyer and sending up a “red flag” about the condition of the home. You may lose buyers due to what you might consider to be an insignificant issue.
Now evaluate the inside of your home!
- Wash all the windows—inside and out! This adds to overall impression and helps your home show in a nice, bright light. Curtains should be clean and attractive.
- Remove all smoke, pet and hobby odors from the home.
- Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers so that the home is brighter.
- Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily. If the carpet does not clean up well you should REPLACE IT! Use a neutral color or simply remove the carpet if hardwood floors underneath are in good condition.
- Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement.
- Remove all grease from the range hood, oven, stove top, walls, etc. Replace burner pans. They are inexpensive and it is easier than cleaning them.
- Clean all the rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean.
- Remove all “junk” from the attic, basement, closets, garage, tool shed and especially from the storage area if your home has one. Large storage areas are appealing to buyers. Rent a storage area for these items to get them out of the house.
- Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors. Putty and paint any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
- Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.
- Wax hardwood floors.
- Remove cobwebs from corners.
- Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls. All walls should be painted—not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look much bigger.
- FIX THE FRONT DOORBELL!
- Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc., are in perfect condition. If not, replace them. This is the first impression the buyer has of the home. Lighting and cleanliness here are especially important
- Repair or replace all doors, closet doors and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease.
- Repair or replace banisters and handrails.
- Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers.
- Repair or replace loose wallpaper.
- If the basement shows any sign of water or structural damage it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer’s report.
- Replace toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean. It’s not expensive and makes a big difference.
- Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
- Improve the plumbing to increase water pressure. Buyers will check this every time. Replace the washers in the faucets and remove rust stains.