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Preparing Your Home For Sale

by Catherine Trahan

When you decide to sell your home, it is important to get in the right frame of mind. You need to look at your home as a prospective buyer. Remember that you want people to look at your home and notice the house, views, and surroundings rather than your things.

  1. Curb Appeal. Examine your house and yard from the street. Mow the yard, trim hedges, plant flowers, freshen anything that looks tired. Walk all the way around the house paying attention to details. Many people drive by a house before deciding if they want to look inside.
  2. Paint. Fresh paint can instantly brighten a house for a relatively low price. Outside, if you can’t paint the entire house, the trim can clean up the lines of your home. Inside, neutral colors are important. Fresh paint feels clean and neutrals allow people to envision their furniture in your home.
  3. Focus on the Entry. The front door makes a strong impression. Clean the door and make sure the hardware works. Look at each room as you enter it. You want that view to be a nice one (no cords, piles, etc.).
  4. Start Packing. We could all stand to clean out our homes, but we are living in them. When we decide to sell, we need to reduce what we have in them by about 50 percent. Start packing away personal items, photographs, books, clothes, dishes, etc. that you won’t need for the next several months. Create a donation pile and give to charities or sell some things at re-sale shops in town. Thinning out bookcases and closets lets buyers better appreciate the space your home offers. Ideally, you should rent a storage space for your boxes and extra furniture. Leave minimal appliances on the kitchen counter and only a phone and lamp on your desk.
  5. Catch up on Home Maintenance. Go around the house and take care of all the little details you’ve been meaning to do. Be thorough because the buyer will notice. When they see that you care about the details, they’ll believe you care about the larger items as well.
  6. Change the Metal. Update things such as knobs, faucets, light fixtures, and curtain rods if they are dated and/or worn out. A new finish in brushed nickel will give an up-dated look immediately.
  7. Clean House. We often don’t notice our own dirt, so look hard. Examine everything including light switch plates, baseboards, floors, faucets, and bathrooms. If you aren’t up to the task, hire a cleaning service as it is critical that everything shine.
  8. Banish Smells. Bad smells such as pet odors, last night’s dinner, or smoke kill deals. It should either smell pleasant (think citrus) or not have a scent. Have your carpets professionally cleaned or replaced. Potpourri and fresh flowers are also helpful.

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Please feel free to reprint this article in your newsletter or on your website provided that it is not edited, the author's information is included, and the links are included. Any questions, please contact Catherine Trahan.

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