The way you sell a home and live in a home are different things. The foremost number one thing to do is, “declutter” counters, walls and rooms. Too much stuff makes your home look inadequate and it is hard for a buyer to imagine their own possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however go to far or it will appear stark and inhospitable. Then clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It’s especially important that the baths and kitchen are clean. Organize and declutter your closets. I walk into showings all the time and the garage is stacked floor to ceiling with Tupperware crates.
Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords. You can make the house smell great: from baking an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering. Hide the kitty litter and dog food, and possibly put out fresh flowers throughout the your home. Pleasant background music is also a nice touch and make sure all light bulbs are good and in working order.
The second important thing to consider is “curb appeal.” People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Put out seasonal flowers and colorful plants, sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune bushes and trees, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works. Paint your exterior if you need to.
There are not any hard and fast rules of what you must do. It’s your home and you have to live there while selling your home. Remember the rule of diminishing returns and don’t obsess about little details. Buyers have lives too and are usually understanding.
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