Increasing your home appeal

Remember the 60-second rule: That's all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple to significant ways to maximize your home's appeal.

Exterior

  • Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
  • Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
  • Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
  • Tighten and clean all door handles.
  • Clean windows inside and out.
  • Power wash home's exterior.
  • Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Place potted flowers near the front door.

Interior

  • Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
  • Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts "the flow" or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
  • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Shampoo carpets.
  • Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
  • Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
  • Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
  • Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
  • Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
  • Fix or replace discolored grout.
  • Replace broken tiles.
  • Replace worn countertops.

Special details for showings

  • Turn on all the lights.
  • Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
  • Keep pets secured outdoors.
  • Buy new towels for bathrooms.
  • Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
  • Replace old lamps or lampshades.
  • Play quiet background music.
  • Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
  • Infuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
  • Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
  • Vacate the property while it is being shown.