Thinking of selling your home? “First impressions are made when buyers see photos of your home online, and they won’t come see the house if the pictures are not appealing” says Laura Miller, a broker with Houlihan Lawrence, who focuses on Scarsdale and Edgemont communities. “Meticulously maintained, staged homes positively affect buyers. Even small enhancements can make a big difference.” Below, Miller shares her top tips for making the best impression and getting the most showings from potential buyers:
- Mow the lawn weekly and trim shrubs and trees near paths and front steps.
- Make sure grass is watered properly in warm months so it stays green.
- When it snows, clear driveway, walk and steps completely for showings.
- Keep the yard clean of toys, leaves and debris, weed the beds and plant seasonal flowers or put pots of flowers on front steps and back deck/patio.
- Fix broken fencing, windows and screens. Check that railings are not loose.
- Consider giving the exterior, doors and shutters a quick coat of paint to freshen it up if the paint looks dull, cracked or chipped. Get fresh doormats for all entries.
- Replace missing or warped roofing. Fix loose slates/stones on walkways and patios. Re-grout paths.
- Polish any brass door-knocker, mail slot or light fixtures by the entry.
- Sweep and organize garage and any sheds on the property.
- Touch up or repaint where needed to remove dark colors or remove wallpaper and give a coat of paint in a very light color. It will brighten up the whole house.
- Remove any dark curtains or sheers that cover windows to improve light coming into the house.
- Fix dripping faucets and replace or repair fixtures in the kitchen, bathrooms or utility room as needed.
- Replace badly worn or stained carpeting. Polish hardwood floors if dull or badly scratched.
- Make sure no doors, windows or cabinets stick. Tighten loose doorknobs. Keep stairways clean and uncluttered.
- Clean attic, basement and crawl space of clutter – discard junk and reorganize what’s left.
- Give basement walls (and floor) a quick coat of paint if it is dark and dreary or peeling.
- Replace dark bedspreads with fresh white coverlets to make bedrooms feel fresh and bright.
- Update throw pillows so they are clean and contemporary
- Replace dark rugs with light rugs
- Declutter and organize all closets to make them appear more spacious.
- Repair any damaged or discolored caulking around tubs, sinks and showers, declutter vanity tops and other bathroom surfaces. Consider re-glazing old tubs.
- Get inexpensive but new towels, shower curtains and liners, and fresh soaps.
- Accentuate kitchen counter space. Find a place to store most items and keep countertops clean and sparkling.
- Wash the windows, open all curtains and drapes and use high watt bulbs – dark rooms have minimal appeal! (bright rooms have maximum appeal!)
Miller says it’s imperative that the house look as spacious as possible. ”Donate or discard unwanted items now, not when you are preparing to move.” Miller suggests doing a deep clean before the house hits the market and “place orchids (which are long lasting) or fresh flowers around the house to make it look appealing for buyers.”