You're thinking of putting your home on the market. You know why you chose to buy this particular house when you were looking around B perhaps it was its classic style, or manicured front garden. Now you want to turn that asset into the most appealing property for a prospective new homeowner. Where do you begin to create "curb appeal"?
Of course, you can hire a handyman to come and estimate what work is required to put the house in top condition, but every good handyman will find enough chores to make a sizeable project forhimself and his helpers.
On the other hand, you can step back across the street and look at your home objectively. Here are some items to check out before you decide whether or not to hire the handyman or do the work yourself.
Facade. The front door is the first thing people driving by your home will see, so why not give the front door and windows a fresh coat of paint? Fix any damaged window screens or creaky door hinges.
Front garden. Keep the lawn and shrubs well trimmed during summer, and the front walk clear of snow and ice in winter.
Front walk and driveway. Each spring, hose down the walk and driveway to remove winter salt and sand. Patch holes in the driveway and re-seal it. Add an urn or colourful potted plants to the front doorstep.
Remove garbage pails and recycling boxes from the curb as soon as they have been collected. Remove tools, toys and debris from the front and back gardens. Just because you live in a neighbourhood of young families doesn=t necessarily mean the next owner will keep a stroller on the front porch.
Once inside, there are many things you can do to get your home ready for market, not costly but cost effective.
Declutter. Rather than pack everything you have accumulated in your present house, use the move as an excuse to get rid of clutter. There are four types of possessions: those you use, those you store away for another season, those you give away (or sell at a garage sale), and those you throw away. In order to make your space seem larger than life, put extra furniture or boxes in a storage locker or in the garage.
Windows. Everyone loves a bright, light-filled home. Clean the windows inside and out, and when prospective buyers are coming to see your house, be sure to open the blinds and curtains to let in the light.
Walls and trim. If you haven=t painted the interior for a few years, consider giving the walls and baseboards a fresh coat of paint in a neutral colour. Painting is the one modest expenditure that will bring you the highest relative payback.
Fix it. Now is the time to do all the maintenance chores you have been neglecting. Clean every appliance and every door. Fix any leaky faucets. Make sure all light switches and light bulbs work.
Freshen it. As a final touch, keep the house smelling fresh by opening the windows or using an air freshener. Put out clean kitchen and bathroom towels. Keep the laundry basket out of sight.
Remember, a good first impression will show potential buyers how well you have cared for your property. Make them fall in love with your home.