If you are in a market with lots of homes for sale but few buyers, the best advice is to put your home in the best possible condition. That way, you won't lose a buyer due to the condition of the property when an offer is submitted. Thus, even some major repairs such as replacing a leaky roof may be needed.
Next, work on the curb appeal of the home. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow the grass, clean up any debris, and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door.
Other quick fixes that don't cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your home include:
- Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
- Be sure that the doorbell works.
- Clean and freshen up rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings.
- Make sure that bathrooms and kitchens are spotless.
- Organize closets.
- Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work.
- Replace leaky faucets and frayed cords.
- Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty box.
- Use air freshener or, better yet, bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the house smells inviting.
- Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house.
- Turn on the interior lights and exterior lights if it is dusk or later.
- Turn the radio on low.
- Take out the garbage and anything with an odor (dish rags? sponges?)
- Dry the basins and sink and put any discards in the washing machine.
- Put pets in the garage in a carrier (with sign on the door) or take them for a walk.
- Take children to the park or the ice cream store.
- Leave! Sellers mean well, but their presence can do more harm than good, so leave the house and help the agent who will try to sell it for you.
- If possible, avoid cooking around the time visitors are expected. This may be a good night to take the family to the local pizza house to avoid the mess and odors.
- Call your agent to after the showing and retain the business card for your agent.