• Repaint when wall or ceiling conditions are poor, or previous paint is faded or too dark. Paint in white, beige or light pastels.
• Remove wallpaper that is too bold, outdated or damaged. Replace with neutral paint or subtle, tasteful and neutral prints so that color scheme coordinates throughout house.
• Replace loose, shifted or deteriorated sheetrock or panels. Repair all cracks and holes.
• Clean all walls and moldings.
• Wash all windows and replace broken panes. Also replace all cut or rusted screens.
• Check all windows for alignment and ease of operation. Repair so they work freely.
• Check window moldings and weather stripping, and repair for water damage and age.
• Clean and check all draperies and repair or replace as necessary.
• Clean and wax exposed floors.
• Repair creaking or loose floorboards.
• Repair loose steps, and check stairs for loose handrails, treads or posts.
• Clean carpets or replace old, worn carpets or rugs.
• Check all doors. Oil to eliminate noises, tighten knobs and hinges and ensure that all doors shut and/or lock properly.
• Replace all broken light bulbs, cracked lighting fixtures or old switches and plates.
• Repair all inoperative electrical outlets and plugs.
• Polish all brass, chrome or glass surfaces.
• Make sure all smoke alarms and burglar alarms are functioning properly and add or replace them as necessary.
• Keep fresh flowers on display.
• Open windows before showing home to air it out.
• Eliminate all odors with a pleasant air freshener.
• Remove pet bedding, food and water dishes, and litter boxes.
• Replace or repaint worn front door to create a good impression.
• Polish or add brass door knocker.
• Make sure front door has a working peephole.
• Check doorbell and repair or replace as necessary.
• Replace worn mailbox.
• Make sure house number is clearly visible and attractive.
• Polish, repair and/or replace all door handles and locks. Make sure all outside doors have deadbolts or other safety locks.
• Mow lawn, remove all weeds and water regularly.
• Use a good quality lawn food to make grass healthy and ammonia sulfate (available at garden or hardware store) to bring out the green. Reseed or resod thin or brown lawn.
• Cut grass back from edge of house as well as from plants and trees.
• Trim edges by fences, walls, walkways, sidewalk, driveway and around plants, hedges and trees.
• Remove all children’s toys, garden tools and hoses.
• Repair loose or broken fences, or cracked or loose retaining walls.
• Clean up after pets.
• Remove all dead limbs.
• Remove and/or replace dead trees or shrubs. You can also use potted plants in yard and then take them along with you when you move.
• Trim shrubs.
• Remove overhanging or intruding limbs from walkways, gutters and utility lines. Cut limbs from neighboring yards.
• Spray for insect infestations.
• Trim all vines or other growths from fences.
• Remove debris from all surfaces.
• Clear storage areas.
• Restain, repaint or seal all wooden decks.
• Check and secure all railings.
• Clear all spider webs and insect nests.
• Wash entire area.
• Resurface stained or worn areas. Repair all cracks.
• Resurface stained or cracked areas.
• Patch all holes.
• Seal all asphalt.
• Replace thin gravel areas.
||• Repaint or re-shingle if necessary.
• Check all shutters and awnings. Tighten if loose or replace if worn.
• Clean out gutters and downspouts. Repair or replace, as necessary.
• Check, repair, and replace flashings, vents, chimneys, stacks and skylights.
• Check, repair, and replace exterior lighting, as necessary. Use bright bulbs.
• Paint all railings.
• Repair cracks in foundation, walls and steps.
• Clear leaves, snow, ice or other debris from walkways and porches.
• Replace worn trashcans.
Know What Upgrades Will Bring You the Best Return
Generally the best investments when preparing your home for sale are those upgrades or modifications that bring you highly visual improvements throughout a large area for a minimum amount of money rather than those that concentrate a substantial investment into a small area.
For example, replacing worn carpet throughout the house is in most cases more valuable to a buyer than a customized closet in the master bedroom.
Remember quality counts, up to a point.
If the stove in your kitchen is broken or extremely worn, replace it with a middle-of-the-line model from a well-known, quality appliance manufacturer rather than the best of the best.
At the same time, making shoddy repairs or using cheap replacements to “get by” may save your initial investment, but won’t get you anywhere in the perceived value of your home.
Potential buyers will see through them and figure they will still have to redo it themselves anyway.
This is a lengthy list. To make life easier feel free to have me come view your home and we will discuss what will give you the biggest bang for your your buck.