PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR THE MARKET AND SHOWINGS
1. Clean, clean, clean, everything in and out of sight. Shampoo rugs and wax floors. Wash or brush walls. Clean windows, including the valleys and frames.
2. Create space by storing some of the extra furniture you’ve found useful but which often makes a crowded impression. (bureaus, bookcases, storage chests, oversized chairs)
3. Place the remaining furniture so that traffic can flow easily from room to room.
4. Unless you’re a skilled artist, scale down your personal artwork (portraits, landscapes), posters, signs and family photos, especially in teenager’s rooms. Create a feeling of spaciousness.
5. Keep blinds and draperies open to admit as much light as possible, but screen out unappealing views.
6. Make your kitchen look warm and welcoming, not like a hectic workplace. Keep your sink shining and free of dirty dishes /cloths at all times. Clean the refrigerator, stove and all surfaces.
7. Keep counter tops clear, but not empty, as if unused. Adorn them with your most attractive canisters.
8. Completely degrease your oven. Let the kitchen smell fresh and fragrant (with cinnamon warming in the clean oven, if you have time).
9. Organize cupboards and closets. Remove debris (dust, flies, moths, etc.) from all light fixtures. At the same time replace burned out bulbs with the highest allowable wattage.
10. Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy. Equip with fresh soap and neatly-hung matching towels.
11. Get rid of all stains in sinks and bathtubs and install new washers on dripping faucets.
12. Feature (with lighting or furniture arrangement) your home’s best characteristics (a fireplace, a picture window, a balcony, ceiling beams, a kitchen eating area, etc.)
13. If you’ve repainted (preferably in safe neutral tones), add bold splashes of color (with your brightest throw pillows, crockery, pictures, etc.)
14. Place plants in strategic spots in any room – bigger is more dramatic, if space permits.
15. Light the whole house during showings, especially dark corners and hallways.
16. Hang mirrors where they will reflect outdoor light, as well as make a room look larger.
17. Repair broken windows and shutters, oil squeaky hinges, make sure all doors/closets close properly.
18. Pets should be out of sight and out of smell.
19. Spruce up around the house – paint exterior if necessary. Keep lawn and shrubbery trimmed and free of bicycles. House number should be easy to read and lit up if showing is taking place at night.
20. Keep garage/car port clean and tidy.
21. Put a flowering pot on the front step and keep it watered and trimmed.
22. Clean off your outdoor furniture and barbeque.
23. Fix doorbells, door hardware, doors. First impressions are lasting.
24. Turn on air conditioner in warm weather, comfortable heat in winter. Light the fireplace.