Sweep the paths, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden, and clear papers, debris, kids’ toys, and the like from the yard, front steps, and verandah/balcony. In general, make sure the house has maximum street appeal.
With a quick trip to the nursery, you can have blooming, potted plants outside your front door-and take them with you when you move!
Clean the windows inside and out; make sure the paint (both exterior and interior) is not chipped or flaking.
Make sure that the doorbell works. If it doesn’t, fix it!
Clean, tidy up, and make attractive all rooms and furnishings, floors, walls, and ceilings-it’s especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Also make sure hallways are clear.
Organize and make free from clutter all closets, cupboards, and surfaces. Box up all but a few knicknacks and family photos-they can distract the potential buyers (use those plastic boxes such as the ones from Kmart – then you can easily identify the contents).
Make sure that the basic appliances and fixtures work-fix leaky taps and frayed cords.
Leave window shades up about halfway and turn on a few lights, so there is sufficient-but not glaring-light.
Make sure the house smells good-there are many room deodorisers available on the market today. Some you plug in, some are sprays, or try your local health food shop for some aromatic oils. Hide the kitty litter box and eliminate any offensive odours-whether from animals, cigarette smoke, burnt food, strong perfume, or pesticides.
Put vases of flowers throughout the house-on the kitchen or dining room table, the fireplace mantel, coffee table in the living room, and other locations. Silk flower arrangements are a cost effective alternative if you don’t wish to purchase fresh flowers each fortnight.
Pleasant (but unobtrusive) background music is a nice touch. Make sure there are no loud or irritating noises, such as heavy metal rock blaring from your teenager’s stereo.
Take a hard look at your furniture. That faded old armchair may be better off hidden-and the room will look bigger without it. Perhaps you should consider hiring some furniture to give your home a “display” look and feel.
Remember a more attractive house may mean an extra several thousand dollars in your pocket!
Points to consider for a safe home
Loose steps-fix them.
Slick areas, such as front steps-put down rubber mats.
Long electrical and phone cords-make sure they are out of the way.
Unsafe electrical wires and fixtures-replace them.
Potentially dangerous areas in yards-block them off.
Decks and pools-child-proof them.
Medicine, cleaning supplies, or household chemicals that children could get into-lock them up.
Pets-put them in an enclosure, even if they have always been friendly; if they are likely to be noisy, arrange for them to take a brief holiday.
Excess furniture or clutter-store it elsewhere