The condition of a home has a direct impact on the value and length of time the home is on the market. Your Realtor provides valuable consultation and practical suggestions for presenting your home at its best. First impressions are important and are too often overlooked by sellers. Your agent's expertise and willingness to work with you on preparing your home for market helps you make that favorable first impression.

General Suggestions to Consider When Preparing Your Home to Sell

  • Clean everything thoroughly including carpet, windows and especially the front door.
  • Eliminate clutter from all areas of your home to create an impression of spaciousness and plentiful storage space.
  • Nothing makes a home look new more quickly than a fresh coat of paint.
  • Put out clean towels, new soap, nice flowers and inviting scents.
  • Turn on lights, soft music and vacate the premises during showings.

Kitchen

Chances are home buyers will say the kitchen is the most important area or room of the home. When they look at your kitchen, they will pay particular attention to its cleanliness, layout and storage capacity. Your major appliances need to be spotless, odor-free and in good working condition. Fix leaky faucets, loose cabinet hardware, drawer handles. Make efficient use of drawers and cabinets.

Walls

Repair any cracks or holes in the walls and ceiling and repaint if necessary.

Windows

Clean interior and exterior windows and screens. When your home is being shown, open your curtains to let daylight in, especially if the view is noteworthy. Launder or dry clean curtains and drapes. Repair cracked panes, torn screens, and broken sashes.

Floors

Carpeting has a major impact on the look of a home. Prior to showing your home to prospective buyers, vacuum thoroughly or have carpets steam cleaned. If the carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider having it replaced. Check wood floors to see if they need to be refinished. Scrub and wax tile floors and repair or replace cracked tiles.

Lighting

Make sure light fixtures, switches, switch plates and outlet covers are clean and in good working order.

Paint

It's true that first impressions are often lasting, so take a good look at the paint on the outside of your house. Is it cracking, peeling or chipping? If it is, a fresh coat for your exterior will cost you a bit of time and money, but may elevate your home from "fixer-upper" to "move-in condition." If you decide your home needs painting, choose colors that are appropriate for the style of your home and that blend in well with your neighborhood.

Roof

Buyers will pay close attention to the condition of your roof. You should patch or re-shingle where necessary. Fix leaky, corroded downspouts and gutters. Inside, a watermarked ceiling is a sign to buyers that the roof has leaked --- even if the damage has been repaired.

Entry

A neat and clean entryway creates a positive first impression. A freshly painted front door and trim with sturdy hardware add a welcome touch. Replace faded house numbers with new ones. Make sure the doorbell is in working order.