Preparing Your House--Interior
If you get the buyer into the house, it is important to make their visit as pleasant as possible--and that means having the whole house ready. You want them to be as comfortable as possible, and to linger in the home. A "turn off" will send them scurrying quickly to the next house on their list!
Room by Room
- Must be especially inviting for your guests (your potential buyers). Make certain it is well lit, clean and has nothing laying around either inside or outside. Paint the front door if it even remotely needs it.
- If you normally use a back or side entrance to your house, pay particular attention to the front entry. You rarely see it but this is where the buyers will enter!
Living Room or Great Room
- If possible, keep furniture at a bare minimum so that traffic flow is easier and the room does not appear smaller than it actually is.
- If bookshelves, curio cabinets, and the like are overflowing with books and knick-knacks, remove some of them.
Family Room or Den
- If this is the room you live in the most, make it look inviting but not overly lived in.
- Keep furniture at a minimum but make the room look like a comfortable place to spend time.
- Clean the exterior of all appliances. Clean the oven interior.
- Clean or replace the stove hood filter. This is often overlooked, usually dirty and greasy, and looked at by a lot of buyers.
- Clean cabinet faces. Make them shine!
- Remove all clutter and unnecessary items from countertops and clean all countertops and backsplashes thoroughly.
- Clean vinyl or ceramic floor.
- If you have ceramic tile elsewhere in the kitchen, pay particular attention to the grout--make sure that it's clean. If it is discolored, there are "grout whitening" products that are available.
- Remove all clutter. If you don't need it, store it or pitch it!
- Arrange or remove furniture to maintain good traffic flow through rooms. Remember, there may be three or four people in each group that walk through your house.
- Make sure all bulbs are working and have the highest wattage available and safe for each fixture. Brighter is better!
- Clean all ceramic tile. Check the grout for cleanliness and deterioration.
- If faucets drip, fix them.
- Thoroughly clean sinks and tubs. If rust spots are on the porcelain, attempt to remove them.
- Remove any evidence of mildew from the shower and bathtub. Products are available that spray on and quickly kill the mildew.
- If the basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier.
- Give prospective buyers room to move around. Clutter...well, you know the drill!
- Remove all junk: broken tools, old car parts, toys from the 1960's, etc.
- If floor has oil marks, clean it (cleaning solutions are available at most home improvement stores and work with a normal garden hose).
- Replace the furnace filter.