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Preparing Your House--Exterior

preparing to sell a houseThe first step in preparing the exterior of your house--a buyer's first introduction to it--is to take a clear-headed look at the house from the street. Stand at the curb and look at your house as a buyer might. What stands out and catches your eye? The beautiful landscaping and the new roof? Or does something else strike you? The faded exterior paint? The ruts in the driveway? The 2 missing shutters? Remember, this is how your home will "introduce" itself to a potential buyer. If the appeal isn't there, they will likely move on to the next available house, no matter how beautiful the interior of your house may be!

If you need major improvements or renovations to your house, do them
before you put it on the market. The average buyer simply does not have the "vision" necessary to see the job done (if you are planning to do the improvements prior to closing). If you are attempting to sell the house as a "fixer-upper" be aware that even though many buyers say that this is what they want, when confronted with the prospect of actually buying one, they often run for the hills!

If you are in need of a contractor for improvements or renovations, we have found a great source in
ImproveNet. They have data on over 600,000 contractors throughout the U.S.and have screened them for such items as licensing, professional recommendations, credit and legal. You can find a reliable contractor at the ImproveNet web site.

Exterior Preparation

Overall appearance: Remove any junk or clutter from the yard. This includes tree limbs and leaves, but especially goes for junk cars or parts, lawn tractors, etc.

Overall appearance: If the exterior of the house is dirty or moldy, powerwash it. If it is in need of paint, get competitive bids if you can't do it yourself.

Grass: If possible, reseed any bare areas of the lawn.

Landscaping: Trim all shrubbery and plantings. Trim trees if necessary, especially dead limbs.

Driveway: If the driveway is stone and looking lean, add a coat of gravel. If it is asphalt, consider resealing.

Decks and porches: Powerwash and seal, stain or paint.

Gutters and downspouts: Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear and functioning properly.

Lights: Make sure that all exterior lights are operational.

Landscaping: If the season is right, plant colorful flowers where appropriate.

Landscaping: Add mulch to planting beds and around trees. An inexpensive but very effective way of freshening the look of the yard.

Windows: Make sure the exterior (and the interior) of windows is clean and operational.

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Preparing the interior--

Preparing the interior--
room by room

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