| A house
that "sparkles" on the surface will sell faster than its shabby
neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained. From
experience, REALTORS® also know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and
will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally,
buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home
because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't see has
probably also been maintained.
In readying your house for sale,
How Much You Should Spend;
- The Exterior "Curb Appeal"; and
- Preparing the Interior
How Much Should
In preparing your home
for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but
they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it.
There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive
"polishes" and "touch-ups" to your house, such as putting new knobs
on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room,
and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new
kitchen. Your REALTOR®, who is familiar with buyers' expectations in
your neighborhood, can advise you specifically on what improvements
need to be made.
Don't hesitate to ask
The Exterior "Curb
Before putting your house on the market,
take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to
maximize its exterior and interior appeal.
Enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal by:
- Keeping the lawn edged, cut and
- Trimming hedges, weeding lawns and
flowerbeds, and pruning trees regularly;
- Checking the foundation, steps,
walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling;
- Inspecting doors and windows for
- Cleaning and aligning gutters;
- Inspecting and cleaning the
- Repairing and replacing loose or
damaged roof shingles;
- Repairing and repainting loose siding
- In Northern winters, keeping walks
neatly cleared of snow and ice;
- During spring and summer months
considering adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your
- Re-sealing an asphalt driveway;
- Keeping your garage door
- Storing RVs or old and beaten up
teens' jalopies elsewhere while the house is on the market;
- Applying a fresh coat of paint to the
Enhance your home’s interior by:
- Giving every room in the house a
thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone
will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners
with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved
half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious
- Hiring a professional cleaning
service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market.
This may be a good investment for owners who are busy
- Removing the less frequently used,
even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics,
making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a
move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great
- If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled
or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as
off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to
carpets and linoleum.
- Checking for cracks, leaks and signs
of dampness in the attic and basement.
- Repairing cracks, holes or damage to
plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
- Replacing broken or cracked
windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
- Inspecting and repairing the plumbing,
heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
- Repairing dripping faucets and
- Buying showy new towels for the
bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on
- Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more
major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains,
or a coat of neutral paint.