Homeowners can find it difficult to see their homes through the eyes of potential buyers. That dwelling you’ve called home for years might not be so appealing to someone looking to buy. What needs to be done to help the house sell for the best possible price?
To get a house ready for sale, start by cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Not just your typical, everyday cleaning. Deep clean everything — carpets, window sills, door frames, ceiling fans, baseboards, light fixtures, ovens, and windows. You may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to come in and do the initial work, and then have them stop in every couple of weeks for touch-ups while the house is on the market.
Next, it’s time to de-clutter. You’re going to be packing for the move anyway. Now is the time to get rid of the mess. In the de-cluttering process, be sure to pack up personal items such as the family photos and knick-knacks. Also, keep the décor in each room simple, with minimal furnishings and artwork.
Don’t forget the closets. While these are great places to stash stuff when company comes, remember buyers will look in all the closets to check out the space. Make sure they are organized, and thus a positive selling point for your house.
How does your house smell? The aroma from the breakfast bacon or last night’s fish dinner may have been tantalizing at the time, but the smell isn’t so nice for a home buyer. Do you have pets? You may be accustomed to their smell, but a buyer will notice it right away.
Now look closely at the walls. The dark mauve bathroom or the vibrant yellow kitchen may appeal to you, but not to everyone. Grab the paint brush and change any unusual wall colors to neutral tones of white, gray, or tan. Then buyers will notice the room, not the walls.
Does the bathroom have a leaky faucet? Are there scuff marks on the walls, or a loose doorknob? Consider making minor repairs. Those small issues can be major negatives in the buyer’s eyes.
Finally, up the curb appeal. Walk up to your front door as though you were a guest. What do you think? Spend some time cleaning up the entrance — plant flowers, weed the flower beds, trim the shrubs, and sweep the walkway. Painting the front door, as well as adding a wreath or some potted plants, can also make a big difference.
Getting your home ready to sell may mean an investment of your time, but it doesn’t have to put a big dent in your wallet. Plus, your Realtor can tell you what needs to be done so you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Hometown Lawrence is the Lawrence Journal-World's real estate resource section and website. For more information on area real estate listings, go to HometownLawrence.com.