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Use this Homeowner’s Checklist Before Listing

Getting ready to list your home for sale can be an absolutely nerve-wracking time. Cleaning, organizing, fixing up, figuring out pricing, and on and on and on. Before you list your home this summer, use this homeowner’s checklist for the projects that can up your home’s selling value while ensuring it sells faster.

Project 1: Front Door and Entryway

The first project on your homeowner’s checklist is to address your front door and entryway. Beyond your front yard, your door and entry will be the very first impression on a potential buyer. Literally look at everything from the ceiling right down to the floor and draw up your list of to-do’s. Here are some common areas you can spruce up to make this area truly shine:

  • Door finish or paint: Is your door dull or drab? Consider repainting, restaining, or adding another level of varnish to erase aging.
  • Door hardware: How do your hinges and handles look? If they are a bit dull, try to shine them up using the right type of chemical for the metal type. If they’re banged up or in truly bad shape, now is the time to spend a few dollars to replace.
  • Entry flooring: What type of flooring does your entry have: rug, wood, tile? No matter the type, clean it vigorously, fix any issues, or consider replacing it entirely if it’s in dire condition.
  • Floorboards: Floorboards show aging in your home like no other accoutrement. They get banged up, accumulate dust and dirt, and just sometimes look awful. Clean these and possibly repaint.
  • Lighting: Look at the lights both right outside your front door and in your entry. Replace light bulbs, clean out light surrounds (bugs . . . ew!), and add additional lighting if necessary.
  • Furniture and belongings: While your entry might serve as the area in your home where things are dumped as you come in the door, your prospective buyers don’t want to see this. Clean up and clean out to provide a spacious and inviting area.

Project 2: Painting

Painting is one of the lowest cost ways to totally transform your house, and it’s also one of the easiest and fastest DIY projects you can undertake. Go through every room of your house with a brutal eye. Is the paint dingy or peeling? Are the colors of some spaces more likely to scare off sellers than reel them in? Consider using very neutral colors that will allow buyers to picture their own furnishings in your space.

Project 3: Landscaping

Although this is listed last, it’s actually one of the best ways you can entice buyers into loving your property. Cut back overgrowth, prune trees judiciously, plant attractive annuals, put down seeding or sod for missing patches of grass, and basically just spend the day — or five — working up a sweat around your yard, turning it into a masterpiece. This is the largest sweat equity project, so you’ll likely not need to spend much, but your own hard work can bring buyers inside.

Once you complete these projects and other potential areas for updates, your home will be ready to dominate the listings and march quickly to closing.

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