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Preparing Your "For Sale By Owner" Home For Viewing

Feb 22, 2008
When a buyer is viewing a "For Sale By Owner" home, the outside of the home is their first impression and the inside will be their lasting impression. This is why the both the outside and the inside of the property must be up to scratch. Before you put up the "For Sale By Owner" sign, you will need to get rid of all the clutter in the house. Dark colors and clutter are unappealing to almost all buyers. You will want to go through all the items and get rid of anything that is not useful or attractive. You can donate these things to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army or have a garage sale. If you still have a lot of clutter and you can't or don't want to get rid of it, you might want to rent a storage space. If you can't see the room's baseboards, you definitely have too much clutter.

Your rooms will look larger if the walls are light colored and the lighting is bright. If any walls are painted in a dark color, you might want to think about painting them white or off-white. If the walls are a light color but dirty, another coat should freshen them up. Increasing the wattage of the light bulbs in the house can really brighten it up.

If your house is carpeted, you should replace any overly stained or odorous areas. If you don't want to replace the carpet, a good shampooing should take out the worst of the dirt and make it smell better. Clean and polish all the mirrors and windows.

You should also clean your oven and stove thoroughly. Clean the drip pans under each burner and the oven. Ensure all the dirt build-up and grease is removed. Polish the exterior of the oven and stove until it shines. You also need to clean the other appliances, such as the dishwasher and refrigerator.

Clean all the kitchen countertops and try to have them uncluttered. Try to reduce the number of items in all the cabinets in the house, including the kitchen cabinets.

Clean the window treatments, including blinds, and get rid of all the fingerprints around the light switches and doorknobs. Be sure the areas around the wastebaskets are cleaned, especially the one in the kitchen.

Make sure the clothes in your closets are hanging neatly, rather than being overcrowded. Remove some of the items on the floor and shelves, so the room looks clear and more spacious. Your basement, garage and attic space should also be cleaned and tidied up.

If the "For Sale By Owner" house has any squeaks, leaks or rattles, do everything you can to eliminate them, as this gives the impression there is a lot of work which needs to be done. Tighten any loose screws, bolts or nuts on doorknobs, light switches and cabinet hinges. Tack down any loose molding. You might want to clean and replace the caulking in the house. If your steps, stairs or banister is loose, tighten them up. Repair any water leaks and get rid of water damage signs. You can paint over the water stains or replace damaged wallpaper. Fix any doors or windows that do not open and close smoothly.

You also need to check for any odors. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you because they will be able to smell odors you are used to and therefore do not notice any more. Obviously you want your "For Sale By Owner" house to look and smell as new, clean and fresh as it possibly can.
About the Author
Tom Beaty offers Florida Real Estate information for buyers and sellers. Don't buy or sell without visiting this Blog or it could cost you: Florida real estate
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