Spend A Little, Get A Lot #4

Here are some tips to stretch your dollar when preparing your home for sale.

Improve safety by ensuring that windows and doors can’t slam shut; fixing loose handrail on porches, decks, and stairways; and removing dangerous tools, sharp objects and hazardous materials from the garage.

Rent a bank safe deposit box to store cash and small valuables as long as your house is being shown.

Consider replacing hinges and springs on the garage door.  They’re relatively inexpensive and improve safety.

If you’re three or four months away from marketing your house, consider reseeding the lawn instead of laying sod.  Reseeding takes longer, but is much less expensive than sod.

Replacing a cracked and broken walkway with cement stepping stones purchased from a home improvement store is an inexpensive but attractive way to create a new path to the front door.

What’s the best bang for your buck that you’ve ever seen?

Spend A Little, Get A Lot

earnerHere are some low cost tips to help you  showcase your home and check for repairs.

If you have more than two cars in your driveway, park the extra vehicles at a neighbor’s house. This will give your driveway and yard a spacious look.

Oil and rust stains can be removed from concrete with commercial driveway cleaners that are available from automotive and home improvement stores.

The basement needn’t be spotless, but change light bulbs and clear cobwebs before showing the house.

Change air conditioning and furnace filters so the units will run efficiently.

If your washer and dryer are in the basement, create a cozy laundry area by adding an area rug and shelves to store detergent bottles.

Check for termites by using a pocketknife to jab the support beams near the house foundation. If the knife penetrates the wood easily, then there could be a termite problem.

Hiding Places Buyers Never Look

What do you do when your Realtor calls and wants to show your home in say, half an hour?  Jump for joy first, since someone wants to look at YOUR home, right?  Then, panic.  As you hang up the phone, you notice that your teenagers have been at it again…your house is CLEAN, it’s just not TIDY.  Now, what do you do?

Since we all know that the first impression is important, especially if you want to sell your home in the next decade, we have a few tips that will help you quickly hide away “stuff.”  But first, you have to know where the buyers are going to look, and ensure that these places are constantly tidy.

Places that buyers will look include the oven, any closets, kitchen drawers, laundry room, and the kitchen pantry.  Think about it; these places give them an indication, essentially, of how much storage space there is.  If they’re overflowing, the buyers will think there just isn’t enough room to store their own things, since obviously you don’t have the space.  If you need a reminder of the basics of preparing your house for sale, refer back to our book, How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar – Fast.

Don’t defeat your efforts by stashing clutter in these places at the last minute, no matter how tempting it may be!

Enough of that!  What you want to know is, at the last minute, where CAN you hide things?

Under the bed.  It’s spacious, easy to get to, and no one in their right mind would get down on their hands and knees to look there during their first visit.  In addition, kids are probably used to stashing things there anyway, and can help you.

In the washer and dryer.  Who hasn’t seen the commercial where a little kid has stashed a pet in there?  We don’t recommend putting your pets in there, but clothes and shoes and “stuff” can easily fit.  Although buyers like to look in the laundry to see the size and neatness, they won’t be looking to see if you actually have things in there.  Our caution is to let everyone in the family know that it’s a hiding place, and to never start the machines without checking the contents first.

In the refrigerator.  This is risky; you know your kids are going to be in and out of the fridge – and how embarrassing would it be to have a shoe fall out?  On the other hand, if you’ve just walked in from the grocery, you can certainly stash the entire grocery bag in there, until you’re ready to unpack it and put things away neatly.

Behind the couch.  That is, if the couch is against the wall.  We all know that things get trapped there anyway, so it could be a quick opportunity to drop a toy or wayward socks for a quick fix.

In the trunk of your car.  Your garage or carport needs to be tidy.  If it isn’t garbage day, yet you have bags lying around, drop them in.  Skateboards and roller blades are a hazard anyway, so drop them in, too.  Nobody has a right to check in your vehicle – take advantage of that fact!

Let me leave you with this quick story.  My best friend, being a naturally organized person, has clothes closets organized by color and like items, linen closets with towels and sheets stacked by size and color, and jars in her kitchen pantry with labels facing the front like a grocery store shelf.

This may seem extreme, but when she showed the house for sale, one buyer actually told her that he’d buy her home for the state of her closets alone!  He believed that if she paid that much attention to a closet, that she must have taken that kind of care with the rest of her home.

an exerpt from by referral only