A house that "sparkles" on the surface will sell faster
than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained.
From experience, REALTORS® also know that a "well-polished"
house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher
price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a
well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what
they can't see has probably also been maintained.
How much should you spend?
Exterior and curb appeal
Preparing the interior.
How Much Should
In preparing your home for the market,
spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed
by a new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money
to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and
inexpensive "touch-ups" to your house, such as new
cabinets knobs and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room,
and doing extensive remodeling.
Tom can advise you on what improvements need
to be made. Don't hesitate to ask him for advice.
Maximizing Exterior and Curb Appeal
Before putting your house on the market,
take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible)
to maximize its exterior and interior appeal.
Enhance your homes exterior
and curb appeal by:
- Keeping the lawn edged, cut and watered
- When mowing the lawn catch the grass and
keep it out of the street.
- Trimming hedges, weeding lawns and flowerbeds,
and pruning trees regularly;
- Checking the foundation, steps, walkways,
walls and patios for cracks and crumbling;
- Inspecting doors and windows for peeling
- If there are spider webs or wasps nest
keep them cleaned away.
- Cleaning and aligning gutters;
- Inspect and clean the chimney and save
- Repairing and replacing loose or damaged
- Repairing and repainting loose siding
- In Northern winters, keeping walks neatly
cleared of snow and ice;
- During spring and summer months considering
adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance;
- Re-seal an asphalt driveway;
- Keeping your garage door closed;
- Storing RVs or old and beaten up teens'
jalopies elsewhere while the house is on the market; and
- Applying a fresh coat of paint to the
Maximizing Interior Appeal
Enhance your homes interior
- Giving every room in the house a thorough
cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make
your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded
rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their
furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
- Hiring a professional cleaning service,
once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may
be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
- Removing the less frequently used, even
daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making
these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move
anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
- If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled
or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such
as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied
to carpets and linoleum.
- Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of
dampness in the attic and basement.
- Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster,
wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
- Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes,
moldings, and other woodwork.
- Inspecting and repairing the plumbing,
heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
- Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads.
- Buying showy new towels for the bathroom,
to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
- Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more
major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains,
or a coat of neutral paint.
- If the room looks cramped find someplace
to store non-essential living items. A storage building
is a cheap investment when you are wanting to make your house
more appealing and roomy.
estimates from three licensed movers before you make a choice. Have
an estimator from each company visit your house to examine the items
you're moving before issuing a quote. Verbal quotes are not binding,
so make sure each mover gives you a written estimate. In most cases,
you'll want a "not to exceed" or "best price"
estimate. This will limit your moving expense to the amount quoted.
If the move ultimately costs less than the estimated amount, you will
pay the lower price. Ask about discounts.
Trusting a Mover
Moving is stressful, even when it goes
smoothly. Be wary of a bid significantly below all other estimates.
A low bid can indicate that someone is trying to buy your business,
or it can be a sign of inexperience. You have to trust a stranger
with your personal belongings, so make sure you feel confident that
you'll get the level of service you require. Making
Sure Your Move Goes Smoothly
by moving less. Sell,
donate or throw away possessions you don't want before you get
letters from your utility companies.You
can avoid putting down money for deposits if your utility company
will notify the new company of your good credit status, or send
you a letter of reference.
on your change of address notices. Send
them to creditors, magazines, membership organizations, insurance
companies and other regular correspondents. You may also want
to send notices to your friends and relatives.
openings in the house, or space in elevators and stairwells.
You want to make sure there's
enough clearance to accommodate your possessions.
own inventory of important possessions. Include
box numbers so you can find these items quickly.
Call at least two weeks before
your move to have electricity, water, gas or telephone service
switched on closing day or the day you move in.
If there is time between your closing
and move-in dates, you may want to have carpeting and painting
done before you move in the furniture.
||Make a First
Night box. Label it prominently
and include towels, sheets, blanket, tissues, paper towels,
plastic utensils, paper plates and cups, screw driver, hammer,
can opener and other essentials.
locks on your doors. You
may or may not choose to do this, but most security experts
receipts. You may be able
to deduct some of your moving expenses. Consult your tax advisor.
Do you have suggestions? Let