Preparing Your Home Through The Eyes Of A Buyer

You may be thinking, why should I put anymore effort into this old thing? I've put in so many years of cleanup and repair. Can't I just sell the darn thing and get it over with? You can try, but the sale process might take a while. Plus, a less-than-stellar house will receive less-than-stellar offers. It makes sense to put effort into repairing and cleaning your home, as doing so will likely result in a quick, easy sale for an excellent price!

First Impressions

Remember your first job interview? Your mom dad, older brother or sis, and/or high school guidance counselor probably filled your head with wisdom as to how important it was to make a good first impression. Hopefully, their words are still buried in there somewhere, because that first impression philosophy applies just as much to houses. If your house is messy, dirty, or smelly, would-be buyers will get so turned off at one look (or smell!) that they won't even want to come back for a second. Make sure that the first impression you create is good enough to put your home in as many prospective homeowners 'Maybe' columns as possible.


Start with the outside. Paint the exterior of your house, complete with the front door. (After all, you can't have prospective buyers knocking only to have ancient paint chip off on their knuckles!) Tidy up that yard by removing toys, garden tools and of course garbage! Mow the lawn and plant flowers, preferably lots of colorful ones. Close the garage door during open houses; no one needs to see your garden hose, spare tires or beat-up old bicycle! If necessary, buy a new doormat.

The Basement

Fix signs of decay in your basement; buyers will surely look down there to see how much work it'll mean for them! This means you'll have to fix bad wiring and leaky pipes and maybe hide a few of those creepy old stuffed toys lodged there from your childhood. The best strategy is to do a massive spring cleaning. Your basement shouldn't look like a random storage room. If you're not moving things with you, throw them out.

Sweep and/or vacuum every room! You don't want little dust bunnies clinging to prospective buyers' legs!

Rest Of The House

Apart from the basement, the kitchen is the most important selling point of a home. Make it bright and aesthetically pleasant. Consider a vase of flowers on the table. Remove appliances from the counters, and mousetraps from the floor. Use air freshener or pot pourri to make the room smell nice.

Other rooms to clean up include bathrooms, bedrooms and the living room.