If you are thinking of selling your home, roll up your sleeves this spring and put in the effort needed to properly prepare it for the market! All the hard work will pay off in dividends at the closing table. In general, homes that have nice curb appeal, are clean and well-maintained, sell faster and for more money than their counterparts.

Your first chance to make an impression on a potential buyer begins with the curb appeal of your home. Having your lawn trimmed and mowed, filling bare spots in your grass with seed, pulling weeds, keeping the driveway/walkways swept clean, and thoroughly cleaning all the windows and screens goes a long way. Additionally, buyers spend a fair amount of time standing in your doorway while the door is being unlocked, so a clean and freshly painted entryway is also helpful in making a good first impression.

One area sellers often tend to neglect is the garage. By removing old items that are taking up space, you can improve buyers’ abilities to envision their own cars being parked there and how they could use the space. Cleaning the walls, shelves and door, and repainting where necessary can also make your garage area more appealing. It’s amazing how something as simple as a freshly painted garage door, rather than one without any upkeep over the years, can improve buyers’ overall impression.

When focusing on the inside of your home, less is more and the cleaner the better! Decluttering throughout the house is essential; box up everything that you are not going to need for the next few months and store it in the basement or a storage facility. It’s important to remember that closets often look too small when they are cluttered, so removing items you don’t use daily can make them look much larger.

Throughout the home you should clean mirrors and windows, dust all the surfaces, and have your carpets professionally cleaned to look their best. All the other floor surfaces should also be clean and free of dust and debris. In the bathrooms, replace your shower curtains and bathroom rugs with something fresh and new. You will also want to check around the tub and shower, and replace any unattractive areas with fresh caulking.

In addition to overall cleaning and decluttering, general maintenance around the home should be done before you put your home on the market. Although it may seem excessive, wiping down your furnace and water heater, as well as replacing the furnace filter demonstrates that the mechanical area of the home has not been overlooked. Also, going around the house ensuring that doors can open and close easily, all the lightbulbs are working properly, and fresh paint is added where needed can lead buyers to feel confident that they are purchasing a well-cared for home.

Addressing all of these items and putting in the extra effort may seem overwhelming, but it will guarantee that buyers leave your property with an overall impression that it is a home with good care and maintenance and worth the investment.

Provided by June Trevor, Augustine Properties, Broker, Realtor, SFR.