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A Favorable First Impression: Getting a Home Ready to Sell Quickly

If you’ve ever tried to sell a house in stagnant or sluggish market conditions, you probably know that you can wait quite a while for a serious buyer to come along. The more you can do to transform your home quickly into a desirable, must-have property, the greater the likelihood you won’t sit on it for months wondering what’s wrong. Getting a home ready to sell quickly means upgrading, replacing, and cleaning key features that make a real difference in your property’s visual appeal. Fortunately, you can make it happen without spending a bundle of money on projects that may or may not pay off.

Don’t Skimp on the Cleaning

First things first: Your home simply will not sell if people think it’s dirty. So, before you even think about scheduling your first open house, you need to get down to business. Scrub everything — including the tops of cabinets and ceiling fans — to ensure your house looks immaculate. If necessary, hire a professional cleaning service to get your house sparkling in no time, though remember to budget for this expense; a house cleaning in Solon, Ohio, for example, costs between $120 and $225 – depending on the size of the home and amount of work to be done. That said, it’s a small price to pay for a sparkling home.

If you have kids, keeping the house in great shape takes a little extra work. A handheld vacuum, one that’s easy to use and store, will help you address any small messes left behind by your family or visitors.

A Homey Entrance

First impressions are very important when you’re trying to win over a prospective buyer. The outside of your home has to be bright, well-cared-for, and attractive (that’s curb appeal), but so does your entrance. Repaint the front door if it’s showing signs of wear and tear, plant colorful flowers around the porch or stairs, and take down those chipped and dingy address numbers and replace them with shiny, reflective ones. For many people, the entryway is a place to take off shoes, toss keys, let mail pile up, and drop umbrellas on the floor. Make sure all of the usual entryway “debris” is picked up and put away where it belongs. Consider repainting your foyer or entry hallway with a nice, neutral shade to give it that clean and fresh look that always makes a good impression on buyers.

The Nose Knows

You may have become oblivious to the odors in your home, but a discriminating buyer surely won’t be. Pets, stale cooking odors, lingering cigarette or cigar smoke, and stale smells from your HVAC venting will make visitors crinkle up their noses and head for the front door. People may be able to overlook a dust bunny or a chipped baseboard, but an overpowering odor hitting them right inside the front door will be a lot more difficult to forget. Neutralize odors the natural way by using scentless odor absorbers. Covering orders with scented candles and sprays, just makes the situation worse.

Natural Light

Open the curtains – the more sunlight you can let in, the better! Natural light has a way of accentuating a home’s best features and giving it a comfortable, lived-in feel. The right window treatment, which includes valances, shades, curtains, drapes or blinds, has the capacity to transform the look and feel of an entire room, including making it feel taller and bigger. Whatever look you go with should emphasize natural light as much as possible.

Cabinet Appeal

Making your kitchen pop is an excellent way to grab a buyer’s attention. Most people are anxious to check out the kitchen, which is the focal point of most houses. If your cabinets are looking worn, consider a deep clean or refreshing them with a wood revitalizing product found at your local home improvement store.

Focus on upgrade projects that are low-cost and high-impact when preparing your home to sell quickly. Think like a buyer and consider what would make you want to buy your property and what might discourage you. Remember, first impressions mean a lot.

This article was written by Suzie Wilson.

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