Tips and Ideas for Homeowners

1. Kitchen

A well-organized kitchen makes all the difference in the world to a buyer!

If you are getting ready to sell your home, start by taking a good look around the kitchen. Get everything off the counters. Store it in cabinets and drawers and if there isn’t enough space, clean them out! Box up anything else that rarely gets used and put it into storage.

Prospective buyers will likely open cabinets and drawers. If your cabinets and drawers are cluttered, it may create the impression that your kitchen lacks adequate storage space. Pay particular attention to the cabinet under the sink, making sure that it is dry, clean and shows no signs of old leaks.

2. Switches, handles and faucets

When looking at a house, prospective buyers often “play” with things because they don’t really know what else to do. They try the light switches and door handles, turn on taps etc. Having nice shiny fixtures makes an impression, so all sink fixtures should look shiny and new. Either clean them or buy new ones. Make sure all taps are easy to turn and do not leak. If they do leak, replace the washers.

It not as difficult as it sounds — even for the inexperienced!

Also — check for stains on the porcelain. If you have stubborn stains, hire a professional cleaning crew one time — you will be amazed the difference it can make!

3. Exterior

A homebuyer’s first impression is based on his or her view of the house from the real estate agent’s car. That first impression is known as “curb appeal.”

So, start by taking a walk across the street in order to get a good look at your house from a different point of view. Look at nearby houses, too, just to see how yours compares. Then it may be time to go to work!

4. Painting

A fresh coat of paint is just about the best possible investment you can make when selling your home, especially if you have an outdated color scheme. Painting makes a home look fresh and new — and never fails to impress prospective buyers. Painting need not necessarily be an expensive proposition, and often you can do it yourself. However, don’t choose a color scheme based on your own preferences, but on what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. White or off-white is popular because white helps to make rooms appear bright and spacious.

5. Ceilings and walls

Check ceilings and walls carefully for water stains which may be caused by either faulty plumbing or a leak in the roof. Find the source of the problem and have it repaired professionally – Make sure the job is done properly! Nothing is more annoying for a buyer more than discovering plumbing or roofing leaks after they move in — and they may have legal recourse. If a water stain is left after something you have already repaired, simple cosmetic work such as painting will greatly improve the desirability of your home.

6. Carpet and Flooring

Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated style or color, you need do no more than hire a good, professional carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace carpet, choose a neutral color. Repair or replace broken floor tiles. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money — remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself! Your goal is simply to create a positive impression upon those who may want to purchase your property.

7. Windows and Doors

Replace any cracked or broken windowpanes before you begin showing your home. Check all of your windows and doors to make sure they open and close easily. If not, a spray of WD40 or similar lubricant often helps. Do the same things with the doors — make sure they open and close properly, without creaking. Be sure doorknobs and handles turn easily, and that they are cleaned and polished to look sharp. As buyers go from room to room, someone opens each door and you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.