The experts put their heads together and came up with a list
of tips to help you get your home ready to rent or sell. What does
it take to make your home's first impression its best impression?
- The first three weeks are the most critical time to market your
home. This is why it is important to have the home ready to
show and priced properly. You will have more activity
in this period because buyers who are in the market have seen
existing houses and are anxious to see anything new on the market.
- If your home shows poorly or is overpriced, you may not get
another chance to make a good impression. Remember the competition
is fierce. You are competing with every other house in your price
range that is currently for sale -- new and pre-owned.
- Air out the house. You may be the last person to notice any
peculiar odors in your home but visitors may, so search out offending
odors coming from a kitty litter box, dog bed, mildew in the shower,
or maybe cigarette smoke.
- Wash all the windows. Windshield washing solutions work best
in winter. Clean the window sills and bottom of wood jambs. Wipe
down the blinds. Replace any broken or cracked windows or mirrors.
In the winter, remove and store screens. In summer repair and
wash screens. Let the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay shine in!
- Call on yourself and pay special attention to how your front
entrance looks. Does your door need to be painted? Does the doorbell
work? First impressions make a big difference.
- Now is the time to clean the carpets! If it has been over a
year since the carpets have been cleaned do it now. Vinyl floors
should be waxed or polished. Hardwood floors should be reconditioned
if they need it.
- Light and bright is right. Replace burned out lights, put bulbs
in every socket, keep shades and drapes open during the day. Buyers
like bright and cheery, especially in the winter months.
- Make your bed! Mom was right, now is the time to be sure all
beds are made and clothes are picked up.
- Clean out those closets. Pack up everything you haven't used
in the last year. You are going to have to do it anyway and storage
areas look larger when they aren't cluttered.
- Store extra furniture. Too much furniture or furniture that
is too large for the room makes a house appear smaller.
- Really look at your kitchen as if you are a new buyer. Keep
the oven clean, put new drip pans under the burners (don't cover
with foil). Clean around the seal of the dishwasher door. Check
for offensive odors. If your counter space is limited, put unnecessary
- Freshen up the bathrooms by putting out new towels and mats.
Replace your shower curtain if needed and clean and polish ceramic
- Clean out the fireplace and dispose of ashes. Put in fresh logs.
- Keep children's toys out of the way. Be sure the yard and front
entrance is free of toys and litter.
- Impress upon the family the importance of keeping the house
neat and clean.
- Have a garage sale. Moving time is time to get rid of as much
extra "stuff" as possible so do it before you try to
sell your house. If your garage is very small remove the clutter
or park your car outside on the street when the house is being