Before putting up a for sale sign in your front yard, it is advisable to take the necessary steps in getting the house ready for sale. This generally does not necessitate a complete remodeling project, but rather involves taking care of need- based repairs, such as replacing a leaky faucet or a cracked door hinge. Although they are minor improvements they can significantly add to the overall condition of the house. Taking care of these low-cost repairs has the potential to add equity value to the house and initiate positive feedback from buyers. 

Before putting your house on the market, involve your family members or friends in a “home viewing” tour so you can objectively assess your home’s condition through the lens of potential buyers. As the homeowner you are in all likelihood very comfortable with your surroundings and have developed immunity to the clicking sound of the water tap and may not be cognizant of other defects in your house. Therefore, having a trial open house can help you see what you otherwise might miss. Your realtor can be extremely helpful in offering professional and helpful advice on various improvements that may be necessary ahead of the listing. 

It is essential to keep in mind that potential buyers don’t have the emotional connection to your home that you do. But the buyers’ decision to purchase your house is based in large part on the good vibes they experience in your home.  

These are some basic ways to spruce up your home’s aesthetics. Inspect kitchen cabinets and doors throughout the house, replace broken hinges and revive doors that look beaten up with a fresh coat of paint. Kitchen appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators should be in working condition. In addition, organizing closet shelves and cluttered storage spaces as well as clearing counters and tabletops is highly recommended, since having too much clutter will not only detract from your home but also project an image of inadequate storage space. Try to create a neutral décor whereby the buyer can work off a clean palette to mentally reorganize your home and decorate it with his personal items. This can easily be accomplished by removing excess pieces of furniture, as well as personal items such as family photographs and temporarily storing them out of sight. If your garage cannot accommodate furniture, a storage facility can provide additional room until after the sale of the house. If your style is either excessively trendy or vintage, removing accent pieces will make your home more appealing to a wider range of buyers. Your home decor, such as curtains and carpets should be clean and in good condition. By opting for a DIY project and renting a steamer or by hiring a professional company, you can revive older carpets and draperies.

It is likewise important to take care of the outside space prior to your home’s listing. The website highlights that exterior remodeling projects offer the highest return on investment. This interesting fact shows the significance of “curb appeal” to the buyer, and therefore quantifying the importance of making sure the outside of your home is in good condition. A neglected exterior will set the tone for the rest of the house and may turn the buyer away before he even explores your house. In addition, you may want to trim bushes and branches, especially those that obstructs the home’s view from the curb. The front door should be in good condition and a nice welcome mat and potted plants will add to the overall appeal. The garage door should also be in good working condition and easily open without squeaking. Applying a coat of paint may be all it takes to spruce up a distraught door and give it a more appealing look. Power washing exterior surfaces such as the drive or walkway as well as the facade of the house will further create a clean and fresh look. Garbage cans must be covered and taken out to the curb on sanitation pick up days in order to prevent lingering odors building up. Make sure to create a clean pathway leading to the front door of the house by clearing all organic debris such as leaves and branches as well as toys and bikes, strollers and roller skates, prior to each appointment. Enhancing the curb appeal of your house as well as the interior can be done by the homeowner to keep costs down, but it is important that these DIY upgrades yield professional looking results. 

Before an Open House or viewing, make sure to create a pleasant ambience by providing adequate heat in the winter and turning on the air conditioner in the summer. Also, replace burnt out light bulbs to provide enough lighting, both inside and outside the home - especially for late night showings. During the winter season, all walkways should be thoroughly cleaned after snowfall and particularly before an Open House or viewing appointment. 

While preparing your home for the market and maintaining it may be challenging and time consuming, your efforts will no doubt contribute to finding a suitable buyer for your house.

Rita Tepfer is a real estate salesperson with Olam Realty Group. She can be reached at 917-405-9160 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.