Selling a home? What I should do before the for sale sign goes up?

So you decided to sell your home.  Perhaps, you think it is perfect just the way it is or you think it needs some repairs or cleaning, but you are not sure where to start.  Need a little insight? What are the things you may want to know…about what potential home buyers notice about your home.

Unfinished renovation projects – This includes painting a wall or two and not finishing painting the rest of the room, missing floor tiles, missing baseboards/moulding, missing drywall, etc.

Leaks – Leaking roofs, leaky pipes, dripping taps, running toilets, water mark stains on walls and/or ceilings etc.  

Dings/scratches/holes – Dings/holes in the doors/walls.  Although you may view dog scratches as a normal part of having a pet, a buyer may view scratches as a refinishing/renovation project.

Mismatched interior/exterior – Perhaps you spent a lot of money renovating the exterior, but not the interior or vice versa.  Try a fresh coat of paint to balance out the overall look.

Yards – Overgrown trees, shrubs, weeds, long grass, doggy extras/burn marks, etc.

Broken or Missing anything – floor tiles, appliance handles, doorknobs, blinds, light shades, fence boards etc.

Stains and dirt – dirty/stained carpets, greasy appliances, dirty laundry on the floor, a lot dust build up, dirty grout, black mold in the shower, etc. 

Smell – Every home has a smell when you first walk in the door.  Is yours a pleasant one?  Pet odors, dirty diapers, mildew, smelly garbage, stale cigarette smoke, etc. are not considered pleasant smelling items to a lot of buyers. You want a buyer to stay and look around, not want to get out as fast as they can because something smells bad.

Remember…Top dollar demands top shape.  Most buyers overestimate repair costs by double to triple the actual amount and deduct those amounts off their offer accordingly.  If the housing market in your area has soften and there is a lot of homes for sale, remember your competition may have no repairs or less repairs than you for same price.  Homes that require a lot of repairs in a buyers market, can linger on the market a lot longer or even go unsold.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 10:17:51

    I toured an estate sale house that smelled as if some animal died in the crawl space. Perhaps, a rat or a raccoon?

    The smell was so bad that the real estate agent and myself ran out of the house.

    How about you? Have you ever gone to view a home or to an open house and been turned off? Why?

  2. GN
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 10:35:08

    Viewed a house that smelled like dog urine inside and dog crap outside. I stepped in the crap as I rushed to get out of the backyard.

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