Putting your house on the market? Want the best possible price? Take the time to clean and organize your home, inside and out, before the first potential buyer pulls up to the curb.
Clean it. Everything from floors to windows must be spotless. Remember to clean the oven and other major appliances. Skylights should be crystal-clear, too. Make the bathrooms shine!
Eliminate odors. You don't have to bake a batch of cinnamon rolls an hour before each potential buyer walks through your home. But it can't hurt! Bad smells are the first thing buyers notice, and they're often a permanent turnoff. Get rid of any offensive odors, such as cigarette smoke, burned food, or heavy deodorizers.
De-clutter. We all know where our problem areas are: kitchen counters, front hall, basement, or bedroom closets. Find them all and eliminate the clutter. If you can't throw it away or give it away, put it in storage.
Clear the decks. Put away small kitchen appliances and other items that are sitting on countertops and tables.
Remove photographs. You want your buyer to imagine his or her family living here, not yours. Your family photos need to come off the walls and table-tops. Store them until you move.
Organize your closets. If you don't need it in the next few weeks, pack it away, give it away, or store it. As a fringe benefit, doing this now will lessen your work load when you move.
Remember: If there isn't a reason to leave it out, remove it!
Clean the gutters. Buyers nearly always comment if gutters are full of leaves. Clogged gutters make buyers question other maintenance issues.
Store your stuff. Store or organize garden and lawn maintenance equipment, outdoor toys, and sports equipment, and anything else that makes the yard look messy.
Create a good first impression. The experts call it "curb appeal." Make your front entry inviting. Decorate tastefully, paint the door, or buy a new door.
Remember: The outside of your house is the buyer's first look at the home you're selling.