Good home maintenance is essential to selling a homeTips for Home Sellers - BEFORE You List!

One of the best tips for home sellers it to understand that the day you move into your home is the day you start getting it ready to sell again. Good maintenance is common sense and a great way to prepare it for future sale.

Here are a few tips:

  • Pretend you’re a buyer and really look at your home with a buyer’s eye. As the homeowner, you’ve gotten used to the subtle changes that will stick out to a pair of fresh eyes.  That said, if something needs to be repaired, do it. Ditto if something needs to be replaced. You want to set the tone that the house is as good as it can be.
  • Curb appeal is no myth – it really works.  They can’t love your house if they don’t go inside.  Consider planting pots of color in the front gardens.
  • First impressions really do matter and a buyer has all senses on alert. Are the gutters clogged with leaves?  Clean them out.  Today’s buyers do not favor allowances to fix flaws. They see “As Is” and wonder what else is shabby.
  • Make sure your home is so clean it even smells spotless. Beware of room fresheners and potpourri, however, as they can trigger allergic reactions. Pet odors can be deal killers.
  • Clean means that the windows sparkle and the walls are free of fingerprints and grime. Consider fresh paint where needed. Review your lighting. Do all the bulbs work? Does the wattage illuminate the spaces well?
  • Next, lose the clutter. Shelves, cabinets and closets need to be mercilessly edited. You’ll be moving soon enough so you might as well clear out the stuff you don’t want to pay to have moved.
  • Demote the refrigerator to mere appliance, not an art gallery or message board. Reduce the personal photos and memorabilia tacked to walls, especially in the kids’ rooms. If something is displayed on a wall, put it in a frame.
  • Sometimes I use bribery to encourage cooperation from the kids.  Explain that the home must be ready to show at a moment’s notice, and offer movie tickets at closing if their rooms stay picked up.

If there is a downside to these tips for home sellers, it’s that you may find yourself wanting to stay put when the work is done!

Roger Martin