Tips for Sellers

People buy houses that they feel comfortable in.  If your house is cluttered and not clean it will be harder to sell.


Think clean, cleaner than clean.  Dirty houses sell for less and take longer to market.  Many buyers will walk out of a dirty house without giving it a second thought. Professional steam cleaning the carpets and draperies is usually well worth the expense.

The kitchen and master bath are extremely important. Polish the faucets, wipe down the sinks, bleach the stained grout. A nasty kitchen or bathroom is a deal killer.


Clean the top of the refrigerator, scour the stove, remove personal items from the side of the refrigerator.


Put away all but the most-needed cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc. Keep necessary items on the counter in a small basket or on a tray. Consider bleaching the stained grout and regrouting tiles that are moldy or cracked. "Also, put away small garbage cans or hide them behind the toilet,"  "And keep the toilet lid down."

Repaint or touch up paint

Painting all the walls off-white can make your home appear more spacious.  Turning on all the lights and having clean windows also make your home seem cleaner and more spacious.


The object is to clear away all unnecessary objects, especially those on coffee tables, dressers, kitchen counters, and night stands

Reduce the amount of clutter on the walls.  Family photos on the living room walls, decorative items on the bathroom walls, and certificates on the home office walls also can turn off potential buyers

Is your child's bedroom filled with posters? Potential buyers may see only holes to be filled and walls to be painted. Ask your child to pick one or two favorite posters to be rehung after you fill the holes and repaint the bedroom

 So get an early start on packing and box up those family treasures

Start packing now. "When you get ready to move, you'll need to pack anyway, so just start packing early," suggests Schwarz. Pack up extra books, out-of-season clothing, and sporting equipment and stack the boxes in the garage or in a rented storage space.

bathrooms and kitchens. Put away all but the most-needed cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc. Keep necessary items on the counter in a small group, perhaps in a basket or on a tray. Consider regrouting tiles that have moldy or cracked grout. "Also, put away small garbage cans or hide them behind the toilet," Schwarz advises. "And keep the toilet lid down


pet, cigarette, and cooking odors can turn off potential buyers before they get past your living room. A smell  that you may not even notice may be quite offensive to buyers who do not smoke, own pets, or have your appreciation of exotic foods.


Curb appeal -- is what gets buyers to stop and check out your home in the first place. Walk across the street and take a look at your house.   Does the front door need painting? Is the front porch crowded with dead potted plants? Is there a pile of old wood stacked against the side of the house? Be brutally honest. "If the front door and porch look old and ratty, buyers assume the inside looks bad, too," says Woodruff. "Also, make sure the doorbell works," she adds. "If it's broken, buyers will assume you've let everything else go, too."

Plant overgrowth keeps potential buyers from really seeing the outside of your home. "You can't sell it if you can't see it,'" Schwarz says. Overgrown shrubbery also can make the rooms inside look dark. Plus, too much plant growth can make the house appear smaller. So trim the trees, buzz the hedges, and let the sun shine in.

Next, decide if you need to hire a lawn service. If you decide to do it yourself, weed and bark all planting areas and groom and fertilize the lawn. Then make a commitment to weekly lawn mowing and maintenance. Now's the time to buy new bedding plants to add color, too.


Clean the garage. While your garage can be a great storage place, prospective buyers need to be able to see that it's a two car garage,  Clean any oil spots on the garage floor and driveway.








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