You all know the old maxim: "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Not surprisingly, the same goes for your house! Whether you want to get the best best price for your home, or want to sell in the least amount of time, it's important to prepare your home properly for its first exposure to the public.
If you do nothing else, keep it clean! Remove clutter, and make sure everything smells as good as it looks. This is no time for pet odors. Consider having a garage sale to get rid of unneeded things, or store excess at another location.
Consider new paint or floor coverings in prominent rooms that need it. If the carpets are worn or stained past the point where shampooing would help, replace the carpet. If you have hardwood floors under the carpet, consider exposing the hardwood. If the hardwood is worn, consider refinishing it. Beautiful hardwood floors are a plus in any home.
Now is the time to make repairs. Prospective buyers may flush toilets, open and shut closet doors, and try windows. Little things that haven't bothered you in years may cost you a sale. Make sure heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems are working properly. If these systems have problems during the home inspection phase of a transaction, it may end up costing you considerably more later.
Exterior maintainance counts, too! A potential buyer will actually decide within 15 to 20 seconds whether he or she wants to see the inside of your house. It's called curb appeal. Don't underestimate the importance of freshly painted trim, clean vinyl siding, nicely water-sealed and stained deck, colorful flowers and neat landscaping.
Don't forget the front door! This is one of the most important elements of the "first impression". Put on a coat of fresh paint and replace the weathered hardware. If the door has serious problems, replace it with a new one. It will be an investment that will more than pay itself back.
Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA. To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/
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