Even if you’ve never been involved in selling a home before and yours is about to hit the market, you probably know enough about the process to be able to repeat, like a litany: clean it; paint it; fix it up. But are you wondering: how clean should the house be and how do I approach work? Do I really have to paint? What are the best colors to choose? What do I need to repair?
When considering these questions, it’s good to remember that most potential homebuyers are highly unimaginative. Your home may be immaculate, but if rooms are messy, cluttered, and dark, they can appear less clean and much smaller than they really are. Picture this: An old seven-piece mahogany dining set plus a rocking chair and seven boxes of books packed for moving are tucked into a dark green room with a brown rug and a window covered in thick velvet drapes. Why is this decorating scheme a mistake? It’s because most people can’t imagine how big and beautiful the room would look if it were painted off-white, everything but the dining room was removed, a pastel tablecloth and a fresh flower arrangement on the table, curtains the window, the carpet removed, and everything spotlessly clean. In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, you must “make it so”; Otherwise, it can take a long time to sell your house and the purchase offers will not only be slower, but lower.clean, clean, clean
Your best friend when cleaning your house for resale will be trisodium phosphate (TSP) or its equivalent. TSP is one of the household products that top the list of must-haves, and it is not expensive. Roll up your sleeves, put on your rubber gloves, and scrub down the walls and ceilings, and anything else that needs your effort. Unless you can afford professional cleaners, there is no way out of this.
Carpet cleaning is another necessity and there are household products for the DIYers or you can hire a cleaning company to handle this job. If you have worn rugs scattered throughout the house, forget about cleaning them; it’s probably best to remove them entirely.
There are household products to clean things that require special care: ceramic tile, porcelain, stainless steel, wood cabinets, aluminum siding, etc., and you can find what you need at your neighborhood hardware store. Ask questions and read the labels. When using commercial cleaning products, wear gloves and a mask. It is wise to be careful.Paint for a pristine finish
As thorough as your cleaning job is, it won’t have much of an impact on sagging, faded wallpaper, cracks in the walls, or cracked or peeling paint. Repainting is the answer, and interior painting jobs start with removing old wallpaper, attacking cracks and grooves with caulk, then getting to work with your roller and brush. This is also the time to do all the little repairs that need your attention: driving nails; repair the broken step; replace broken glass.
When selecting paint, the best colors for walls and ceilings are white, off-white, cream, and creamy-off-white—you get the picture. A light, fresh, neutral color can fit into everyone’s decorating scheme. (She wants that young couple to see her home as the perfect setting for her red plush chairs.) If you’ve recently painted one or more rooms rather dramatic colors, leave them as they are. As long as the walls and trim are clean and fresh, prospective buyers won’t mind repainting a bit if they want to change up the colors; the main thing is not to overwhelm them.
If you need to paint the exterior of your home, you don’t need to limit yourself to neutral exterior paint colors; however, a bright color is not a good choice. Something fairly subdued is best, but be creative when painting your front door; A touch of drama may be needed to make your home memorable. It’s easy for a buyer to repaint a door if he or she doesn’t share her love of red or purple Christmas passion.remove the clutter
It’s time to say goodbye to your high school chemistry notes, the clothes you outgrew five years ago, the playground your twelve-year-old son no longer needs, and everything else your family will never wear again, read or use. Be tough! Should! Take it to the dump; maintain a dirty garage; donate it to your favorite charity. Don’t let it take up more storage space – you’ll need it all to store the things that are currently stacked on shelves and floors and cluttering countertops throughout the house.
Important household products that can help you deal with this part of your preparation are closet organizers. They come in every size and style imaginable, and you’re sure to find something to suit. When you have everything neatly stowed away in your closets and cupboards, walk around the house and pick up and put out of sight everything else on your counters and tables that doesn’t need to be there. “Mess-free” means mess-free, and you won’t kill anyone in the family by digging under the counter for dish detergent or toothpaste for days or weeks to come.
You probably don’t think of furniture as “clutter,” but clutter is anything that unnecessarily clutters up a room, doorway, or hallway. If your house has very small rooms and you can manage without some furniture for a while, arrange to use a friend’s garage or basement for storage. It will “open up” rooms and make your house appear bigger and brighter, and that’s a good thing.let there be light
Sunlight is friends with the seller of the house, and you should try to let it into the house as much as you can. Wash windows inside and out and wash or dry clean window coverings: shades, drapes, and blinds. Before showing the house to a potential buyer, replace any blown light bulbs, turn on the lights, open the windows, raise the blinds and draw the curtains.final keys
Ask a friend who doesn’t smoke or have pets to come into your house when you’re done cleaning and painting. Are all the pet and tobacco odors gone? If the house passes the smell test, place some of the potpourri in open dishes to add a fresh, clean scent; otherwise, go back to work.
Finally, go outside and see what the first impression a potential buyer will have of your garden is. Mow lawns, trim hedges and shrubs, weed the garden, edge flower beds, and sweep and clean the sidewalk, deck, or patio. Your yard is another selling feature of your home, and it should also be clean and tidy.
Home products can help make your home look big, bright, clean, and ready for a prospective buyer to move in, which is exactly what you want.