From experience, Realtors® know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, then what they can't see has probably also been maintained.
In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive "polishes" and "touch-ups" to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen.
Maximizing Interior Appeal
Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter and personal affects. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
Clear The Clutter
Remove the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyway, go ahead and pack up some items or consider holding a garage sale.
Fresh Coat Of Paint
If necessary, repaint dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
Repair Cracks & Holes
Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
Replace Broken Windowpanes/ Moldings
Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
Inspect & Repair Systems
Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
Buy showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
Spruce Up The Kitchen
Spruce up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
Maximizing Exterior and Curb Appeal
Here are some ideas for optimizing the external appeal of your home.
Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly. Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
Check For Cracks
Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
Clean and align gutters.
Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
Consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.