Lisa Westerman's Blog
Your home is on the market, but you still live there. Now your agent called to see if a potential buyer can look at it in an hour. What do you do?
You Don’t Need to Panic
Instead of holding your head in despair, grab some tools, and clean the most visible areas of your home.
- Sweep the front porch, steps and any cobwebs lurking in the corners. This is the first place your buyer sees, so it gives them an impression they’ll carry into the rest of the house.
- While you’re at it, use the broom to give the front door a once over. If you have a cloth handy, use that too. If your door is glass, remove smudges from the kids and dogs. You can use vinegar and water, glass cleaner or simply warm water.
- Grab a laundry basket and clear clutter from your entryway. Grab stray boots and shoes, hats and coats, school bags and anything else that gets dropped there. Put the basket in your car. You can organize it where it belongs later. Pick up any mail too and stick it in a drawer.
- Sweep your kitchen floor and run a damp mop over it in the high traffic areas. To simplify this for the future, invest in a mop with a bottle of cleaner attached — no need for buckets.
- Light a candle or diffuse essential oils in the kitchen to remove any odors from last night’s dinner.
- Replace all the towels in the kitchen and baths. Set aside towels just for this purpose so that you always have a clean, matching set.
- While you’re in the bathrooms, run a damp paper towel over the faucets and fixtures, wipe out the sink, and run a quick brush around the waterline of the toilet, then flush it.
- Grab all the trash from your trash cans in the kitchen, bathroom, office, bedrooms, and laundry room. If you have a container in your garage, put it in there. Otherwise, throw it in a nearby dumpster(law permitting). Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean your visitor won’t notice.
- If you have time, take a feather duster to dark, visible surfaces, light fixtures and art frames.
Finally, grab your family and the pets, hop in the car and head to the park. You don’t want to be near your home while the agent is showing it to buyers. When you’re nearby, the folks visiting might not feel free to ask the questions they need to. When they’ve gone, head back home and reach out to your agent for feedback.
You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. It’s amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home.
Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night
If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:
Put a spotlight on the entryway
Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.
Use sconce lighting
This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.
Consider Lighting Your House Number
Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted.
Use Lighting Variations
Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.
Highlight Your Landscape
Your hard efforts at landscaping aren’t just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.
When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.
When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.
However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.
If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.
Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.
Legal reasons for cleaning your old house
As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.
These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.
An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.
Cleaning your house
The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.
In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.
Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.
It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:
Sweep all floors
Vacuum all carpets
Wipe down cabinets, shelves
Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.
Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom
Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable
Remove all nails from walls
Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed
68 Saw Mill Pond Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420
If you plan to sell your house, there may be certain items that you want to bring to your new residence. However, various items may prove to be too big, too heavy or too expensive to transport to your new address. But if you leave these items behind, you may be able to make your house more attractive to dozens of potential buyers.
Ultimately, there are many high-quality items that home sellers may choose to leave behind for buyers, such as:
Although your refrigerator has served you well for many years, transporting this kitchen appliance to your new house could prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a buyer may appreciate the fact that you're willing to provide him or her with a top-notch refrigerator as part of a home sale.
For a home seller who intends to leave his or her refrigerator behind, it is important to take some time to clean the appliance. That way, a homebuyer will be able to use the refrigerator as soon as he or she finalizes a home acquisition.
Also, scrub down the refrigerator's shelves, wipe down the appliance's exterior and remove any foods and beverages from the refrigerator prior to moving day.
2. Washer and Dryer
A washer and dryer may cost a homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Luckily, a home seller who includes a washer and dryer in a home sale can make it easy for a buyer to avoid the hassle of finding, buying and installing these appliances.
Ensure that your washer and dryer are working properly before moving day arrives. Remove any dust and debris from the dryer's lint trap, and wipe down the exterior of both the washer and dryer.
If you own stunning outdoor patio chairs, a deluxe dining room table and chairs or other first-rate home furniture, you may want to include these items in your home sale. By doing so, you can help a buyer furnish his or her home in no time at all.
Selling a home can be challenging, even if you intend to leave behind assorted high-end items for a buyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to help simplify the process of selling a residence in any housing market, at any time.
A real estate agent understands that you want to enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about your residence and explore ways to promote it to the right groups of buyers.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you get ready for a home closing. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will immediately respond to them.
Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to selling your house.