Make Maintenance Improvements
There are a number of easy and inexpensive improvements that can substantially improve a home’s appearance.
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Apply new caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors
- Clean and repair gutters, downspouts and extensions to ensure proper drainage
- Replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary
- Install a dehumidifier or ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces
Make Cosmetic Improvements
An attractive, clean and neat appearance will enhance your home’s appeal.
- Keep the lawn mowed and the house tidy
- Clean exterior walls, stairs and trim; repaint if necessary
- Open window shades and curtains to create a bright, inviting atmosphere
- Keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, since buyers scrutinize these areas most
Pay Attention to Details
Fixing even minor items can go a long way toward improving the first impression of potential buyers.
- Repair leaky faucets
- Tighten loose doorknobs
- Replace damaged screens
- Replace broken windows
- Replace burned-out light bulbs
- Secure loose railings
- Repair and coat driveway
- Repair peeling wallpaper
- Clean and paint walls as necessary
Take Safety Precautions
Pay attention to items relating to protecting the home and its occupants from danger.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level
- Have an electrician install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in “wet” areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens
- Store flammable products away from the furnace, water heater and fireplaces
Prepare for the Buyer’s Inspection
It’s a good idea to assemble in advance various house records that can be used to answer questions from buyers and home inspectors.
- Appliance receipts, service records and warranties
- Information on the age of major components (furnace, air conditioner, water heater, roof)
- Major component warranties (e.g. roof, furnace etc.)
- Gas and electric bills from the previous 12 months
- Remove excess clutter from basement, attic and garage areas to give buyers and home inspectors access to the heating system, electrical equipment and structure