Gig Harbor Homes

Preparing your home to go on the market


If your goal is to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, you’ll want to make sure you are presenting the best possible picture of the house, both inside and out. This includes keeping up the yard, landscaping and other exterior focal points, as well as maintaining a tidy household on the inside of your home.

It can be quite useful to try to see your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. You want to “wow” them when they first view the home to hopefully generate interest that can lead to your ultimate goal – the sale of your home! Keep in mind that, in the real estate industry, first impressions do count. For instance, if your lawn is not manicured and bushes or trees are overgrown, a buyer might determine that the rest of the house is just as unkept!

Try following the tips below to help maximize your home’s value:

First impressions are key – create curb appeal!

Keep your yard in tip-top shape by mowing, weeding, raking, etc. frequently. Your yard is usually the first thing a potential buyer will see so this is your “real” first impression.
Keep trees, bushes, shrubs and the rest of your landscaping well maintained.
Adding plants and flowers to your porch and walkway can add extra curb appeal to your home.
Keep watering hoses and sprinklers organized and tidy.
Test your doorbell to ensure it is in working order.
Make sure your doormats, front and back, look presentable.
Check the front door and screen door to ensure they work as expected and are in “showable” condition. Fix any squeaks or sticky spots and make sure all knobs, handles and locks are in working order.

Let there be light!

Make sure window coverings (curtains, blinds, drapes, etc.) are open so the sun can shine in. Even if the sun isn’t out your home will feel more open and welcome.
Clean all window coverings to remove dust, dirt and stains to make a sparkling impression.
Keep lights on during the day and night to maximize showing potential. Well lit living space is much more impressive than dark, brooding corners.

Keep it clean!

Always try to keep your home in “showing” condition.
If carpets are spotty, you should get them professionally cleaned. This minimal cost can add dollars onto your final sale price.
Dust and vacuum frequently.
Pick up magazines, toys, blankets, etc. to remove all clutter from each room. This will actually make your rooms look more spacious and adds a tidy touch.
Keep all beds made and organize closet space. Box up excess items if needed and store.
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place to get your home into show condition on a moments notice. Planning ahead and listing tasks (vacuuming, taking out the garbage, dusting, etc.) by persons responsible can save both time and headaches when your home is on the market.
If it’s been more than a year or two since you last painted your interior walls you might consider spending a weekend to paint, which will have positive impact on the sale of your home. Not only will rooms look bigger and brighter, but potential buyers will consider fresh paint a plus, especially if you chose a neutral color.

Clean bathrooms are a must!

Every bathroom should be kept spotless, with toilet lids down.
Remove hair from sinks and drains, and wipe down the bath or shower after each use.
Remove any used towels and keep a fresh set out for presentation.
Keep bathroom counters neat and clutter free.
Fix leaky or dripping faucets, replace stained grout or caulk as well as any missing or broken tiles.
Empty bathroom trashcans regularly and make sure the trash receptacles themselves are clean and odor free.

Make your kitchen sparkle!

Your home’s kitchen should be kept especially clean. The kitchen is where familes keep their food, prepare meals and more. Dirty floors, counters or refrigerators can make a huge difference in a potential buyers mind.
Keep kitchen floors spotless, with regular sweeping and mopping.
Clean out your refrigerator, wipe down all doors and shelves, and freshen it with a box of baking soda.
Clean all stovetops, ranges and hoods, conventional and microwave ovens, etc. Pay special attention to grease spatters on nearby walls or appliances to really make your kitchen sparkle.
Make extra counter space by removing unused appliances. Keeping only those items you use on a regular basis on the counter will make your counters appear more spacious.

Don’t forget the exterior, backyard and garage!

Painting or staining the exterior of your home can add welcome dollars to your end price.
Clean leaves, branches, moss and debris from rooftops, chimneys and rain gutters.
Remove bicycles, rusty/stained/dingy patio furniture and other clutter in the side or back yard. All junk items should be thrown away.
Keep all porches, steps, decks, balconies, patios, etc. swept and tidy.
Store all trashcans out of sight.

When getting your home ready to sell, don’t forget the garage

You’re ready to relax after finishing up “the last” of the tasks to get your home ready for potential buyers. You are feeling pretty good; your house screams curb appeal, the walkway is freshly swept, the interior is freshly painted, the sun is shining through the windows, and the smell of fresh flowers is in the air. Your house couldn’t be any more ready for potential home buyers. Right?

Wrong! Many sellers tend to dedicate their time focusing to the “Big Picture” – the inside of their home, exterior landscaping, etc., while a not-so-obvious place gets neglected – The Garage!

It is important to realize that garage space is very important to many homeowners: clean up the clutter, reorganize the shelves, and spend some time getting the boxes and junk off the floor. Your end goal should be to have a clean and organized garage that can function as a workshop, storage area, or just a garage! The condition of your garage probably won’t be a breaking point of a sale, but it could be an important point to potential buyers.

Here are some useful tips and reminders to help get your garage ready for “Showtime”:

Your garage door should be fully functional and should able to open and close smoothly with minimal effort and noise. Spray some WD40 on squeaky spots if needed. If you have a garage door opener, be sure to test the system and remote ahead of time, as well as any additional features, such as the light, auto-stop or auto-reverse, emergency release, manual operation, wall switch or code entry, etc.
Get organized! If you are getting your house ready to sell, you will probably be moving in a few months, and, since “there is no time like the present”, now is as good a time as any to go through all those boxes and get rid of some junk. You can get started by making three piles:
Stuff you want to keep and move with you
Stuff for yard sale or charity
Stuff to take to the dump
Your ultimate goal should be to get all items off the floor and neatly stored on shelving. This will make your garage look bigger to potential buyers.
Don’t forget to straighten up your work area. Put tools away and clean up your workspace. Keep power tools up on higher shelves or in a tool cabinet. Clean up all sawdust, metal shavings, chemicals/paint spills, etc. so prospective buyers don’t get dirty from visiting your home.
Do a quick safety check of your garage. Put any chemicals or toxic items on higher shelves or in a locked storage cabinet. Make sure large items like ladders, bikes, etc. are safely put away. For added organization you can install some storage hooks (available at your local hardware store) and get bulky items up off the floor.
Sweep the floor and spray it down. You don’t have to eradicate every spot on your garage floor, but spending a few minutes getting the cobwebs out of the corners and sweeping up the layer of dust will definitely make your garage look cleaner.

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