People, in general, have a hard time visualizing things. This is especially true with prospective buyers. They don't want a home that they think they have to put a lot of effort into fixing. But in most cases all it takes is a little spit and polish - with a few professional additives.
Here are some tips before you call a real estate agent and list your property.
1. De-Clutter: Gather up all loose stuff and sell it at a garage sale or give it away. For the stuff you want to keep put it in storage. The rental on a garage-sized mini-storage is about $100 a month. You have to pack it up anyway, just do it earlier.
Put pictures and mementos away too. People want to imaging what their pictures would look like in this space. This includes fridge magnets and kid's drawings.
2. Clean the Exterior: Get rid of lumber, junk, faded garden ornaments and other old garden stuff. Hire a clean-up service if you don't own a truck.
3. Paint the Interior: This is a must for people who "personalize" their home by using bold colors and blacks. "Neutralize" your home. It will take a few gallons of paint and a week's work.
4. Paint the Exterior: Paint anything thing that strikes you as being dirty-looking or old like door and window frames and fences. If the color is white it is easily matched so you might not have to paint the whole structure.
5. Clean the Windows: Inside and out. Dirty windows tell everyone that the homeowner is a slob.
6. Floors: Clean all floors, touch up the grout on tiled floors and finish vinyl floors with an acrylic polish. Hire a professional cleaner to bring your carpets back to life. Buy new rugs for entrances and bathrooms. They are cheap and can be coordinated with your decor.
7. Landscape: Cut the lawn every three days you have the place for sale. Also, trim the shrubs. If it is gardening season buy some annuals to line the walks and put red mulch around the trees and shrubs. Think "neat."
Doing all these things won't break you and your agent can get a better idea of the home's value.
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