50 Strategies For Maximizing Your Home-Appeal


                      www.LedermanInc.com/Home-Appeal




           Copyr...
** 50 Strategies For Maximizing Your HOME-APPEAL **

                                    Table of Contents

Section       ...
Section                                            Page

Sprucing Up The Outside Of Your Home (continued)     12

36.    O...
Helpful Information For Prospective Buyers

  1. Real estate listing and floor plan: Make up a fact sheet for the house (s...
the prospective buyer make a better decision on how much they can afford to
   carry in payments each month and make the n...
buyers look at many homes so it is difficult for them to remember which home
had which features. This list will also send ...
Creating A Warm, Positive And Inviting Mood Inside The House

  9. Preparation: Take the time to prepare. Do not schedule ...
Benefit: Making sure that all bulbs are in working order may seem trivial but
   remember that you do not want a prospecti...
and fresh guest towels in the bathroom gives the room a cleaner and more
   appealing look.

   Tip: Since you will be in ...
The Little Things Most Often Overlooked Inside The House

  20. Furniture and Countertops: Remove all personal items, knic...
a prospective buyer is interested in the functionality and amenities of your home,
   not what you ate for your last meal....
Benefit: Mirrors show many things besides your reflection. There is no need to
   potentially introduce a negative impress...
Sprucing Up The Outside Of Your Home

  34. Lawn: Cut the lawn more frequently than normal – every 4-5 days during
      g...
Benefit: First, many pool covers become catch basins for dirt and leaves and
   eventually start looking unsightly. Second...
44. Front Door & Entranceway: Keep the front door and entranceway clean by
    sweeping the entranceway and wiping the doo...
When Less Is Best - Store Your Goods

  47. Storage: Rent a storage unit on a short-term basis and store all non-essential...
Final Preparation

  50. Review your HOME-APPEAL report again: Read over and review the entire
      HOME-APPEAL inspectio...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 1 of 10

INTERIOR

Kitchen
      • Clear off unused appliances from countertops (toasters, blender...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 2 of 10

Living Room –Family Room – Dining Room
      • Vacuum/clean tile or carpeting
      • Fre...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 3 of 10

Master Bedroom
     • Reduce clutter
     • Thin out closets
     • Wash/repair doorknobs...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 4 of 10

Kids’ Bedrooms
      • Reduce clutter on all top surfaces (dresser, desk, nightstands)
  ...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 5 of 10

Bathrooms
     • Clear off vanity/sink of personal belongings
     • Clean vanity top
   ...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 6 of 10

Entrance Hall
     • Door bell functioning properly
     • Interior of door painted and c...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 7 of 10

Garage
     •   De clutter with items neatly stored in shelving or wall units
     •   Co...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 8 of 10

Laundry – Utility Room
     • Clean appliances
     • Clean floor
     • De clutter room
...
EXTERIOR

                        MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 9 of 10

Front – Back – Side Yards
      • Keep lawn freshly mow...
MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 10 of 10

Pool Deck
      • Remove pool deck clutter
      • Clean pool
      • Repair screening
 ...
Walk-Around Checklist

KITCHEN                          COMMENTS

Ceilings

Cabinet Top Shelving

Lighting & Fans

Walls &...
Walk-Around Checklist

LIVING ROOM                    COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

DINING ROOM                    COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

FAMILY ROOM                    COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

ENTRANCE                       COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

MASTER BEDROOM                 COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

BEDROOM 1                      COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

BEDROOM 2                      COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

BEDROOM 3                      COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

BEDROOM 4                      COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

DEN/OFFICE                     COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


S...
Walk-Around Checklist

MASTER BATHROOM                COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


D...
Walk-Around Checklist

BATHROOM 1                     COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


D...
Walk-Around Checklist

BATHROOM 2                     COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


D...
Walk-Around Checklist

BATHROOM 3                     COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


D...
Walk-Around Checklist

LAUNDRY/UTILITY RM.             COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting & Fans


Walls & Molding


Windows


...
Walk-Around Checklist

GARAGE                         COMMENTS

Ceilings


Lighting


Walls


Windows


Shelving


Doors

...
Walk-Around Checklist

EXTERIOR & YARD                     COMMENTS

Lawn


Trees


Shrubs & Flowers


Adornments


Light ...
Walk-Around Checklist

POOL                            COMMENTS

Pool (Visual)


Deck


Screen, Doors &
Windows
Lighting &...
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Home appeal - 50 strategies

  1. 1. 50 Strategies For Maximizing Your Home-Appeal www.LedermanInc.com/Home-Appeal Copyright 2003, Lederman & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. This report is the property of Lederman & Associates, Inc. No reproduction, duplication, distribution, sale, resale or use by anyone other than the original recipient is permitted without the express written permission of Lederman & Associates, Inc. This information is provided “as-is” without any kind of warranty or guarantee.
  2. 2. ** 50 Strategies For Maximizing Your HOME-APPEAL ** Table of Contents Section Page Helpful Information For Prospective Buyers 3 1. Real estate listing and floor plan 3 2. Pictures of your home 3 3. Municipal Information 3 4. Electric and Water Bills 3 5. Homeowners Association Documents 4 6. Homeowners Association Dues 4 7. Warranties 4 8. Upgrades List 4 Creating A Warm, Positive And Inviting Mood Inside The House 6 9. Preparation 6 10. Fans 6 11. Flowers 6 12. Music 6 13. Lighting 6 14. Air Conditioner 7 15. Window Shades 7 16. Scents 7 17. Bathroom 7 18. Children 8 19. Pets 8 The Little Things Most Often Overlooked Inside the House 9 20. Furniture and Countertops 9 21. Couch and Chair Cushions 9 22. Carpets, Rugs and Floors 9 23. Beds 9 24. Kitchen Sink 9 25. Refrigerator 10 26. Dishwasher 10 27. Oven 10 28. Garbage 10 29. Mirrors 10 30. Toilet 11 31. Shower Curtain or Door 11 32. Houseplants 11 33. Laundry 11 Sprucing Up The Outside Of Your Home 12 34. Lawn 12 35. Shrubs 12 1
  3. 3. Section Page Sprucing Up The Outside Of Your Home (continued) 12 36. Outdoor Plants 12 37. Landscaping 12 38. Outside Flowers 12 39. Pool Cover 12 40. Pool Deck 13 41. Windows 13 42. Exterior Surfaces 13 43. Roof 13 44. Front Door & Entranceway 14 45. Driveway 14 46. Automobiles 14 When Less Is Best - Store Your Goods 15 47. Storage 15 48. Attic 15 49. Closets 15 Final Preparation 16 50. Review your HOME-APPEAL report again 16 Master Checklist 17-26 Walk-Around Checklist 27-45 2
  4. 4. Helpful Information For Prospective Buyers 1. Real estate listing and floor plan: Make up a fact sheet for the house (size, price, age of home, pool, waterfront, property size, etc.) and include a floor plan showing the dimensions of each room. Benefit: This is another visual aid that a prospective buyer can go home with and use in their decision making process. You want to make it easier for them to visualize your home and to determine whether they can “fit” in your home. If you do not have the original floor plan, you can easily create one with a pencil, some graph paper and a tape measure. Tip: Also helpful is a copy of your survey showing your property boundaries. This can be easily obtained at your Town or City Hall. 2. Pictures of your home: Take pictures of the exterior (front of house, pool, backyard) and interior (kitchen, family room, master bedroom) of your home and make copies (inexpensive reprints are available locally) available to prospective buyers. Benefit: If a prospective buyer does not make you an offer on the spot, you can help them remember your home by giving them pictures. This will keep your home fresh in their mind and will give them something visual to remember your house by as they go through their decision making process. Remember the old saying – out of sight, out of mind. Pictures can help counter this. 3. Municipal Information: Prepare a short summary of the area including local schools, parks, libraries, municipal services, and sports leagues. Benefit: Many prospective buyers are from another town, city or even state and probably don’t know much about the area they are looking in. They may have heard from a friend or relative that your city is a great place to live but don’t have many details. This list is especially important if they have children so that they can see the different recreational programs available to them. 4. Electric and Water Bills: Make copies of at least three recent bills, preferably one from the summer (August/September), one from winter (December/January) and one from springtime (April/May). Benefit: Many prospective buyers are unaware of the true cost of utilities in a home or are skeptical when sellers quote figures for their bills without showing a bill. Providing copies of your bills will give you added credibility and will send the message that you are up-front and not trying to hide anything. It may also help 3
  5. 5. the prospective buyer make a better decision on how much they can afford to carry in payments each month and make the negotiating process easier. Tip: If it makes you more comfortable, cover over your account numbers before making copies of bills. 5. Homeowners Association Documents: Familiarize yourself with and have a copy of your Homeowners Association documents available for review. Benefit: This will give a prospective buyer the opportunity to quickly see the rules of the road of the community and to make sure that they can live within the rules of the community. For you, the seller, the last thing you want is to negotiate a contract with a prospective buyer only to find out weeks later that the buyer has to back out because they cannot leave their boat on the driveway or on the lawn, etc. 6. Homeowners Association Dues: Make copies of your most recent statement. Benefit: Many prospective buyers are unaware that they may be buying a home in a community with a Homeowners Association and that they will incur a monthly or quarterly fee. Providing copies of your bill will help prospective buyers make a better decision on how much they can afford to carry in payments each month. It will also give you the opportunity to explain the benefits and amenities they will receive living in your community (e.g., guard gate, swimming pool, lawn service). 7. Warranties: Gather up all warranties on the home, appliances, fixtures or other permanent items that you will not be taking with you. Benefit: Prospective buyers are always concerned about the conditions of appliances and the general quality and soundness of the structure. The longer the term left on any warranties, the less concern the prospective buyer may have about that item. Items to check and see whether you have any warranty remaining are: refrigerator, oven/stove, microwave, garbage disposal, hot water heater, air conditioner, washer, dryer, pool & pool equipment, fans, and garage door openers. Newer homes may also still be covered by a builder’s warranty on the roof and other structural elements. 8. Upgrades List: Prepare an itemized list of upgrades and improvements you have made to the house since you bought it. Also include other upgrades that earlier owners or the builder included. Benefit: This is another visual aid a prospective buyer can go home with and use in their decision making process. The reason for this list is that prospective 4
  6. 6. buyers look at many homes so it is difficult for them to remember which home had which features. This list will also send the message to the prospective buyers that they are getting added value in this home as compared to a home with minimal upgrades. Upgrades to remember include tiling & wood flooring, pool, alarm system, solar hot water heater, high-capacity hot water heater, storm gutters, screened-in patio, decking, multi-zone and independent air conditioning units, new or remodeled kitchen cabinets/sinks/appliances, garage shelving, built-in wall units and bookcases, computer & home network wiring, in- house water treatment systems, etc. 5
  7. 7. Creating A Warm, Positive And Inviting Mood Inside The House 9. Preparation: Take the time to prepare. Do not schedule a viewing unless you will be home for at least one hour before to prepare the house. Benefit: You need this time to make sure your home is in top HOME-APPEAL condition before showing it to a prospective buyer. Make sure everything has been checked and put in its proper place and last-minute HOME-APPEAL items have been taken care of. Also use this time to mentally go over the highlights and major attributes of your home that you want to stress to the prospective buyers. An added bonus is you don’t have to worry about being late for the appointment due to traffic, your kid’s game running late, etc. as you have a built-in one hour cushion. 10. Fans: Turn the fans on low in every room. Benefit: This provides two benefits. First the movement of the fans focuses the buyer’s attention on the fact that you have working fans in some or all of your rooms. Secondly, fans moving at a slow speed give off a warm and relaxing feeling. Ever notice that many restaurants and bars have their fans moving ever so slowly to create a friendly ambiance. 11. Flowers: Place a small vase of fresh flowers in each room. Benefit: Fresh flowers are another visual aid that gives off a warm and welcoming feeling and will brighten up even the most plain or unexciting rooms. You can purchase low-cost vases at most dollar stores and inexpensive flowers at most supermarkets, discount stores or discount florists. You don’t need a whole bouquet in each room – buy just enough to put one or two flowers in the living room, dining room, kitchen and each bedroom and bathroom. 12. Music: Have an FM station or a CD softly playing classical or light instrumentals in each room. Benefit: This is another aid in setting a positive mood in the home. Soft background music playing in each room (living room, kitchen, family room, bedrooms) helps to separate the buyers from the interference of external noises such as street traffic, gardeners, etc. It also sends a signal of warmth and comfort, similar to the flowers and fans. 13. Lighting: Turn the lights on in every room and make sure that all light bulbs are in working order. 6
  8. 8. Benefit: Making sure that all bulbs are in working order may seem trivial but remember that you do not want a prospective buyer to receive any negative impressions during their visit to your home, even small ones like this. Turning the lights on in every room accomplishes two things; first it shows the prospective buyers that all permanent fixtures are in good working order. Secondly, it brightens up each room, which visually makes a room look larger that when it is dimly lit. 14. Air Conditioner: Set the air conditioner thermostat down to about 74-75 degrees. Benefit: The most obvious benefit to this is that it shows a prospective buyer that the air conditioning unit is in working condition and can satisfactorily cool the house. Secondly, you want the house to be at a comfortable temperature for the showing. You can be assured that if a prospective buyer feels warm or hot in your house, they will not concentrate on the features of your home but on what is wrong with your air conditioning system. Finally, in many houses, due to the orientation of the house and the time of day, some rooms are warmer than others. By setting the air conditioner down below what you normally would, the “warm” rooms will feel cooler to the prospective buyers than they would to you under normal circumstances. 15. Window Shades: Open partially or fully depending on time of day and sun exposure. Benefit: Similar to turning on the lights, the extra light brightens up each room which visually makes a room look larger than when it is dimly lit 16. Scents: Use scented candles or potpourri to freshen up the smell of your home. Benefits: Again, the objective is to set the most positive and relaxing mood inside the house. This is easily (and inexpensively) accomplished through scented candles or potpourri bowls, unless of course you have the time to bake fresh cookies or pies each time a prospective buyer comes to your home. Tip: Do not fry or cook foods that leave a lingering smell during the time period you are marketing your home. Smells such as fried fish; potatoes, etc. can linger in the home for several days. 17. Bathroom: Place fresh guest towels in all of the bathrooms. Benefit: Bathrooms tend to be stark and are one of the most overlooked rooms in the home by sellers when they prepare their home for viewing. Placing clean 7
  9. 9. and fresh guest towels in the bathroom gives the room a cleaner and more appealing look. Tip: Since you will be in the bathroom to put out the fresh guest towels, make sure that any other towels your family may use (e.g., shower, hand) are either hanging neatly or are out of site. 18. Children: Try to have the kids out of the house during a showing. Benefit: If at all possible, have the kids go to a neighbor, relative or friend. The main reason is so that you will not be distracted during the showing and can devote 100% of your attention to a prospective buyer. Also, having the kids out- of-the house minimizes the chances that the kids will inadvertently dirty up the bathroom, the kitchen sink, etc. while you are in the midst of the showing. 19. Pets: If possible, remove loose pets from your home during a showing. If not, crate or pen them if possible. Benefit: You do not know if the prospective buyer likes or is allergic to dogs or cats so you need to play it safe. A loose pet might jump up and bother a prospective buyer or worse than that, startle a young child and throw the whole showing into a negative mood. Nothing is worse for you than having to show the house to a prospective buyer who is distracted by a scared child. Tip: Do not lock the pet in a spare room, put them in a crate in the garage, on a chain outside or better yet, if you have older kids, kill two birds with one stone by having them take the pet for a walk. You want to assure that the family pet does not become a negative impression due to its scratching at a door, barking, etc. 8
  10. 10. The Little Things Most Often Overlooked Inside The House 20. Furniture and Countertops: Remove all personal items, knickknacks, newspapers, and old magazines from all table, dresser and countertops. Benefit: Clutter makes rooms look smaller and less inviting so the less mess you have laying out the better. Perception is reality and if a prospective buyer leaves your home with the impression that the home was messy – they may lose sight of all the other positives of your home. 21. Couch and Chair Cushions: Straighten and arrange your couch and chair cushions. Benefit: A visual tip that makes your home look more appealing. You would do this if your boss or mother-in-law were coming over for dinner so why wouldn’t you afford prospective buyers the same treatment. 22. Carpets, Rugs and Floors: Run the vacuum over all carpets, rugs and floors. Benefit: You want to catch all those last-minute stray pet hairs, food crumbs, etc. so that the prospective buyer views your flooring in the best possible manner. Tip: Sprinkle a little carpet freshener on your rugs and carpet to give them a fresh-smelling scent. 23. Beds: Make sure all beds are fully made up with fresh sheets and blankets or bedspreads. Benefit: Firstly, many bedrooms are undersized for the amount of furniture and goods that are placed in them. An unmade bed will make a room look unkempt and may add a negative impression to the showing. Secondly, we are all accustomed to the smells and scents of our own homes and rooms, but our natural smell may not be to another person’s liking. Fresh sheets will help provide a more neutral and pleasing smell to the room. Tip: Place fresh room deodorizers in every bedroom or spray a light mist of air freshener in every room right before a showing. 24. Kitchen Sink: Remove all pots & pans, dishes, glasses, silverware, etc. from the sink and drain board. Clean and dry the sink area. Benefit: A clean sink makes the sink area appear bigger than if it is full of dishes. A dry sink gives a cleaner and more visually appealing look. Remember, 9
  11. 11. a prospective buyer is interested in the functionality and amenities of your home, not what you ate for your last meal. 25. Refrigerator: Clean and organize the inside of the refrigerator and make sure there are no unsightly odors or scents. Benefit: No matter what size your refrigerator is, if it is well organized it will appear to be bigger than if it is cluttered. Also, by making sure that there are no bad smells in the refrigerator, you remove the possibility of a negative impression entering into the process when a prospective buyer looks inside your refrigerator. Tip: Do not forget to unclutter the outside of the refrigerator as well. Remove all magnets, pictures, shopping lists from the refrigerator doors. 26. Dishwasher: Run the dishwasher and empty it. Benefit: Visually, an empty dishwasher “fits” more dishes than a full dishwasher, at least to a prospective buyer’s eyes. Secondly, you do not want a prospective buyer to either see or smell the essence of last night’s dinner dishes that are sitting in the dishwasher. 27. Oven: Keep the interior of the oven and the stovetop clean and the glass oven window polished. Benefit: Cleanliness, or the appearance of cleanliness, is very important to prospective buyers. They do not want to see layers of crust or grease drippings baked-on the walls of the oven or the stovetop burners, etc. A secondary benefit is a clean stovetop/oven looks newer than a dirty one. Tip: Do not forget to touch-up any chips on the porcelain. Inexpensive porcelain paint is available at any home improvement store. 28. Garbage: Empty all garbage pails inside the house. Benefit: Garbage is exactly that – garbage. The best way to make sure that no odors, smells or unpleasant sights emanate from your garbage is to remove it from the house. Garbage never is a positive selling point. Tip: Don’t overlook the bathroom garbage as many personal hygiene items end up in these waste cans. 29. Mirrors: Clean all mirrors, especially those in the bathroom. 10
  12. 12. Benefit: Mirrors show many things besides your reflection. There is no need to potentially introduce a negative impression into the process as a prospective buyer walks into the bathroom and finds a mirror splattered with toothpaste or fingerprints, etc. 30. Toilet: Keep the toilet well cleaned and keep the lid on the toilet closed. Benefit: This tip is really self-explanatory but again is overlooked by many sellers. Prospective buyers do not want to or need to see an open toilet when they look at the bathroom. If they want to look, they will lift the lid themselves. Before a showing, do not assume that the toilet is clean or that the lid is down, especially if you have children in the house. Be cautious on this one and perform this check at the last moment. 31. Shower Curtain or Door: Open the shower door or curtain about halfway. Benefit: This allows a prospective buyer to look into the shower without feeling they are “prying” by having to open the door or curtain themselves. Tip: Make sure all showers and tubs are dry – water drops on the walls and floors of showers and tubs can make them appear to be dirty. 32. Houseplants: Keep all houseplants watered, fertilized and healthy. Benefit: The benefit of this is twofold. First, house plants help keep the air in your home fresher as part of their chemical and biological processes. Secondly, vibrant and healthy houseplants give off a visually positive and healthy feeling versus wilting and dying plants. 33. Laundry: Do not leave any dirty laundry on top of the washer or dryer or in plain view in the laundry room. Benefit: Very simply, prospective buyers are not interested in what you wear or what your dirty socks smell like. Tip: Store your dirty laundry in the washing machine. This gets it out of sight and the inside of the washing machine is one of the last places a prospective buyer is likely to look at during a showing. 11
  13. 13. Sprucing Up The Outside Of Your Home 34. Lawn: Cut the lawn more frequently than normal – every 4-5 days during growing season. Benefit: Your lawn never looks as good as right after it is cut with all the blades the same length. After a few days, the grass has grown at different rates and it starts to look less attractive and weeds begin to pop up again. Tip: Walk around the yard and make sure that your pets or other neighborhood pets have not left any “presents” on your lawn that a prospective buyer might “step into” during an outdoor walk around. 35. Shrubs: Keep all shrubs neatly trimmed. Benefit: Paying attention to your shrubs assures that your garden area will not become overgrown and will not take away from your homes curb appeal. 36. Outdoor Plants: Lightly sprinkle outdoor plants and flowers. Benefit: Ever notice how a shrub or flower looks with moisture drops hanging on its leaves – a very calming and positive image. An added benefit is that your flowers will perk up after being watered. 37. Landscaping: Add fresh mulch to the garden beds every three-to-four weeks. Benefit: Over time mulch beds harden, mulch decays and weeds start popping up in your garden. By sprinkling a little fresh mulch over your garden, you spruce it up with fresh color and aroma and you cover any weeds that might have begun to sprout up. 38. Outside Flowers: Plant fresh annuals and/or place pre-planted planters around the entranceway to your home and in the front garden. Benefit: If you do not plant colorful annuals throughout your garden, placing a few planters of colorful annuals near your entranceway will give your entranceway a fresh and appealing appearance. Greeting your prospective buyers with a splash of color as they enter your home will help set a positive impression for their visit inside. 39. Pool Cover: If you use a pool cover or solar blanket, remove it and store it neatly in the garage or out of site. 12
  14. 14. Benefit: First, many pool covers become catch basins for dirt and leaves and eventually start looking unsightly. Secondly, you do not want a prospective buyer to have to guess what your pool looks like (e.g., tile and diamondbrite color) or whether your pool is clean. Tip: Vacuum your pool before a showing and make sure the pump is running to keep the water circulating. If showing at night, turn the pool light on. 40. Pool Deck: Keep the pool deck and outside furniture clean and uncluttered. Benefit: Another area where less clutter gives the appearance of more space. Keeping the furniture clean also avoids allowing a negative impression to enter into the showing process. 41. Windows: Clean all windows and screens, both inside and outside. Benefit: Similar to the mirrors in your home, dirty windows and screens may add a negative impression to the showing process. Tip: For a cleaner look from both the inside and the outside, remove any window screens from windows that are within a screened-in enclosure (e.g., screened in patio or pool area). 42. Exterior Surfaces: Keep all outside walls, trim, doors and gutters clean from mildew and mold. Benefit: Mold, mildew, and algae on the outside of your home are not only unsightly but potentially can harbor unhealthy bacteria. No reason to add a negative impression to your home. Tip: Be careful using a pressure cleaner on dark-paint areas as the water spray might cause the paint to fade or chalk. Better to try and sponge clean the area carefully with a soft sponge and a dilute mixture of bleach and water. 43. Roof: Clean the roof, if it is dirty or mildewed. Benefit: The roof is one of the more prominent features of your home that a prospective buyer sees when they first arrive and when they leave. A dirty roof can leave a negative impression, especially if the rest of the outside of your house is also unkempt. Tip: If you hire someone to clean your roof, make sure they are licensed and insured. 13
  15. 15. 44. Front Door & Entranceway: Keep the front door and entranceway clean by sweeping the entranceway and wiping the door with a damp cloth. Benefit: Typically, a prospective buyer will enter your home through your front door. Why greet them with a negative impression? 45. Driveway: Hose off the driveway and remove all weeds from between the pavers. Benefit: Many homeowners don’t view the driveway as being important, yet in many homes, it is as large as the rest of the front yard. Cleaning the weeds out of the pavers will give your driveway a well-maintained look. Hosing down the driveway will remove the surface dirt that accumulates on your driveway daily. 46. Automobiles: Leave at least one bay of the garage empty by parking one or more of your cars in the street or at a neighbor’s house. Benefit: Many homes have two car garages with minimal room for storage if the two cars are parked inside. Leaving one or both cars out of the garage gives the illusion of more space to the prospective buyer versus seeing a bicycle jammed up against a car door. Tip: If you have a three-car garage, make sure the third bay is neat and uncluttered. 14
  16. 16. When Less Is Best - Store Your Goods 47. Storage: Rent a storage unit on a short-term basis and store all non-essential items until you move. Benefit: Get a head start on packing (you will be moving eventually) and store non-essential furniture and other items while you are marketing your home. The advantage is that the less there is in your home, the bigger it appears to prospective buyers. Tip: To assist in this process, use this time to go through everything in your home and then hold a garage sale. Arrange for a charity to come at the closing time of the garage sale to take away all unsold items. Secondary benefit is you make some money on the sale and get a tax deduction for the donated items. 48. Attic: Clean out the attic. Benefit: First, if a prospective buyer sees that you are storing items in the attic, they might get the negative impression that the house is not big enough to fit all of their belongings. A negative impression you do not want to allow entering into the process. Secondly, when was the last time you looked at the items you had stored in the attic? This is a good time to clean out the attic and determine whether the items you keep up there are still worth keeping. 49. Closets: Make sure all closets are accessible and neatly organized. Benefit: Storage space is very important to a prospective buyer, especially in the master bedroom and kids’ bedrooms. If your closets are stacked to the top with barely a free inch or two, a prospective buyer will not get a true feeling for the size of the closet and will leave with a negative impression that your house did not have adequate storage space. Secondarily, they might leave with the impression that the house is smaller than it actually is. 15
  17. 17. Final Preparation 50. Review your HOME-APPEAL report again: Read over and review the entire HOME-APPEAL inspection report that you filled out and make sure that all items have been corrected or addressed. Benefit: You made a smart decision by choosing to conduct a HOME-APPEAL self-assessment of your home. To reap all the benefits of the HOME-APPEAL process, you need to correct the findings from your HOME-APPEAL self- assessment and make sure that as many as possible of these “50 Strategies for Maximizing Your HOME-APPEAL” guide are implemented. 16
  18. 18. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 1 of 10 INTERIOR Kitchen • Clear off unused appliances from countertops (toasters, blenders etc) • Clean appliances (inside and out) (i.e. microwave, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher) • Empty dishwasher • Remove clutter from refrigerator door (magnets, school papers etc) • Clean exhaust fan • Clean sink area including soap dishes/pumps, drainer, faucets etc. • Tidy/organize drawers and cabinets (thin out if necessary) • Clear off tabletop • Remove all garbage and recycles from area • Replace burner plates/reflector bowls on stove • Replace grout or caulk on countertops and sink area • Replace broken tile • Clean grout and tiles • Check/replace light bulbs in light fixtures and appliances • Fresh paint (walls and baseboards) Neutral colors • Check for outlet clutter/extension cords • Eliminate odors • Refrigerator odors • Clean windows/sliding glass doors and vacuum out dead bugs and dust • Repair/replace torn screens • Remove clutter from over-the-cabinet shelving • Under sink moisture • Cabinet hardware • Cabinet surfaces • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings • Kitchen rugs (clean or remove) • Clean/repair garbage disposal • Kitchen adornments (walls) • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Room fans 17
  19. 19. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 2 of 10 Living Room –Family Room – Dining Room • Vacuum/clean tile or carpeting • Fresh paint (walls and baseboards) Neutral colors • Replace light bulbs • Remove extra furniture; arrange furniture for spacious feeling • Clear tabletops • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Clean curtains, shutters, mini blinds, etc. • Clean and de clutter shelving • Check walls for dents and holes • Clean windows/sliding glass doors and vacuum out dead bugs and dust • Repair/replace torn screens • Check for outlet clutter/extension cords • Eliminate odors • Dust and polish furniture (TVs, dressers) • Adjust traffic patterns • Adjust knick knacks and personal photos • Room fans • Dining Room Light fixture • Wall adornments 18
  20. 20. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 3 of 10 Master Bedroom • Reduce clutter • Thin out closets • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Clean curtains, shutters, mini blinds, etc • Check walls for dents and holes • Clean windows/sliding glass doors and vacuum out dead bugs and dust • Repair/replace torn screens • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings • Fresh paint (walls and baseboards) Neutral colors • Vacuum/clean tile or carpeting • Replace light bulbs • Arrange furniture for a spacious feeling • Make up the bed with fresh linens/bedspread • Check for outlet clutter/extension cords • Remove personal items and clothing from surfaces • Eliminate odors • Dust and polish furniture • Adjust traffic patterns • Room fans • Wall adornments 19
  21. 21. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 4 of 10 Kids’ Bedrooms • Reduce clutter on all top surfaces (dresser, desk, nightstands) • Thin out closets • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Clean curtains, shutters, mini blinds, etc • Check walls for dents and holes • Clean windows and vacuum out dead bugs and dust • Repair/replace torn screens • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings • Fresh paint (walls and baseboards) Neutral colors • Vacuum/clean tile or carpeting • Replace light bulbs • Arrange furniture for a spacious feeling • Make up the bed with fresh linens/bedspread • Remove extra toys and clutter from room • Remove personal items and clothing from surfaces • Check for outlet clutter/extension cords • Eliminate odors • Dust and polish furniture • Adjust traffic patterns • Room fans • Wall adornments 20
  22. 22. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 5 of 10 Bathrooms • Clear off vanity/sink of personal belongings • Clean vanity top • Remove all grime, water stains and mold/mildew • Clean grout/caulk • Refresh paint on walls and baseboard • Remove lime buildup on inside of toilet • Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains • Store cleaning supplies neatly under sink • Hang fresh towels • Hide/remove laundry basket • Check tiles for chips and repair • Repair leaky faucets and shower heads • Repair running toilet • Replace light bulbs • Check/clean exhaust fans • Thin out linen closet • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings • Clean floor tile • Clean windows and vacuum out dead bugs and dust • Repair/replace torn screens • Remove carpets • Clean curtains, shutters, mini blinds, etc • Eliminate odors • Clean or remove rugs • Clean shower/tub • Eliminate shower/tub clutter • Clean mirrors • Wall adornments • Cabinet hardware/surfaces 21
  23. 23. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 6 of 10 Entrance Hall • Door bell functioning properly • Interior of door painted and clean • Door brass polished • Hardware operating • Light bulbs working • Floor/baseboards clean • Windows washed • Ceiling and wall cracks repaired • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches • Room fans 22
  24. 24. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 7 of 10 Garage • De clutter with items neatly stored in shelving or wall units • Consider moving excess items to storage • Clean floor • Remove spider webs, lint and dirt • Remove old paint etc. • Remove excess kid toys • Eliminate odors • Move automobiles to street • Garage door stable • Garage door opener 23
  25. 25. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 8 of 10 Laundry – Utility Room • Clean appliances • Clean floor • De clutter room • Eliminate odors • Clean cobwebs • Thin out any storage/shelves • Wash/repair doorknobs and light switches Miscellaneous Areas • Eliminate smoke/pet odors • Remove ashtrays • Clean kitty litter box/dog kennel 24
  26. 26. EXTERIOR MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 9 of 10 Front – Back – Side Yards • Keep lawn freshly mowed • Neatly trim shrubs • Maintain annuals • Refresh painted driveway surface • Remove mildew from exterior home surfaces • Store garbage cans out of sight • Fresh paint on front doors • Clean/polish doorknobs/peep hole • Make sure all locks operate correctly • Make sure doorbell functions correctly • Keep walkway to front door swept of debris/children’s toys • Remove lawn clutter • Replace any outdoor light bulbs • Repair/replace mailbox • Repair any gutter problems • Fixtures • Garden hoses • Outdoor electrical caps • Faucets • Windows cleaned • House paint • Trim Paint • Landscaping issues • Garage Doors 25
  27. 27. MASTER CHECKLIST – Page 10 of 10 Pool Deck • Remove pool deck clutter • Clean pool • Repair screening • Clean pool deck • Repair pool deck • Clean any outdoor fans • Replace any outdoor light bulbs • Gutters • House paint • Trim Paint • Windows cleaned • Garden hoses • Doors work • Barbecue • Fixtures 26
  28. 28. Walk-Around Checklist KITCHEN COMMENTS Ceilings Cabinet Top Shelving Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Doors Windows Floors Outlets & Switches Refrigerator Freezer Stove/Oven Microwave Dishwasher Sinks Countertops Cabinets & Drawers Furniture Adornments 27
  29. 29. Walk-Around Checklist LIVING ROOM COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 28
  30. 30. Walk-Around Checklist DINING ROOM COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 29
  31. 31. Walk-Around Checklist FAMILY ROOM COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 30
  32. 32. Walk-Around Checklist ENTRANCE COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 31
  33. 33. Walk-Around Checklist MASTER BEDROOM COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 32
  34. 34. Walk-Around Checklist BEDROOM 1 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 33
  35. 35. Walk-Around Checklist BEDROOM 2 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 34
  36. 36. Walk-Around Checklist BEDROOM 3 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 35
  37. 37. Walk-Around Checklist BEDROOM 4 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 36
  38. 38. Walk-Around Checklist DEN/OFFICE COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Furniture Adornments 37
  39. 39. Walk-Around Checklist MASTER BATHROOM COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Cabinets & Drawers Shower Bathtub Toilet Sink Countertops Adornments 38
  40. 40. Walk-Around Checklist BATHROOM 1 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Cabinets & Drawers Shower Bathtub Toilet Sink Countertops Adornments 39
  41. 41. Walk-Around Checklist BATHROOM 2 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Cabinets & Drawers Shower Bathtub Toilet Sink Countertops Adornments 40
  42. 42. Walk-Around Checklist BATHROOM 3 COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Cabinets & Drawers Shower Bathtub Toilet Sink Countertops Adornments 41
  43. 43. Walk-Around Checklist LAUNDRY/UTILITY RM. COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting & Fans Walls & Molding Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors Washing Machine Dryer Adornments 42
  44. 44. Walk-Around Checklist GARAGE COMMENTS Ceilings Lighting Walls Windows Shelving Doors Outlets & Switches Floors 43
  45. 45. Walk-Around Checklist EXTERIOR & YARD COMMENTS Lawn Trees Shrubs & Flowers Adornments Light Fixtures Doors Driveway Walls & Trim Paint Gutters Windows & Screens Faucets, Garden Hoses & Electrical Outlets Sidewalk Mailbox 44
  46. 46. Walk-Around Checklist POOL COMMENTS Pool (Visual) Deck Screen, Doors & Windows Lighting & Fans Landscaping Walls & Trim Paint Furniture & Storage Adornments 45

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