Positive first impressions of a prospective home buyer mean so much to the successful sale of your home that making a small effort to ensure a good impression can pay off with big returns. This checklist covers many of the little things that set a good example, from the outside … in.
1. Keep lawns and hedges neatly trimmed, weed flowerbeds.
2. Clean out your garage or carport to show off its full size.
3. Clean the outside windows, repair any broken panes.
4. Oil all the gate hinges and latches; make any fence repairs required.
5. Remove dead limbs and branches from trees – especially evergreens.
6. Check all outside lights are working; house numbers are clean and easy to read.
7. Touch up exterior paint as required, especially street-side.
8. Keep walkways and exterior stairs clean of leaves, snow, etc.
9 . Clean roof gutters to avoid “waterfalls” on rainy days.
10. Don’t let anything obstruct the street view of your “For Sale” sign.
11. Wash down or paint the entry walls to continue the good first impression.
12. Repair drawers and cupboard doors that squeak, stick or don’t close.
13. Free up hard-to-open windows and doors – especially closet doors.
14. Repair leaky faucets or toilets that run continuously.
15. Replace loose tiles, re-grout if needed, and scrub away any mildew.
16. You are going to move anyway, so start now to remove all clutter from every room and get rid of or store anything you can live without; pay particular attention to the basement – you will be amazed at how much larger the rooms all look!
17. Give the kitchen a good top-to-bottom scrub, to make the walls, cabinets, appliances, counters and sinks shine.
18. Make sure the closets are clear of everything except clothes that are neatly hung or folded to best show the size of the closets.
19. Lighting is important! Use appropriate bulb wattage to lighten dark areas.
20. Open all drapes and curtains to let the maximum natural light in – make sure the windows are all clean.
21. Avoid cooking a meal that might cause a lingering odour; let lots of fresh air in.
22. Put large pets outside and keep all pets away from prospects; try to eliminate any pet odours.
23. Ideally, leave the house while it is being shown. If this is not possible, then settle the children quietly in one room.
24. Let the realtor do the talking – and walking; unless asked by the realtor do not join the tour of your home.Give brief, polite answers to direct questions but let your realtor representative negotiate the sale.
Remember: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.