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Tips on Preparing Your Home for Showings
  • Give the house a top to bottom cleaning. This signals to a buyer that the home has been well cared for and is in generally good shape. Windows should be sparkling clean. Be sure there are no burned out light bulbs. Shine up bathroom and kitchens to the max.
  • Spread some paint around. Nothing improves the value of a home for a lower cost than a fresh coat of paint. And it is often easier to give a room a fresh coat of paint than it is to scrub down the walls. Choose neutral colors, like off-white.
  • Plan on sprucing up the grounds. Make sure the lawn and shrubbery are neatly trimmed. Prune any trees whose branches are touching the roof line, and make sure the clippings are either bagged and placed in a trash can or removed from the premises.
  • Get rid of clutter and follow the general rule: Less is best. Throw a garage sale, clear out closets and trash what you canít sell. Less stuff in the house will make it look roomier.
  • Let there be light. Pull back the drapes or open the shades. Put brighter bulbs in the light fixtures. But donít go overboard and blind prospective buyers with glare. Remember dark rooms feel gloomy. Bright open rooms feel more inviting.
  • If you have pets, send them away for a while or take them away from home when a prospective buyer is coming by. Some people are intimidated by pets or are allergic to them.
  • Children can be noisy and distract someone while they are looking at the home.
  • Air it out. Try to get rid of odors that may be unfamiliar or unpleasant such as tobacco, pets, cooking and old laundry. Put out some fresh flowers or bowls of potpourri. You can also bake some bread to give your house a homey fragrance.
  • Fix whatís broken, if possible. Include in this list plumbing, electrical systems, switches, windows, TV antennas, screens, doors and fences. If you canít fix it, get rid of it. A window with no screen is better than a window with a ripped screen. Buyers will make lower offers if the house is in disrepair and still insist that everything be fixed before moving in. Try to get everything done outside before the first ad is in the paper. Try to create great curb appeal. Everything should be done before the first showing.
  • Keep the noise down. Silence is as restful as it it is golden. Make sure the television is off. If you want some music, opt for some soft instrumental numbers. If necessary, close windows to block out street noise.
  • Create counter space in bathrooms and kitchens by storing small appliances, cleaners, liquid soaps, excess mail, and kidsí homework out of sight.
  • If you have a working water softener be sure the salt barrel is filled 1/2 to full.
  • Be sure gutters and downspouts are hooked up correctly.
  • Very important - Remove all spider webs from top to bottom. (Especially in garage and basement) Be sure to sweep and vacuum the garage and basement and clean windows the best you can.
  • Be sure wildlife feeders are filled to attract birds, deer, turkeys, etc.
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