Published January 13, 2015
In general, the less time your house spends on the market, the higher the price it will sell for. To maximize your chance of selling quickly, make sure the entire house is sparkling clean. It sends a silent message to the buyer that the house has been well maintained. Here are some simple things you can do to help sell your house quicker and for a higher price.
Address: Make sure buyers can clearly see the house address. Replace numbers that are faded or missing. No one can buy a house they can’t find.
Bathrooms: Scrupulously clean all areas of the lavatory. Use a toothbrush to get to those hard to reach places, including bathtub and shower tile grout.
Cabinets/Closets: The majority of buyers WILL look inside! Make sure they are clean and well-organized. Remove at least 50% of everything in your closet to make your closet look 50% bigger.
De-personalize: Neutralize! Remove family photos and other personal effects to allow potential buyers to visualize themselves living there.
Entrance: Old doors can come alive with a fresh coat of paint or a shiny new doorknob.
Faucets: Drip, drip, drip is a no, no, no. Replace washers and other faucet hardware to prevent leaking.
Garage: Don’t underestimate the power of a first impression. A fresh coat of paint on that old garage door will tell the potential buyer that you care about the exterior of the house as well as the interior.
Horticulture: Seasonal flowers and plants placed selectively throughout the house will add a natural beauty that could bloom into big money.
Inspection: A professional inspection will most likely uncover any major defects before they can cause trouble with a potential buyer. It also signals to buyers that you are a responsible seller.
Just do it! Don’t be lazy. The extra effort you put into preparing your home for show can pay dividends.
Kitchen: Buyers tend to inspect this room with greater care than others. Every inch should be cleaned thoroughly and minor hardware/appliances replaced.
Light Bulbs: Brighten things up! Replace all defective bulbs and illuminate as much of the home as possible.
Mailbox: Don’t mail it in on this accessory! Often, it is the first thing a buyer sees. Replace it if it’s rusty, dented or falling apart.
Night: A well-lit exterior will make your home look welcoming from the road when potential buyers casually pass at night.
Oven: Work that elbow grease! Be sure to thoroughly clean the stovetop of all oil and grime. Replace burner drip pans.
Pets: You love your pet, but a potential buyer might not. Fido should be invisible when buyers are touring your home. Be conscious of any pet odors and hair.
Quiet: Keep all TVs and other distractions off when showing a house. If you have small children, see if Grandma can babysit during an open house.
Rugs: If it’s rainy or snowy, place a mat at the front door so people can wipe their feet. It shows that you respect your home.
Scent: Don’t overdo! If too much fragrance is used, the buyer might sense that you’re covering up a troublesome smell like mold or pet odors.
Towels: Buy new sets of hand towels for the bathrooms and kitchen.
Utility bills: Have estimates of all your utility bills handy so you can provide that information to potential buyers should they ask.
Vehicles: Park them in the garage so the full scope of your space is visible. Use a driveway cleaner to remove oil and rust stains.
Windows: All glass should be spotless. Crumpled newspaper is great to leave your windows clean and streak free.
X marks the spot: Determine the best feature of your home, highlight it, and bring your potential buyer to it.
Yard: Basic front yard maintenance is a surefire way to add curb appeal. Make sure both front and back yards are freshly mowed, weeded, and watered.
Zap: Hire an exterminator to zap away any creepy crawlers. Nothing bugs a buyer out more than unwelcome company.