Freeport 815-235-2111 — Galena 779-214-0461 — Galena Territory 815-777-3100

The snow is finally gone and you are thinking of getting your home on the market. How do you prepare your home to look its best? Here are some easy tips that will have your home looking market ready and hopefully get you a quick sale.

The first step to getting your house ready to sell is a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering. By thorough cleaning I mean wash windows, clean carpets and curtains or blinds, wash light fixtures, clean moldings and baseboards, mop floors, clean cabinets and appliances and thoroughly clean bathrooms including shower walls and doors. In other words, all the jobs that most people have been meaning to do but never quite got to! If budget allows, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to take care of all these jobs quickly. A clean house is perceived as being well cared for by buyers.

Now that it is sparkling clean you will need to de clutter as much as possible. Take everything that is non- essential off your kitchen counters, pack up out of season clothing to allow more space in your closets, minimize Knick knacks, collectibles and family photos so buyers can visualize their family in your space. Try to reduce the amount of large furniture pieces if possible so the rooms appear larger and less cluttered. Pack everything away in bins or boxes neatly stacked in the basement or garage.

Next tackle those minor repairs you have been putting off like doors that stick, torn window screens, dripping or leaking faucets, missing or cracked grout and burned out light bulbs. These are small items but if not addressed it can make buyers feel like routine maintenance hasn’t been done,making them apprehensive about larger repairs that weren’t completed as needed like roofs and furnaces that can lead to big ticket expenses.

Pull together a file of receipts for repairs you have made or replacements of any mechanicals, appliances, HVAC, roofs, plumbing or electrical items. If you have instruction manuals, warranties or service records add those as well. A buyer will appreciate the records and know that you have properly maintained and cared for your home.

Don’t forget about your home’s exterior. Curb appeal is very important and is often overlooked by sellers. A buyer will most often drive by your home before making an appointment to look at it and what they see on the outside may determine whether or not they want to look at the inside. Keep the front entrance as uncluttered as possible. Maintain your grass, shrubs and plants as needed. Make sure you don’t have peeling or chipping paint, missing roof shingles or broken steps. Draw attention to your front entrance by painting your front door a stand out color, adding a fresh welcome mat, house numbers and some colorful plants or flowers.

Finally, consider having a home inspection done before you list your house. Most buyers today will want to do an inspection as a contingency of an offer. If you have already had an inspection done, you can get any items of concern repaired or replaced. That way you won’t risk losing an offer because the buyer is gets scared off by a lengthy list off repairs or is requesting a price adjustment that is out of line with the actual cost to make the repairs. If you have already addressed anything the inspection turns up you shouldn’t have any surprises down the road. A home inspection can run anywhere between $300-$500 but it can save you from expensive and maybe deal ending problems at offer time.

Selling a home in today’s market can be challenging but if you follow these steps before listing your home you will be presenting your home at its best and that should result in a fast sale at top dollar for all your hard work.

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