Does Your House for Sale Show Well?

A Sloppy House and Yard Can Prevent Your Home from Selling

By Mark J. Donovan

One of the most important things you can do to sell your house is to put a little TLC and money into it before you put it on the market. As a licensed real estate agent I can unequivocally state that a neat home and surrounding yard that shows well can garner a higher price tag and sell quicker. When putting a house on the market often realtors focus on the property’s curb appeal, and whether or not the property has it.

Though having curb appeal is a big plus, its initial impression by the prospective home buyer can quickly evaporate if they walk into a cluttered house with a sloppy backyard.

To ensure your house shows well it’s important to remove the clutter from each room in the home. If necessary store excess furniture and belongings in the basement or attic so that each room appears larger and easier to maneuver in. This way the potential home buyer can get a better perspective of what they can do with the space. Also, home buyers are less apt to care if they see a cluttered basement or attic.

As part of the process of un-cluttering the home, also remove some of the knick-knacks and family pictures from shelves, bookcases and walls. Again, you’re trying to simplify the rooms and make the spaces neutral so that the potential home buyers can envision their own belongings and family living in it.

Lots of your family’s portraits hanging on the walls and resting on book shelves can prevent the prospective home buyers from envisioning the home for themselves.

Pricing your house to sell.

The next step in ensuring a house shows well is to paint the walls if they are in need of a paint job. If you can simply wash the walls down to remove fingerprints and scuff marks to achieve clean walls that’s fine. However, if the walls look battered and stained even after washing them down, spend the time and money and paint them. Also, neutral colors are always preferred over strong vibrant colors by prospective home buyers. So again, if you have dark red walls prime and repaint them an off white color. It may sound a bit drab, but it will make a difference relative to the prospective home buyers.

If the flooring is in horrendous shape, such as outdated and stained carpet, I’d highly suggest spending the money and replacing the carpet. Though installing new carpet in a home that you are trying to sell can be a bit expensive it can potentially be the difference in whether a home sells or not.

A pleasant smell is another subtle way to ensure your house shows well. By cleaning rugs, washing walls, and opening windows you can help freshen up the home and eliminate the previous night’s dinner smells. And yes, warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven can make a difference in selling your home. It sounds petty, but the smell of freshly baked cookies makes the home more inviting and triggers the home buyers’ senses to say, I want this home!

New Home Construction Bid Sheet

On the outside of the home take a look at the house siding. If it’s in need of power washing or a paint job invest the time and money. The last thing prospective home buyers want to do when they first move into a home is have to paint its exterior. Not to mention, a freshly painted home improves its curb appeal.

In regards to the home’s surrounding yard, minimalist is the key word to keep in mind. Remove as much of the backyard toys as you can, and make sure you keep the lawn regularly mowed and trimmed. Also make sure leaves, twigs and grass clippings are removed from the lawn. A neat backyard can help achieve that Fen shui positive feeling that invites people to want to relax and enjoy the space.

For help on building a home addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home addition project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home addition building costs.

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