Common Sense Pays Big!

Elbow-grease can really pay off when you’re ready to sell your home. Everyone likes buying things that look pristine and new especially compared to dirty and scuffed. If you have the dirty and scuffed house on the block, you just helped sell the neighbors clean and fresh house.

When selling a car, to get the most money possible for it, you would make any necessary repairs and clean it inside and out. Think the same way with a house. A clean house sells for A LOT more money. Home Depot has day-laborers wanting to work hard each morning. If you are unable to provide the elbow-grease for a few thousand dollars of profit, hire people for $120-$150 a day.

The first thing a buyer sees is your yard. Pick it up. Trim dead leaves and branches, vacuum or blow debris from rocks and sweep the porch, driveway and sidewalk.

  1. Wash your porch and coach lights. Make sure the light bulbs work. Wash your front door, screen door, sidelites and threshold. If the door needs paint, get a quart of fresh paint and paint it! Buyers stand there while the Realtor unlocks the door so sweep any cobwebs and dirt from the covered porch.
  2. Wash your windows and screens. People look in and out of the windows while they’re viewing your home. They will think you maintain the home well if the windows are washed.
  3. Wash the baseboards and touch up paint as needed. People really have a hard time visualizing their furniture if they’re noticing dirty walls, scuffs and dirty baseboards.
  4. Schedule at least 30 minutes each day before leaving to straighten the house. Go into each room and make the bed and pick up clothes. Go into each bathroom and flush the toilet and straighten. Make sure that the toilet is clean and that there is toilet paper- especially in a vacant house!
  5. Clean pet evidence in home and yard. Spray air freshener or get plug-ins. Clean the litter box every day. Pick up yard droppings.
  6. Pack valuables and collections. Realtors try to watch their clients but some deliberately separate from their spouse to steal. If your valuables are in a box at the bottom of the pile – unlabeled- your valuables should be safe.
  7. Pack clutter. It is so much easier to clean a sparse house than a full one. Sparse looks less lived in and easier for a buyer to visualize living there.
  8. Angle or move something away from the walls in each room. Each room should have a red and a black item. Group things in odd numbers and hang pictures at a woman’s eye level.
  9. Plants and flowers. Greenery and blooms are great! If you have replica plants, dust them. If you have real plants, take dead leaves off, dust and clean water rings. A house looks cheerier with greenery.
  10. Do not have dirty dishes in the sink. Have at least 50% of your counter top backsplash showing. If that means you have to put the toaster and blender in a cupboard, put them in a cupboard or pack them. Less is so much better for selling and will make your home more desirable.
  11. If you have a friend whose house looks beautiful, ask them to advise you as to what you can do. They’ve probably been wanting to give you a tip or two forever, so just ask!
  12. Make your house look so good that you want to live there! If your bathroom hasn’t been redone since 1985, paint and change the art and towels. Go for easy fixes. Cheap and easy fixes. Straighten out closets and linen shelves. Take extra shampoo out of the tub surround. Get new clean soap – even a soft soap. You have permission to throw stuff away! Donate good items. Stack packed boxes in the garage or a vacant room. People don’t mind seeing that you’re getting ready to move. The little things will make a lot of difference- CLEAN SELLS!.