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Preparing Your Home for Sale: A Checklist

  • Use "home wash" (a hose attachment that is available at any home improvement store) to clean the outside of the house.

  • Clean rain gutters as well as outside windows and screens.

  • Make sure the front door is inviting. Paint it if needed. Also, replace any outdated exterior lighting fixtures.

  • Buy new house numbers if the old ones are dated or faded. Be sure buyers can see the new ones from the curb.

  • Buy a new welcome mat.

  • Eliminate half of your belongings - clutter can cost you a sale. Rent a storage unit or portable pod for extraneous pieces of furniture or knickknacks. Another idea is to ask a friend if you can borrow some space in his or her garage.

  • Organize all closets and drawers. Buyers might look there.

  • Make any necessary repairs so that buyers don't have to add that to their mental list of post-purchase expenses.

  • Rearrange furniture to make rooms appear as large as possible.

  • Make every surface shine, from ceiling fans to baseboards. Don't forget interior windows, mirrors, and floors.

  • Scrub every inch of the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Depersonalize each room, removing photo frames and posters or artwork.

  • Buy new linens and pillows if necessary. Be certain they are a neutral color.

  • Buy an air neutralizer and spray it often.

  • Let go emotionally of your home, and get ready for an offer!

Courtesy of Sabrina Soto, home-staging expert and host of HGTV's Get It Sold

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