When prospective buyers see something that needs to be taken care of, they often become skeptical of the entire house.  Don't give them a chance to doubt a thing.  Even if it is small, the small things add up to create the perception of neglect.  Nothing is more of a deterrent to potential buyers.

One option is to have a home inspection prior to listing your home.  Even though this is an added cost to you, it will give the prospective buyer some confidence.  This should be discussed with your agent if this would benefit you.



CURB APPEAL:  The outside of your home is your buyer's first impression.  If it isn't immaculate and attractive, it will give the buyer negative expectations for the rest of the house.  The exterior is the most important part of featuring your home.

1.  Your yard should be as neat and well kept as possible. Rake, mow and edge.

2.  Keep shrubs under control and shape them in a pleasing way.

3.  Add some seasonal flowers to your front walkway.

4.  Set a scene in your back yard for relaxation and entertaining.  Take a section of your backyard and use it to set up some tables and a grill.  This can be on a deck, slab, pavers or deck(as long as it is already large enough).

5.  If you have large items, like a trampoline, that might take away from the feeling of spaciousness, put them in storage.

6.  Driveway - fill cracks and sweep away any debris.  Wash away stains and make it immaculate.

7.  Front Door - Make sure it is clean and paint if needed.  Note:  make sure the doors and locks open smoothly.

MAKE EVERYTHING SPARKLE:  Get everything as clean as possible, and try to make your house look brand new.  Anything that isn't in pristine condition will be a huge deterrent to potential buyers.

1.  Make all your woodwork and cabinetry shine.  This is most important in the kitchen which is a huge selling point for buyers.

2.  Get all of your carpets and rugs professionally steam cleaned.  If your carpet is damaged, you may need to replace it.  Ask your agents their opinion on the condition.  Your agent may have a contact for discounting flooring for you.

3.  Go through all of your light fixtures and clean them.  Replace bulbs for brighter ones if needed.

4.  Clean Windows in and out.  If you decide or not have screens up for the windows, make sure you have them in a storage area that the buyer can see you have them.  Some homes show better without screens.

APPEAL TO AS MANY BUYERS AS POSSIBLE:  The important thing is what your buyers will like.  Neutral is the key thing!  Buyers are looking for getting more space and it's often one way people rationalize an emotional decision.

1.  Make sure all painted rooms are neutral in color and it is fresh.  This is the same with flooring.

2.  Rent a storage unit to put unnecessary items like collectibles and other things like large furniture.  Only keep items that add a little bit of personality to your home.

3.  Move your furniture around to create more space in order to open it up.

4.  Clean out cabinets, closets, storage areas and garages.  This means storing items you don't use often and off-season clothing.  People like to feel they are going to have a lot of space for storage and clothing. 

5.  The more light you have in your home, the more spacious it will seem.  That means opening up drapes and blinds.  

6.  Entryways - Please have shoes and other clutter removed.  You can even strategically place a mirror to create the illusion of extra space.

STAGING ROOMS:  Create an atmosphere will feel comfortable and give them a vision.

LIVING ROOM:  If the season is Fall and/or Winter and you have a fireplace have it clean and turned on.  Have nice colorful decorative items on mantel and tables that are simple but do not clutter.

DINING ROOM:  Remove unnecessary furniture like extra chairs.  It is better to have a smaller table than one that crowds the space.

KITCHEN:  This room requires a lot of attention.  Remove unnecessary kitchen tools and small appliances on countertops.  What you don't use, put in the storage unit.  Make sure everything should be immaculate and shiny - appliances too.

LAUNDRY ROOM:  Make sure this area clean, organized and bright.  This includes that the washer and dryer are spotless and sparkling.

BATHROOMS:  Make sure these areas are spotless.  Nothing on countertops that make it feel clutter.  Mirrors need to be bright and cleans.

BEDROOMS:  Make sure extra furniture is removed.  If you have a bed that is too large for the space, you might to temporarily replace it with a small bed.  Get rid of clutter!

HOW TO HANDLE SHOWINGS:  Always be willing to show your home whenever the need arises.  It might be on short notice, and you might have to go out for pizza, but the effort is well worth it.

1.  Keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

2.  Turn off all T.V.s, radios, and computers.

3.  You'll also want to prepare some important and relevant information for your buyers.  This information should be placed in a binder book and leave in the kitchen.  In the book, you can provide information of ages of your neighbors' children, distance to the grocery store and other handy things to know.

4.  Get your yearly and monthly utilities expenses together and present them in your kitchen book.

5.  Provide appliance warranties etc. in your kitchen book.

6.  Take your pets and your children with you.  Never leave your pets at home.  They are a huge distraction to the buyers.