space-and-company-prep-your-houseBY CAROLYN PERLOW (
Two years ago, almost to the day, I posted a blog listing the steps that will help you sell your home quickly. The market changes and mortgage rates change, but how you prepare your home never changes. I’m reposting it because it’s spring again and buyers are coming out of their winter hibernation. Now is the time to get your home on the market. I hope this helps you:
Making a good first impression can mean the difference between receiving serious offers for your home and having it sit on the market for a long time.

Here are some tips to make sure your home will make the best first impression possible

1. Focus on curb appeal. The outside of your house can be the source of a very good first impression. Plant some flowers in window boxes. Have the front of your house and the trim painted, if necessary. Sweep the porch and the front walkway. After dark, turn on your front porch light and any other exterior lighting. Make it feel inviting.
2. Clear out the clutter. It is very important to de-clutter your home. Clean out closets – overstuffed closets make a home feel like there is not enough storage in the house. Clean off counter tops in the kitchen and shelves with family pictures throughout the house. Buyers will spend more time looking at your stuff than at your house. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. Remove large pieces of furniture that you don’t really need. Rent a storage space if that’s what it takes to clear out your home. Less clutter makes a home feel larger.
3. Use your nose. A big turnoff for many buyers is the smell of cigarette smoke or cat litter when they walk into a house. Before you put your house on the market, consider having the carpets and drapes cleaned. Keep the litter box clean and the dog bed washed. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas, and refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods when you know you are going to have a showing. Introduce pleasing smells by placing flowers in your home. Using air fresheners can sometimes give the impression that you are trying to hide a smell. Baking a fresh or frozen pie or some other fragrant treat is another common tactic.
4. Make all necessary repairs. Replace burned out light bulbs and fix leaking faucets. Make sure the windows aren’t painted shut. These repairs may seem small, but left undone, they can lead buyers to question whether you’ve taken good care of your home.
5. Make your home comfortable and attractive. Set the dining room table with your best dishes. Put out your only-for-company towels. Make up the spare bed. Hang some fresh curtains and place fresh flowers around the house. Put some logs in the fireplace. Think about what would make the house more attractive to you and make those changes to the house.
6. Get a buyer’s-eye view. Walk up to your home and pretend you’ve never seen it before. What do you notice inside the house? Does the home seem inviting? Well-maintained? Would you want to buy this home? More importantly – would you want to live in this home? Your answer should be an enthusiastic yes!

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