Seller’s Checklist: The First Impression
The seller’s checklist, has been developed to assist seller’s prepare their home so it would sell. I have been dealing in real estate since the 1990’s and I have yet to find the perfect marketing plan or special ad campaign that will guarantee that your house will sell in any set amount of time, it is just not out there. It takes work from both the Realtor and the sellers to successfully sell a home. Over the years I found that sellers who follow this checklist will have their home ready to sell and normally will get a higher price for their home. It will also sell quicker and for a much higher price than those who don’t follow this checklist. The reason is quite simple, buyers are more willing to pay a higher price for a home that is in immaculate condition over a house that is clean but it is obvious the sellers have not taken the time to do the little things to make the house more attractive. Have you ever been to a parade of homes? If not, here is what you have missed. You will be instructed to put on special slippers before you are allowed to enter any of the homes. There are no dust balls floating around the floor, you can see yourself in the all of the floors that are not carpeted and there is Nothing out of place. These homes will sell so quickly and the sellers get top dollar. That is what you will try and do with your home. Even though your home may not be fancy or full of the latest trends and it is probably several years old, the idea is to have It be spotless, without the dust bunnies and leaving any buyer who comes to view your home, impressed with how well the home has been taken care of.
The Yard: The yard is the first impression people have about your home, it should be mowed and trimmed constantly (two or three times per week), there should be no liter, leaves or pet droppings, all bushes and hedges are to be neatly trimmed with all the dead leaves and trash from underneath bushes and hedges cleaned up. Try planting some extra flowers to add color to your yard and remove any dead branches from trees. Every day pick up fallen fruit from under fruit trees and keep the driveway and sidewalks clean and in good repair. Every week check the fences for any damage and repair as needed and keep all lawn equipment neatly stored away.
Outside of house: Wash the outside walls of the house if you have siding, if house is painted, inspect all of the outside to see if any of the paint is peeling, blistering or bare spots and repaint as needed. The house numbers need to be clearly visible, if not they need to be repaired, replaced or painted. If its needed paint or replace the mailbox or newspaper box (nothing is more degrading to a first impression as seeing a broken mailbox or newspaper holder). Take a ladder and clean debris from roof and gutters, repair or replace gutters that are broken, damaged or not hung properly and inspect roof for any damaged roof tiles, shingles or flashings. You really need to repair or replace and damaged screens and broken windows. Make sure to check that the door bells work and is in good repair, check that all outside lights work (especially any lights in an entrance) and put a 100 watt light bulb in all of the outside fixtures.
Garage and Storage sheds: Clean out the clutter in the garage and any storage sheds you may have. Look to see if garage and storage sheds look full, if they do, rent a storage unit and pack away all the clutter, keep only what you use weekly in the garage or storage sheds. You will probably need to buy some garage floor cleaner to clean up any oil spots from garage floor. I hope you understand the importance of the first impression and how critical it is in selling your home. The curb appeal, first impression or what ever you want to call it, has a great deal of influence on the buyers. I have experienced the embarrassment of trying to show a home and the yard is a mess or the outside of the house is not kept in good repair and the buyers decide not to even get out of the car and view the inside of a home. Several appraisers that I work with told me on several occasions that part of their evaluation of a property was based on how the outside of the house appeared. If the yard and outside was unkempt, sometimes they do not even get out of the car let alone go inside.