As we are still trying to sell our house (showings have really slowed down lately) I decided to research some tips that are supposed to help your house look more appealing to prospective buyers. I also thought I would share some of the things we have done or are working on. And then of course I would love to have you share your tips with me!
Making your home look nice on the outside:
- Keep flower beds and yard neat and tidy. Ken put new mulch in our landscaped section and around some trees, we cleaned up our garden and we don't need to mow yet because the grass isn't tall enough. I do need to work more on cleaning up flower beds.
- Keep your garage doors closed. We do that most of the time (unless we are working with things out around there.) We also always park in the garage which I think looks better as well.
- Repaint or touch up the paint on the front door. I got that done yesterday.
- Put some pots of annual flowers around the doorway. Mara planted some yesterday with some flowers I got at church on Mother's Day. It looks pretty with them out there.
- Check porches/decks for repair work that may be needed. We repainted both of ours and Ken made a minor repair on the deck.
- Neatly put away outside toys/bikes.
Making the inside of the house attractive:
- Give each room a thorough cleaning and get rid of clutter. I have done this but we really need to clean again and I am sure we quite likely will find more clutter.
- Take down most or all of your people/family pictures and replace them with neutral decorations. This one is really hard for me as I love have a personal home - that people can walk in and find that our home represents us - to take our family out of our home is not easy but I can see how this process could be good for me. I need to learn to have less of me in many areas! Below shows how we replaced our family picture in our living room with a neutral picture.
- Repaint bright, dingy or unique walls with neutral colors. The wall above is due for going back to cream again. We have the paint already, I just need to find the time. I had thought I would skip doing that as I like the wall but when we had a bunch of Realtors over for a special Realtor showing - a comment that was made several times was that we should repaint that wall.
- Inspect and repair things all over your house. We sure our finding the necessity of doing that as we basically look things over with a fine tooth comb.
- Have light bulbs that light up quickly (the old type) and clean the light fixtures and have the rooms nice and bright.
- Clean off the counter tops. You want things to look roomy.
- Fresh flowers add a nice pop of color.
- Make your home sparkle. Spring is quite busy for us and though I like to have a neat and clean home it is not generally a sparkling clean home. I am trying to work on that. I have set the goal for the kids and I to each make sure something turns from drab to sparkling each day. (They can choose a light fixture, a window, an appliance, the porch or whatever. But I figure that way at least we will make some progress.
- Work to get rid of any odors. Try to figure out the source and get rid of it. Clean well. Open your windows if you can and air your house out. Bake before a showing. Boil cinnamon sticks and cloves with water in a pan on the stove before a showing - it makes your home smell wonderful! We have struggled with having a septic/sewer smell some which has been rather discouraging. We have had a plumber and a heating guy here and tried to figure things out ourselves but are still smelling it (in our laundry/mechanical room) at times. Any suggestions for us on this one?
- Clean off the front of the fridge.
- Open your drapes or blinds. That isn't an issue with us as they hardly ever get closed and when they do they are opened immediately upon waking.
- Hang nice/new towels and shower curtains in the bathroom. (something to work on.).
- Check faucets to make sure they are in good repair and then shine them.
- Clean inside cupboards and closets as they will look there. I have worked on this through much of the house but really need to take care of this in my office/craft room.
- Clean and organize in the garage.
- Try to think like a buyer and notice the things that they would notice. Possibly ask a friend to do this for your as well. Try to fix the problems you notice.
- Use Yellow! It draws the eye and is supposed to make people feel like buying. I wonder if it works.
We are doing are best to make our home attractive to buyers but also trying to be realistic and know that we can only do some much and that truly God is in control and it will sell in His timing. When I am struggling to keep up with things I do comfort myself with the fact that our last house sold to somebody who came to look at it one very busy day when I was gone all day, didn't know they were coming and left dirty dishes on the counter.
Do you have any tips for making a house ready for selling? What would like best to see (or not see) when looking at a house?