1. Tidy up the clutter and clean the counters. Make sure to throw away all old newspapers and magazines. Clear away all the toys and trinkets strewn around the house. Take out all excess or rarely used furniture and store them in the garage. Remove clothing that haven’t been used for a year to lessen the clutter your closet. Clean out your garage.
2. Wash the windows and screens. This will allow more light inside the home and make it look brighter.
3. Clean everything. Nothing can create a stronger first impression than a clean home. Buyers will get the message that the home was well taken care of by its previous owners. Mop the floors, remove fingerprints and stains from walls and light switches, clean all appliances, especially your refrigerator and stove. Polish your door knobs and house number. Hire a cleaning service if your budget allows.
4. Eliminate odors. Eliminate cooking odors and pet smells by cleaning your carpeting and drapes. Air out your home by opening the windows. Place scented candles or potpourri in some rooms such as the living room and bedroom.
5. Brighten your home. Brighten up rooms by replacing your lights with higher wattage ones. Check all burned out lights in basements and closets and replace them. Cleaning the walls can brighten a room or you may also paint them a fresh neutral color.
6. Make small repairs. It may not seem a big deal, but minor problems like torn screens, cracked walls, sticky doors, or a dripping faucet may give buyers a bad impression that the house was not well taken care of.
7. Clean the yard. Trim the grass and bushes, add fresh mulch, rake the leaves, edge the walkways, and clean all gutters. Bright flowers near the entryway adds more curb appeal. Add some color to your living room. Jazz up a dull living room by adding colored throw pillows on the sofa.
8. Set the scene. Create an atmosphere that will help buyers visualize living in your home like setting fancy dishes and silverware on the dining table. Use sheer curtains in place of heavy ones. This will let in more light and show buyers a better view from your home.
9. Accentuate your fireplace. Put fresh logs inside the fireplace or if it’s not in use, you may place a fresh basket of flowers.
10. Spruce up your bathroom. Get rid of old towels and worn out toothbrushes. Make your buyer feel pampered once they enter your bathroom. Place a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and fancy soaps. Place your personal toiletries where they will not be seen.
11. Put centerpieces on the tables. A vase of fresh flowers or bowl of colorful fruit will do. Take your pets outside. You may also ask your neighbor to take care of them during a showing. If this is not possible, confine them in a room like the basement where they will not be seen. Make sure to inform the real estate agent beforehand where the pets will be so they won’t be surprised.
12. Keep your valuables, jewelry, and money locked away in a safe place. It will be hard to keep an eye on everyone all the time during a showing. Better safe than sorry.
13. Don’t be there during the showing. It’s highly suggested that the seller should not be home during a showing. It would be awkward for buyers to express their opinions of your house while you are there with them.