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Preparing House For Sale (Interior)

Plumbing and Fixtures

All your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and that the faucets do not leak. If they do, replace the washers. It is not difficult at all. Make sure that the knob marked hot really is the hot, and cold really is the cold!

Check to make sure you have good water pressure and that there are no stains on any of the porcelain. If you have a difficult stain to remove, one trick is to hire a cleaning crew to go through and clean your home on a one-time basis. They seem to be wonderful at making stains go away.


Make sure that all of your outlets are in working order, and that you have GFCI outlets in the bathrooms, around the kitchen sink, and in the garage. GFCI outlets are inexpensive, and a good safety feature. If you have other electrical issues, ask an electrician to come by and give you an estimate of potential electrical repairs. Knowing what the issues are may help your realtor in pricing your home, depending on whether you decide to fix the problems before you market the home, or disclose them to buyers for allowances.

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Ceilings, Walls, and Painting

Check all the ceilings for water stains. Sometimes old leaks leave stains, even after you have repaired the leak. Of course, if you do have a leak, you will have to get it repaired, whether it is a plumbing problem or the roof leaks.

You should do the same for walls, looking not only for stains but also areas where dirt has accumulated and you just may not have noticed. Plus, you may have an outdated color scheme.

Painting can be your best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive update and often you can do it yourself. Do not choose colors based on your own preferences, but based on what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. Neutral colors are best, as they are easy to paint over if your buyer would like to “colorize” the house to their own tastes. You should almost always choose an off-white color because white helps your rooms appear bright and spacious.

Carpet and Flooring

Unless your carpet appears old and worn, has areas of pet staining or pet odor, smoke odor, or it is definitely an outdated style or color, you probably should do nothing more than hire a good carpet cleaning service to clean them. If you do choose to replace the carpet, do so with something inexpensive in a fairly neutral color.

Repair or replace broken floor tiles, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have as few negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

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Windows and Doors

Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily. If not, a spray of WD40 often helps. Make sure there are no cracked or broken windowpanes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing your home. If possible, there should be screens for every window, and they should be free large gaping holes or rips.

Do the same things with the doors – make sure they open and close properly, without creaking. If they do, a shot of WD40 on the hinges usually makes the creak go away. Be sure the doorknobs turn easily, and that they are cleaned and polished to look sharp. As buyers go from room to room, someone opens each door and you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.

Odor Control

For those who smoke, you might want to minimize smoking indoors while trying to sell your home, particularly if you have just painted walls or replaced carpet. You could also purchase an ozone spray that helps to remove odors without creating a masking odor.

Pets of all kinds create odors that you may have become used to, but are immediately noticeable to those with more finely tuned olfactory senses. For those with cats, be sure to empty kitty litter boxes daily. There are also products that you can sprinkle in a layer below the kitty litter that helps to control odor. For those with dogs, keep the dog outdoors as much as possible, or in a confined area that can be easily mopped. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet on a periodic basis.

Costs of Repairs

Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling. But if you have minor repairs, you know, the items we have all been living with for years, you should make them. If possible, use savings to pay for any repairs and improvements – do not go charging up credit cards or obtaining new loans. Remember that part of selling a house is also preparing to buy your next home. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.

Contact Greentree Real Estate for more info on selling your Vermont home.

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