1. Odor

If you have pets, you should assume your house will smell like you have them, even if it doesn’t.  How can you know for sure?  Truth be told, you are probably nose-blind to the smells in your house.  The best way to combat this disorder is to ask your Realtor to be honest with you.  Someone who is not your friend but also vested in your home’s ability to quickly sell. There are a number of ways to remedy odor, consult with your real estate agent for a plan of attack.

And at all costs – do not let animals be present during showings.  Also, remove the food, the litter, the leashes and toys.

2.  Old roof

Did you replace your roof in the last decade?  If not, then it’s time to call your favorite roof inspector.  Why mess with the hassle?  Hail and heat.

There is a big likelihood your roof will need to be replaced and it will come up on the inspection.  This will be a contingency your buyer will want taken care of with your insurance before closing.  Get it inspected now.

3. Out of date or dingy paint

Paint is probably the most cost effective thing you can do to bolster your home’s image.  Stick with neutral tones – or better yet grey tones.  This does 3 big things – 1. Cleans the appearance of the walls, 2. Appeals to a buyer’s belief your home is “turn key” ready to move-in, 3. Freshen’s the smell of your home like that “new car” smell – but for your home.

4. Your yard belongs in a sci-fi movie…about another planet

Regardless of the fact that yard won’t really bring much in the way of equity to your home, it brings curb appeal.  It also shows pride in home ownership.  Face it, if you see a house with a trashy yard, you probably think the sellers don’t think much of their home.  Focus on 3 areas – 1. grass (kill the weeds), 2. shrubs (trimmed) and 3. olor (plant flowers). 

If anything is in the way of those things, think about getting rid of them now.  This includes trees!  Check with your HOA, but If your trees are blocking the curb appeal, remove the trees or trim them back till you see the house and the curb appeal.

5. Dilapidated fence

This probably goes with #4 above, but it really is a category of its own.  If your fence is long in the tooth or has rotten boards, then expect that it will deter would-be buyers. Talk to your neighbors about splitting the cost or pay for a new fence.  Even a cheap new fence is better than one in ruin. 

7. Dirty baseboards

While I have no science to prove this, 9 times out of 10 the first place buyers look is…well down.  They look at the floors.  And if your baseboards still show last year’s macaroni and cheese or harbor enough fur for a small blanket – you need to consider repainting to a nice bright white color.  Or at the least do a deep clean.

8. Scary light fixtures

Consider replacing the light fixtures in your home.  A quick trip to a big box store can net you new clean and more modern designs.  This also helps the “turn Key” factor of your home, and THIS will improve your home’s equity!  Use soft white light bulbs, lose the yellow…everywhere.  If replacing the fixtures is not an option, consider a deep clean.  Especially check the ceiling fan blades for dust and any light globes for a veritable collection of insects.

9. Clutter

Go to a model home – pick any builder – and look at the rooms.  Notice something? 

Right, they don’t looked lived in. 

Truth be told, buyers want to envision themselves in your home.  If it looks like you’ll be living right there with them along with your cool vinyl collection – or you have every memory since childhood displayed on the walls – box it up. 

Use the 70/30 rule.  Look at each space and remove 30% or more of the furniture.  This creates bigger rooms and reduces your presence during the showing. 

Organize, Organize, Organize.  If you take care of the little stuff, people assume you’ve taken care of the bigger things – like your ac system and appliances.  If your closet fights you when you walk in and you come out in a panic – tame the beast.

10. Consider a professional cleaning

As discussed in #9, the truth is your home needs to convince buyers you aren’t actually living there.  Living in your house brings dirt, grime, grease and odors.  The best $300 you will spend is to have a professional come clean your house before you show it to anyone.  We recommend a deep clean just before the photo shoot for the listing.

For a more comprehensive list of how to get your house ready, CLICK HERE.

If you need advice on next steps for your home, please register here on this site – or better yet, call us.


Making moves,


Nathan & Lori Skorick