Anyone may tell you that there are 45-50 small things that you must do to improve the look of your home before you put it on the market. And while you are ready to get out, your home will be new to someone else. I have narrowed the long list to the top 10 most important things I believe you should do before listing your house.
1. Find important paperwork. Potential buyers will appreciate that appliances are under warranty, updates have been made and your utility bills are within their budget. So, pull out all relevant operating manuals, receipts and warranties and have them in a file for your realtor to show.
2. Make any necessary repairs to doors, roof, gutters, nail holes, flooring, toilet and water pipes before you make any other moves toward listing your home. These are repairs that an appraisers will find and request anyway so get ahead of that now.
3. Think neutral. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to transform a house into a home. Neutral colors on the walls will help potential buyers see their furniture and photos in the house, so consider painting main rooms to neutralize the playing field.
4. Along those lines, de-personalize. Take down children's artwork and photos that block creativity of a potential buyer seeing their own family living in your space.
5. Clean out your drawers, cabinets and closets. Believe it or not, potential buyers will open them to see what kind of storage space you're working with. Store containers, cleaners and plasticware until you have to pull them out. Put heavy coats in the attic and throw away unnecessary or unused knick knacks out with the trash. Little space and storage in a home is a major turnoff for anyone, so play up its potential not its problems.
6. De-clutter what is in sight. Minimal furniture and decor will make the rooms appear larger. So take down a few picture frames off your tabletops and leave walkways open for traffic. You've probably needed to get rid of a few of those hand-me-down pieces anyway.
7. Detail the landscaping. This is called curb appeal. Just like when you meet someone for the first time, first impressions are critical to selling your home. Clean out fallen tree branches, freshen your exterior paint or pressure wash the brick, hang a colorful door hanger, pull weeds and plant flowers, paint fences and clean off your deck furniture and flooring. According to Bankrate.com, a good first impression can add five to 10 percent to the value of your home.
8. Get rid of the pets and children. Not for good, just for a day or two to give yourself ample opportunity to get rid of lingering hair in corners and toys in vases.
9. Clean. Once you put your house on the market, showings may pop-up at any time. So be ready now. Go ahead and have a thorough Spring Cleaning of floors, baseboards, appliances, blinds, caulking and filters so that in a moment's notice a quick once-over of the counters and floors will suffice. It will save you time and heartache in the end.
10.Get pictures of the house, front and back, at its best so that you can offer a virtual slideshow online for those seeking in your area.
Maria Krahn is an Affiliate Broker with Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS... Maria has earned the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation as well as the Accredited Buyer Representative designation..
Maria Krahn, ABR, SRES
5860 Ridgeway Center Pkwy Ste 100
Memphis, TN 38120
Firm License #59679
Agent License #328329