Spring Cleaning 101: Get your home ready for buying season
BY Keith Loria
Monday, April 23, 2012
4/23/12 at 3:48 PM
Now that spring has sprung, homeowners across the country are getting serious about preparing their homes for sale. If putting your home on the market is at the top of your to-do list this season, be sure to carve out some time to do some serious spring cleaning. Not only will a thorough cleaning make your home stand out from the crowd, it will also force you to get rid of the clutter that has accumulated during the winter months so that prospective buyers can see everything your home has to offer.
Reducing clutter is one of the first pieces of advice you’ll get from your Realtor. By cleaning out your home and getting rid of the clutter, you’ll set the stage to attract prospective buyers. Take the time to go through all your closets and bag up all the clothes that don’t fit, are out of style or that you simply don’t wear anymore and donate them. You can even put together a garage sale with any old books, toys your kids no longer play with and anything else that you don’t need.
Be sure to take care of the outside of the home as well so that your home offers a good first impression to prospective buyers. Curb appeal is even more important since house hunters are more likely to spend more time outside looking at the exterior of the house and the property itself. Make sure the lawn is well-maintained and free of leaves, the grass is mowed and the hedges are trimmed. You can even buy some colorful flowers and put fresh mulch in the flowerbeds to spruce up the landscaping. If there are any bare spots in the grass, reseed it. Make sure to also clean your gutters and clear your yard of debris.
While you’re outside, take advantage of the nice weather and power wash your driveway, walkway, siding and deck. Not only does power washing remove layers and years of dirt and grime from stone and cement, it also gets rid of mildew stains that may have accumulated during the winter. Power washing the porch, a fence or even the deck will make the home instantly seem cleaner. The last thing you want prospective buyers to see is a dingy looking house, as this will give the impression that you haven’t properly maintained the home.
Don’t forget to make sure all the windows are clean as well. While a Realtor may tell you that homes show better with the blinds or curtains up, this will not be true if the windows are dirty. A clean window not only brings more light into a room, it allows buyers the chance to get a clear picture of the view from their potential new home. Clean both the inside and outside of all windows until they are streak free and spotless.
Pay close attention to the little things that might draw the eye of a prospective homebuyer. Go around your home with a pad and pencil and dissect each room for things such as small holes in the wall where a painting used to hang, outlets that are missing a casing or doorknobs that are loose and squeaky. Also, be sure to check all of the caulking around sinks, faucets and tubs.
Courtesy of RISMedia
A Realtor may tell you that homes show better with the blinds or curtains up, but this will only be true if the windows are clean. WDG/Shutterstock