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Preparing Your Home For Market


  • Keep the lawn mowed, preferably on the diagonal.
  • Plant yellow flowers such as marigolds along the walk or by the front door. The color yellow
  • Wash exterior windows.
  • Paint or replace the front door and buy new hardware.
  • Power spray the house to get rid of dirt and cobwebs.
  • Buy a new welcome mat for the front steps.
  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Ensure your house number is attractive and easily displayed.
  • Wash or replace front porch light fixture.

Remove Excess Clutter & Furniture.

  • Many homes contain too much furniture. You may benefit from removing 2 to 3 pieces of
    furniture from each room. Less furniture will make the rooms appear bigger. You can pay about
    $100 a month to place the furniture into storage or simply stack it neatly in the garage for free.
  • Remove all personal photographs from tables and walls.
  • Patch holes in the walls or hang non-personalized artwork over the existing nails.
  • Pack up your bookcases.
  • Clean out the closets and store non-essential items.
  • Rearrange your kitchen pantry, kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets in an orderly manner.

Clean The House.

  • You can hire a professional cleaning crew for about $300 or do it yourself for free.
  • Rent a carpet steamer and clean the carpets. You may find they do not need to be replaced.
  • Dust the tops of your doorways and window frames.
  • Polish all wood / ceramic flooring.
  • Wash all light fixture coverings and ceiling fan blades.
  • To give your home a more open feeling, consider removing a few doors that open into each
    other or otherwise block the flow of traffic.

Updating The Kitchen.

Kitchens are the most important room in the house. It is the heart and soul of the home. Even if a buyer
is not much of a cook, the kitchen is still where family and friends tend to gather.

  • If new granite is out of your budget, consider either re-grouting the kitchen counter tiles, which
    is surprisingly cost effective, or covering them with granite tiles instead of granite slab.
  • For wood cabinets, stripping the finish and re-staining or painting will save you more money
    than re-surfacing the cabinets.
  • Buy new knobs and / or pulls for the cabinet doors. If you have 40 or so knobs on your kitchen
    cabinet, at a cost of about $5 per knob, your total outlay for new hardware will be about $200.
    New hardware will transform the appearance of your cabinets.
  • Replace a worn kitchen faucet for about $100 to $200.
  • Buy new kitchen sink basket strainers for less than $25 each.
  • Consider installing kitchen pendant lights over the sink.

Painting The Interior.

  • Professional painters will probably charge you anywhere from $300 to $500 to paint each room,
    but with a little patience, you can paint the rooms yourself.
  • Choose a soft color in a light brown tone (never white), and paint every room the same color OR
    consult a professional stager/interior designer for more modern color ideas. Now is not the time to get creative.
  • For a 10 x 10 room, you will need 2 one-gallon cans of eggshell paint. Each one-gallon can of
    paint should cost no more than $40. For the amount of money a professional painter will charge
    you to paint one room, you can probably paint the entire house yourself.

Freshening Up The Bathroom.

  • Any outdated/older wallpaper should be remove. You can rent a steamer to remove the
    wallpaper or strip it yourself.
  • Consider replacing the toilet and vanity, especially if they are stained or particularly outdated. A
    new toilet and vanity can cost less than $500 and are easy to install.
  • Buy a two-light wall fixture or a light bar for over the sink.
  • If the tub is stained, hire a professional to refinish it.
  • Replace water-stained shower doors or clean them with a lime dissolving detergent.
  • Buy a new shower curtain and tie it back with ribbons.
  • Hang fresh towels and lay down a new bath rug.
  • Store all personal items under the bathroom sink.