Preparing your home for market
- Clean Everything! If you can hire a service ask for a deep clean and make sure they include the following often missed items: baseboards, lights, chandeliers, doors, door knobs, window seals, window tracks, curtains, blinds, trash cans, kitchen cabinets. Sweep front and back porches, decks, walk ways. Clean outside tables and chairs. Power wash drive ways if possible and needed.
- De-Clutter! Pack up all personal items and photos. Reduce nick-nacks to only a few well placed items. Don’t forget the garage. Have a garage sale and get rid of all the items you haven’t used in the past 12 months and then give half of what remains to goodwill! Take down message boards, calendars, etc from walls or wipe them clean. NO refrigerator art! All personal papers should be filed out of sight. This is a perfect example of Less IS More!
- Organize! This is a great time to divest of old clothes and shoes. Refold and rehang clothes in a neat and orderly fashion. Line shoes up. Rule of thumb is to reduce clothes and shoes in closets by half. Fold sheets and blankets in linen closets. Tip: use pillow case to hold the sheet set and extra pillow case and fold over neatly. Don’t forget the pantry. Go through the food and dispose of expired canned and boxed goods. Organize and wipe down shelves. Now is not the time to buy in bulk!
- STAGE! Arrange furniture (or remove) to show off best attributes of each space. Use slip covers to update dated couches and chairs. Clean off kitchen counters and adorn with one or two natural elements - flowers, plants. Simple items on coffee tables like large book, candles, or basket of pine cones, etc. If possible, plant flowers in pots by front door. Hang a festive wreath on front door during holiday seasons. Remove all worn rugs in front of sink, stove, doors.
- PETS! When showing the home put away pet food and water bowls, litter boxes, beds. Take pets with you if possible when you leave for a showing. If not, crate them. Place a small deodorizing packet near pet beds, food, litter boxes.
- SAFETY! Put all jewelry, cash, check books, bills, extra car and house keys, etc in a locked file cabinet or at the least out of sight - (the top drawer in your kitchen is not safe).
- LAST MINUTE TASKS! Turn on ALL the lights, especially task lighting in the kitchen. Open curtains, blinds to let in more light. Clean out sinks in bathroom and close toilet lids. Empty trash cans in bathrooms. Put all laundry out of view. Minimize items left in showers or put under cabinets out of view. Put all dish towels, sponges, soaps, etc in cabinets. Add drop or two of vanilla to cookie sheet and place in oven at 250 for 10 minutes before leaving house before a showing. Be sure to turn oven off before you leave.