The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It's necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets and give the windows a thorough washing. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service.
Pay attention to smells
If you smoke, do it outside
Smoking odors offend many people. The smell of smoke alone can turn a buyer away.
Clear out the clutter
You want buyers to focus on how awesome your space is. Banish the piles of shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table and anything else that detracts from the home's gorgeous features. Clutter will make a room seem smaller than it is.
Remove Personal Items
A few framed pictures with smiling faces is just fine but remove kids art from the fridge and hallways covered with pictures.
Yes, people will look in closets
Straighten closets and hang each item neatly.
Have a Pantry
Tidy up for an organized look. Same with the laundry room.
Tackle the Honey-Do list
All those little things you've been meaning to do but never got around to, buyers will notice them and distract from the value of your home. So tighten those loose doorknobs and fix that leaky faucet. Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room.
Bathrooms, this is huge
Bathrooms must be spotless. No toilet rings or towels on the floor. Must be clean and smelling fresh.
Turn your bath into a spa
Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, scented candles and real or faux plants. Close the toilet; it can made a surprising difference.
Open Up Rooms
Consider getting rid of bulky furniture and open up rooms by moving furniture toward the walls. Hanging curtain rods higher can give the illusion of taller ceilings. Well-placed mirrors can make rooms appear bigger and brighter. Add pops of color with pillows or throws.
Keep the flow going
The last thing you want is people bumping into furniture as they tour you home. Do a dry run as though you're seeing your home for the first time and tweak anything that interrupts the flow and cramps the living space.
Repaint walls neutral colors
As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow the buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls.
Let there be light!
Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim. A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.
Bring nature inside
Potted plants or a few pretty buds in a vase can help bring energy into a space, fill in empty corners and even draw attention to features you want buyers to notice.
Inviting front door
Spruce up the front door with paint, flowers, wreath, etc. Curb appeal is extremely important. What they first see when they get out of their car will be their first impression of the home.
First impressions will start outside the home. Overgrown trees can make a home seem dark and creepy. Add some shrubs or flowers. Pull the weeds.
Wash or Paint
For starters, take a good hard look at the paint. If it's looking dull or dingy, try power washing first. Consider painting. At the very least paint your from door for a fresh look.
Clean Pool, Inviting Patio
A less than sparkling pool could make buyers think twice about what it might cost to maintain. Make sure to clean patio furniture and have fresh flowers around to create an inviting patio space for entertaining.
Consider having your Air Conditioner serviced before listing. They should be serviced once a year in the desert and you don't want a house inspector finding an issue when a buyer is ready to buy.
Consider a Home Inspection
Depending on the age of your home, scheduling a pre-listing home inspection could save you a lot of time and aggravation. You can address issues on your own time and budget before negotiating with a buyer to fix problems.
Get your paperwork together
You should create a file with documentation of all maintenance and repairs you've done on your home. If you've had an insurance claim, keep those papers together so you can prove that you took care of the problem.
Provide complete Access
Install a lockbox and make sure you unlock gates and doors to a shed or garage that don't have lockbox access. Move anything that's blocking entrances to the attic or storage spaces.