In Six Essential Steps

Step One: Make Cosmetic Improvements
An attractive, clean and tidy appearance will enhance your home’s appeal.

> Keep the lawn mowed & walks cleared
> Wash the windows squeaky clean
> Open the shades and curtains to create a bright, inviting atmosphere
> Declutter the house, especially the kitchen and bathrooms

Step Two: Pay Attention to Details
Fixing the minor things can go a long way in making that important first impression.

> Repair leaky faucets
> Tighten loose door knobs
> Replace damaged screens
> Replace broken panes of glass – cloudy sealed-pane units can often be replaced inexpensively, and will drastically improve the appearance of a window or patio door
> Replace burned-out light bulbs & broken light fixtures
> Secure loose railings
> Patch small holes in walls and ceilings and repaint
> Repair or replace faded or peeling wallpaper

Step Three: Make Maintenance Improvements
The maintenance improvements listed below are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet can substantially improve a home’s appearance (value), efficiency and comfort

> Trim trees and shrubs
> Apply new caulking and weather-stripping as needed around windows and doors
> Clean gutters of debris and leaves, repair or replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts and extensions to ensure proper drainage
> Replace bathroom caulk or grout where necessary
> Ventilate & dehumidify closed basements and crawl spaces
> Grade soil around the house to prevent pooling of water next to the foundation
> Replace dirty filters in the heating and ventilating systems
> Have the heating and ventilating systems professionally serviced

Step Four: Take safety precautions
Protect your home and its occupants from danger. Good ideas that create a great impression:

> Install quality smoke detectors
> Install quality carbon-monoxide detector
> Ensure adequate outdoor lighting shows off house too
> ‘GFCI’ outlets outdoors and in wet locations such a bath & laundry areas
> Keep the stairwells tidy and free of debris and obstructions including around the electrical panel and furnace
> Keep flammables and combustibles away from the furnace and other utility areas
> If you have direct entry from the garage to the interior of the home, consider installing a hydraulic or other form of auto-closure device on the door.
> Check the tension on garage doors

Step Five: Check the major systems
A primary concern for home buyers is the condition of the basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers have great fear of the cost to repair these critical areas:

> Roof structure and covering
> Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space
> Central heating and air conditioning systems
> Electrical system
> Plumbing system

Step Six: Prepare for the buyer’s inspection
Find the various house records that can be used to answer questions from the purchaser and their inspector:

> Appliance receipts, service records and warranties
> Age of major components such as the roof, furnace, air-conditioner, etc.
> Major component warranties
> Heating, water and electric bills from at least the past 12 months