Unless you’re offering your home at an unheard-of price and buyers think they’re going to get a screaming deal, it has to be in tip-top shape when it hits the market.
“When potential buyers walk in the door they bring a critical eye,” said NBC News. “All the little things you’ve grown accustomed to and don’t even see anymore will stand out to them like a flashing red stop light. So before you open the door on your first showing or open house, it’s time to get your house in order.”
Clean like you’ve never cleaned before.
“Specifically, be sure to include the windows and tile showers (especially any moldy grout). And grab your Magic Eraser and go through the whole house, but especially the kitchen. You can be sure buyers will notice greasy fingerprints.
Take a good look at your front door.
The ROI on a new front door is strong, but if you don’t want to spend the money, freshening it up can make a big difference. “Take a look: are there cobwebs on your light? Does the door need a coat of paint, or a good cleaning? And make sure the hardware like the doorknob is up to date and or not worn looking because that is the first thing buyers touch and see.
Concentrate on curb appeal
Like the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. “Once you have a clean baseline, think about planters, fresh flowers, just something attractive. And get a nice doormat.”
Let the sun shine in
Open up those blinds and clean all the windows (and window sills!). Natural light is important, but remember you can always cheat it by leaving all the lights on in your house.
Do a lightbulb check
“A bulb that’s out may not seem like a big deal, but anytime a buyer sees something the seller is not taking care of, the worry is ‘what else?’”
Give it the smell test
You may not even realize there are some unpleasant smells hanging out in your home—especially from pets—because you’re so used to being there. Buyers won’t be so forgiving. “Enlist a friend who can be honest to tell you what they smell when they walk in. If it’s dog, cat litter, cigarette smoke, or cooking smells, get busy. Covering smells up with strong candles is worse than the original smell, so do whatever it takes to get odors out, whether that’s refraining from cooking while you’re showing, emptying the trash and litter box daily, opening all the windows, replacing your HVAC filters and cleaning the ducts, or renting a heavy duty air filter.”