This is an important topic. When discussing with a client the steps that should be considered when bringing a home to market, a few words I often use are "A CLEAN, BLANK CANVAS". Surely not every home that comes to market can be, however i believe its the benchmark to work towards.
As a Buyer pulls in front of a home For Sale, It only takes seconds for a first opinion to be formulated. So knowing this, I say lets make it a good warm inviting feeling so they will want to come in and see more! Is the home's entrance walkway, driveway fresh and clean? If not Pressure Wash any Cement areas ,Path stones, and the home. If the home needs painting? You can afford to do so? Do it! Don't forget to clean the windows. Freshen the gardens, weed removal, plant trimming, add in compost or wood chips to freshen dirt areas. Trim, thin Trees, prune back bushes, or if overgrown and eating up valuable yard space, blocking views to the house they may need to be entirely removed .. Add few fresh blooming flowers in their place. As the owner you need to let go! Understanding that someone else is going to be living here. Give the homes exterior yards a look that is clean, simply opened up, and ready for the new owner to make it their own!
The garage- old funky well used cabinets, ceiling racks - get rid of them! If it has a good Work Bench, just Leave it. Does the floor have old stains? Paint it with Mechanics Blue Grey garage paint .. Its inexpensive, Looks fantastic!
Interior- Make sure everything is working, lights , sinks and appliances . Flooring , clean, in good condition , along with a fresh coat of interior paint really goes a long way.
Flooring- Beautiful, but old scuffed up wood floors? If its affordable sand them and refinish.. If carpets can be cleaned, do so. If they still are just too worn? The pads underneath them are probably full of dirt anyway, holding in odors that you probably do not even notice. If you can afford to replace them, do so.
Interior painting- Often times just touching up walls with a million little spots of the same exact paint applied five years earlier will come back and bite you. Different shades of light within a home shows the difference between old paint and new, even if its exactly the same paint. Buyers realizing this could think this seller might have just cut corners with the homes maintenance and be more Leary of writing an offer. In this market, if you can afford to paint the homes interior, do so.
If living in the home during the sales step, I would suggest, if you can, shrink the amount of personal items. Get a storage unit. Personal pictures, Hi value Art should always be removed. There is much one can do with all these steps. More than I can write. If you need assistance? Live in Santa Cruz County, or within the Monterrey Bay? I am a "Certified Luxury Marketing Specialist" and would be happy to assist. My number is 831.212.9648 or you can always write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope this helped. Wishing you a Wonderful 2018!