Home Prep Check List
The simple truth is that homes with great curb appeal, that appear well maintained, and decorated (staged) sell faster and for larger sums of money than homes that don’t possess all of those characteristics. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to make sure that this checklist is complete before showing your home, as it must be at its best in order to sell it. Perhaps you will get lucky and sell your home with weeds in the front yard, creaky steps, mold in the basement, and an uneven deck on the patio….but chances are you won’t.
Please make sure your lawn is manicured. From much research, it has been said that curb appeal is more important than the interior of the house. The way to get instant curb appeal is to fill in any bare spots in the grass, plant new flowers, and to eliminate all weeds. Be sure that the driveway and walkways are swept and/or hosed clean. It is a good idea to trim all bushes, and remove any dead branches from trees, and replace or remove any dying flowerbeds.
Make sure any patio or porch furniture is clean, and touch it up where needed. Try to add some fresh flowers to the porch as well. Be sure to clean all windows and window screens. Your front entryway should be clean, with fresh paint. This includes the front door. Don’t forget to change the door knocker if it is outdated or rusty. Be sure that the house numbers and mailbox are also in sound condition. You’d be amazed at the difference that a porch with nice furniture, colorful flowers, and a pretty decorative wreath will make.
Clear all clutter out of the garage. Garages are notorious for storing all of the random things you don’t know what to do with. However, buyers must see that their cars will fit spaciously into the area. Eventually, it will become their junk shrine area as well, but for now, they need to see if it will live up to its real purpose. It is an easy fix, it just involves taking the time to clear out. Don’t be lazy. Be sure to clean the walls, shelves, floor, and repaint. It’s not difficult or expensive, but having a freshly painted garage will make a huge difference. Make sure that the garage door itself has been thoroughly cleaned, too.
Clear off the countertops. This can’t be stressed enough. The toaster, the coffee pot, cook books. Put it all away. Clean all appliances, and be sure that they work. Any faulty faucets, a broken ice-maker, or missing knobs, replace or fix them. Add new hardware to outdated kitchen cabinets. These can be easily purchased Lowe’s for $.68 per knob. There is no excuse to not.
Throughly clean every aspect of the bathroom. The bathroom is extremely important. No one wants to look at a dirty bathroom, even your friends, much less a person coming to purchase your home. It is also a great idea to replace any ugly shower curtains or bathroom rugs. Fix any faucet leaks or drips. Be sure to put fresh caulking around the tub and shower, as none likes to look at dirty, molding caulking on the sides of the bathtub and toilet.
Neatly store all the closet items in boxes in the basement, or rent a storage facility if you don’t have a basement or another convenient space. The closet is the same as the kitchen; clearing clutter will make it look larger. Counter space and closet space are two of the most important things buyers look for. They want to know how they are going to be able to put away all of their things, and if there is the space to do so. Organize your clothes and shoes neatly on bars and racks. Remember that doors and drawers should open and close easily. All of these little things, buyers are going to check for!
The Bottom Line
You need to make a great impression on any potential buyers. You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. Be sure that you also replace the carpets, or have them professionally cleaned as needed. The fireplace should be swept, with fresh wood in it. Replace all burnt out lightbulbs, and be sure all furniture is clean!