You don’t get a second chance to make a good impression! A home that stands out among similarly priced houses is the one that sells. The following suggestions for preparing your home to sell are worth the special attention:
Lawn carefully mowed, edged, fertilized and watered.
Trees and shrubs trimmed; flower beds edged, weeded and cultivated.
Driveways and walks free of snow or grass clippings.
Exterior house paint in good condition and clean, especially the front door.
All door locks open properly and easily.
Roof in good condition.
Screens and screen doors repaired.
All exterior lighting in working condition, with fresh bulbs.
Absence of clutter in yard and driveway.
Walls clean and unmarked, preferably freshly painted with neutral colors.
Windows clean inside and out.
All light fixtures working and fresh bulbs in each.
Plumbing in good repair.
No cooking, smoking, pet or other objectionable odors.
Sinks and tubs stain-free; faucets in good repair.
Caulking in tubs and showers in good repair.
All clutter removed from closets, attic, basement, garage and other storage areas.
Ask your REALTOR® what should be boxed up to give your home a more spacious look.
Showing Your Home
When your home is to be shown, we will always attempt to make an appointment with you, giving you as much advance notice as possible. To help make the best impression during showings, we suggest you:
Open draperies and curtains.
Turn on enough lights to brighten every corner, day and night.
Remove dirty dishes.
Rooms dusted, vacuumed and clutter-free.
Kitchens and baths sparkling clean; no clutter on counter-tops.
Noise is distracting. Be sure TV and radios are turned off, although soft background music is acceptable.
It’s best to keep pets out of the house. Even the friendliest pets become anxious when strangers appear.
Put away valuables such as jewelry and cash, or remove completely.
Never enter into a conversation with a prospect. Let the REALTOR® who is showing your home answer any questions the prospective buyers may have. It is best for you to leave while the house is being shown.
If a prospective buyer comes by unexpectedly without a broker, get their name and phone number. FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, DO NOT SHOW THE HOME. Have unescorted buyers call your REALTOR® for an appointment.
Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC based internal medicine physician. They are often referred to as "The Danas".