Prepare your home to put on market is important to your success. If you pay some attention and take the time to make some cosmetic changes, you could net more money at closing. The following simple steps will help you getting top dollar for your home:
1. Remove clutter and organize the house
You properly have accumulated a lot of clutter over the years. You should go room by room and clear everything out to make space. People won't pay top dollars for a house with too much stuff.
2. Minor cosmetic repair
This should be done only when you have done the first step. You can see better what should be repaired and what should be replaced. Fresh coat of paint is suggested. Change door knobs, wallplates and light fixtures would help on this step.
3. Home staging
You might not know that you can make the room look bigger by rearrange the furniture the right way. I.E: when you pull the couches away from walls, you would make the appreance of depth. don't put too much personal stuff on wall and cabinets. If you have friends or family members who are good at this, ask for help. If not, you can stop by some model homes and learn the way they do it.
4. Kitchen and bathrooms need to look great
Most people pay close attention in these rooms. If you have leak, take care of it right away. Plumbing fixtures should work great or get replaced. Doors and cabinets are able to close properly. If you are in higher end area and have some money available, I would recommend to upgrade the kitchen if you wish to get more money for the house.
5. Doors and windows must be working
Test and make sure all the doors and windows are working the way they should. Clean them if dirty and change hardwares if needed. How do you feel if you go to a house and the front door or back door is hard to lock? Sometimes you only need to spray WD-40 to make it works right.
6.Pets and Odors
I know you love your pets, but your buyer might have a different opinion. You don't want to have the smell on your carpet or anywhere in the house. You should have a certain area for your pets in your house and keep litter boxes fresh and clean. Vinegar can help remove the smell very well and you should use air refresher where needed. Shampoo your carpet to remove all the odors and you will be glad you do it.
7. Yard work and lawn care
You should take care your lawn and water often in summer. Get your landscape with some nice tree and flowers and put new mulch. People see your front yard before they come into the house, so you really want to impress them.
8. Hire professional when needed
You might want to save money by doing things yourself and I hope you can do everything nicely. If not, you should find professinal help in the area that you are not good at. One time, I wanted to save money for a flip house. I tried to do the yard myself and it took me a whole day to do a horrible job. Then, I ended up hiring a professional landscaper and he got it done cheaper for less time because he had all the tools and used them well. From then, I learn to be more efficiency with my time by not doing everything and I hope you would do the same.