Improving the interior - Basics:
If the first impression of your home is negative, people think of other reasons why your home isn’t right for them. Understand this: buyers DO NOT return to homes if they were turned-off on the first visit.
A showing is like having a job interview. You want to look your best. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. If you really want to sell faster, look at each room, as well as all interior areas in light of the following:
Clean and eliminate clutter:
- Removing clutter reduces buyer distractions and increases visual space. Eliminating stuff also creates more storage space. Think model home.
- Collections of hobby knick-knacks, Hummels, plates, trophies, magazines, paperwork, an excess of family pictures and such should be minimized or packed out of sight.
- Organize overstuffed shelves, bookcases, and contents of cabinets.
- Remove anything that holds an odor in the basement. Air it out. Use a fan and a dehumidifier if it’s damp or musty. The storage of clothes and boxes accentuates a moisture problem. Get them out of there.
Water is always the source of the problem. Redirect it away fro the house.
- It should go without saying: dust, wax and vacuum.
- An extra bonus is that if you're getting rid of stuff - you’ll get a jump on packing for your upcoming move.
Accept the fact that curious buyers will open all doors and cabinets.
- Box up, donate or throw out excess from closets, including extra towels, out of season clothing, seldom-used shoes, games, etc.
- Neatly hang remaining clothes with an eye on creating the appearance of having space for lots of extra garments. Those thick plastic hangers are recommended. Removing closet excess but not making an appealing presentation diminishes your efforts. Shoot for a spacious and neat look.
- If you’re the perfectionist type, neatly arrange shoes in closets, shirts should all face the same direction, equal spaces between hangers and so forth. This will add another dimension of being well maintained.
- If closet space is limited, double up on hanging space by repositioning the rod higher. Next, install a lower rod for a second tier of clothes.
- Add inexpensive closet organizers and basket drawers in the master bedroom.
Walls and ceilings:
- Wash baseboards and touch-up scuff marks.
- Repair plaster cracks, nail pops and repaint in neutral colors or off-white.
- Remove dust from ceiling fans and dead insects from overhead lighting. Yuck.
- Living areas are the top priority. Neutralize the kid’s bedroom walls by removing posters. Consider repainting.
- Don’t forget to vacuum those dust-filled return-air grates.
- Have carpets professionally cleaned right before going on the market.
- Replace worn/soiled/outdated carpeting and linoleum. Depending on the quantity, this can be expensive. You’ll have to weigh the cost versus the positive emotional appeal the expenditure will bring. Living area carpeting is much more important than bedrooms.
- If hardwoods are under the carpets to be replaced, have carpets removed and inspect the floor. Exposed hardwoods are a great selling feature.
- Create space by removing the dining room table leaf and extra chairs.
- Remove excessive furniture, especially more than one dresser or chest in spare bedrooms. This will make rooms appear larger and improve traffic congestion. Minimal is good. Again, think model home.
Windows and doors:
- Clean all windows or at least ones receiving direct sunlight since they really highlight dust and dirt.
- If window screens are out of season, remove them for a clearer view.
- Clean your skylights thoroughly–rejoice that it will be for the last time.
- If you have those old, hard to use, triple track storm windows thhat you just hate, store them away if it isn’t winter.
- Squeaky doors and cabinets can be repaired. Oil the hinges or a silicon spray.
Storage of excess:
- Whether it’s furniture, hobbies, old receipts and records, toys, clothes or whatever, get rid of it or store this stuff in order to maximize your space. Ask yourself, "Am I turning into a hoarder?" Scary.
- For storage, consider the attic, garage, your brother-in-law’s or rental of a storage compartment. This is critical.
- If you feel your home is a little bare from eliminating excess furniture and accessories, that means you’re doing a good job!
Use off-site storage
USE OFF-SITE STORAGE RENTAL. This will give you an edge. Your competition won’t even think of this.
- Cleaning products and lawn equipment are examples of everyday items that remind buyers that houses require maintenance.
- Paint cans, caulk tubes, paint removers and the like should be out of sight.
- In an effort to keep everything positive, carefully consider what should be hidden from prospective eyes.
- Strive to minimize situations that remind buyers of daily maintenance:
- Fix leaking faucets, toilets, clogged sinks and eliminate discolored sink stains.
- Check under sinks for signs of water problems.
- Repair cracks in garage, but focus on basement floors. Use a strong caulk or a ready-mix concrete.
- Replace worn caulking in the bathrooms.
- Remove or relocate excessive cleaning supplies.
- Replace faulty light switches. Also keep extra bulbs handy.
- Attend to loose railings, shaky banisters and broken door hinges.
- Store out of site things like ant and bug sprays, mousetraps, lawn and grub control products. They suggest problems and shouldn’t be visible. Portable space heaters hint of inadequate central heating unless you’re located in a year round hot climate area.
You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is more than just a clever phrase.