First impressions are lasting impressions. You will want to make sure the buyers looking at your home are left with the best possible impression. A house that is “well polished” appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal.

Your REALTOR® is familiar with buyers’ and can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made and which are most effective. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice.

Exterior and Curb Appeal

When preparing to put your home up for sale, your first concern should be the home’s exterior. If the outside, or “curb appeal” looks good, people will more than likely want to see what’s on the inside.

Here are some tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal to buyers:

•   House in good repair

•   House number is easy to read

•   Eaves troughs, down spouts and soffits in good repair

•   Garage/car port clean and tidy

•   Litter picked up

•   Cracked or broken window panes are replaced

•   Lawns and hedges cut and trimmed and watered, gardens weeded and edged

•   Walks shoveled and salted

•   Boot tray inside front door

•   Front door painted

•   Doorbell and door hardware in good repair

•   Porch and foyer clean and tidy

Interior Appeal

You want to make your home look as spacious, bright and clean as possible. It should also look neutral. Remove your personal and sentimental objects so buyers can begin to imagine living there.

Here are some tips to enhance your home’s interior appeal to buyers:

•   Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter.

•   Rent storage pods or a garage and move excess furniture out, creating a more spacious look.

•   Remove the less frequently used, and even daily-used items from kitchen counters, closets, basement and attic to make these areas more spacious.

•  Chipped plaster and paint touched-up and replaced

•  Doors and cupboards are aligned and close properly

•  Leaky taps and toilets repaired

•  Burned out light bulbs replaced

•   Mirrors, fixtures, and taps cleaned and polished

•   Seals around tubs and basins in good repair

•   Floors cleaned, garbage containers empty

•   Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy

•   Appliances cleaned, especially if they are included in the sale

•   Countertops neat and polished

•   All lights turned on during showings

•   Air conditioner turned on in warm weather, and heat turned up during cold weather

•   Fresh air in house

•   Fireplace lit in cooler weather

•   Halls and stairs cleaned

•   Drapes opened during daylight

•   Carpets freshly vacuumed and cleaned if necessary

•   Jewelry and valuables locked safely away or taken with you

•   Valuable property, such as objects of art, vases and figurines out of reach, out of sight, or locked away

•   Pets absent where possible, or contained during the showing, and litter boxes cleaned.