In an earlier post, we talked about how to present your home at its best by removing items, de-personalizing, avoiding holiday decorating “extremes”, etc. And, of course, by pricing your home correctly and having a good Realtor to represent you.
These are all important. But there are other things that sometimes don’t receive the attention they need to showcase your home at its best and make it memorable to buyers. These are small things that don’t necessarily cost a lot to do, and may not even be all that noticeable–unless you don’t do them! I’m talking about minor repairs, little touch-ups, and small improvements that make a big impact.
Cleaning: Everyone knows a house on the market needs to be clean and look neat and tidy when buyers come through. But there’s clean and then there’s clean! Counters, floors, walls, shelves are obvious. Remember the insides too–inside cabinets, closets, garages. How about your appliances? Clean out and shine up your refrigerator, oven, microwave, dishwasher–and keep them that way! Ever thought about your light fixtures? If you look up and see dead bugs in the lights, get ’em outta there! Bathroom and kitchen sinks and fixtures–make ’em shine and sparkle. Dirty dishes? A no-no! Counter clutter? Put it away–no one wants to see your toothbrush, hairbrush, make-up, coffee-making accessories, cooking utensils, etc. Kids’ toys? Not all over the place, please. Laundry? Dirty or clean, put it away!
Minor Repairs: We all have small things in our homes that we just get used to, learn to work around, and don’t really notice on a daily basis–maybe a slow drain, a slow dripping faucet, a nick on a wall, a sticky door or window, etc. No big deal, doesn’t really affect our lives in a big way, so we just ignore them. Buyers notice these things! And if they don’t, their inspectors will! Fix them now and don’t let little things become a big issue later! One thing that often is completely forgotten is your front door lock! If you go in and out through your garage, you may seldom, if ever, actually use a key to get in and out through your front door. Please test it with the key that’s going to be in the lock box your Realtor puts out. As a Realtor, I’ve had so many instances when I’ve wrestled and struggled to get a key into a lock and once in, to turn it and unlock the door! Please check that out and if you need to, get your front door lock in good working order! It’s not a good first impression if buyers have to struggle just to get into your home!
Let there be light! Change out your bulbs for higher wattage to make dark rooms or corners look bright. Open the blinds, pull back the drapes, let the light come in. Consider adding a mirror on the wall to reflect light and brighten a room. Don’t forget closets, and especially hallways and stairwells. Besides being dreary, dimly lit halls and stairs can be a safety hazard so light ’em up! And if your rooms have dark color on the walls, light is even more important so buyers don’t feel closed in.
I’ll save some more hints for another time. These should get you started. Good luck! Remember–look at your home as a buyer would and ask yourself–would you buy your house in its present condition? If not, then get busy!