Follow these guidelines to maximize the sales price of your home.
All may not apply but you may find something in this list that you
might otherwise overlook.
" Trim all trees and shrubs that block the view of the house.
" Remove any dead plants, flowers, and shrubs.
" Keep walkways, paths, sidewalks, and gutters free of weeds
" Mow the lawn weekly during the spring, summer, and fall.
Mow as necessary during the winter. Spot seed or patch brown spots
" Plant flowers and shrubs that add color and brighten your
lawn and landscaping.
" Use redwood compost, decorative bark, etc. as dressing around
the base of plants, shrubs and trees.
" Keep tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and other items stored
neatly in the garage or shed when not in use.
" Repair any cracks/corrosion present in gutters and touch
up with matching paint.
" Check for broken or cracked shingles or roofing tiles. A
pre-emptive roof inspection with repairs can save a lot of headaches
" Check for worn, corroded, or rusted flashing around vents
and chimneys. Spot clean and use protective paint on all areas to
" Watch for worn or missing tape around pipe vents on roof.
Reseal with Cal-Pico tape as necessary.
" Clear patios and decks of barbecues, charcoal, utensils,
" Check for rotted boards and posts in decking and fencing.
Add support for weak fenceposts by adding 'sister posts' or consider
" Use outdoor stain, sealants, and protectants to brighten
up bleached decking and fence.
" Add low voltage outdoor lighting in the front and backyard
to enhance landscaping and prevent accidents on dark walkways.
" Increase the wattage of bulbs in light fixtures to the maximum
that is safe.
" Keep entryway flooring spotless and have a mat outside for
" Check tack stripping in corners of carpeted rooms for gaps.
Consider stretching carpet where it's loose.
" Vacuum often. Dirty carpets wear out faster and unevenly.
" Keep all windows and sills clean. Use razor blades to remove
paint, decals, etc.
" Keep all woodwork spotless. Use 'Liquid Gold' or a similar
wood restorative to make cabinets and trim look new.
" Dust regularly and watch for cobwebs in corners and on light
" Paint any room that needs more than a little touch up. If
you aren't sure, take down a picture from the wall and look at the
" Preferable colors of interior paint are: antique white, bone,
frost. Stay away from pure white or eggshell as well as darker colors.
Tips for Improving the Value of your Home page 2
" Replace worn or dated furniture and keep traffic areas clear.
Too much furniture will visually reduce the size of the room. Too
many pictures on the wall will do the same.
" Keep bookshelves neat and organized. Try to eliminate clutter.
Don't hesitate to box up excess magazines, videotapes, CD's, albums,
personal collections, etc.
" Visit model homes, designer showcases, and furniture showrooms
for more ideas.
" Upgrade old or worn curtains with new. Mini-blinds and vertical
blinds are preferable to heavy drapes.
" Display fresh flowers from the garden, florist, or supermarket
in several rooms. Avoid strong potpourri and other air fresheners.
" Professionally clean all appliances, counters, backsplashes,
cabinets, and floors.
" Replace broken, worn or outdated knobs and hinges on cabinets.
" Make sure all cabinets close properly and all drawers operate
" Replace or reface if practical; stovetops, ovens, fan hoods,
and other appliances that are avocado, pink, blue, yellow, or brown.
White, almond, or beige are the preferable colors.
" Keep counters clean and clear. Anything not used daily in
the kitchen should be stored out of sight. The more space you have
available on the counter, the larger and more inviting the kitchen
" If linoleum is cut, pitted, worn, or a loud and a busy pattern;
consider replacing it with a neutral and subtle-patterned sheet.
Do not install linoleum squares.
" Consider upgrading linoleum to new parquet, random plank,
" Always keep counters clear. Put away bath toys, shampoo
bottles, etc. Keep daily toiletries in a basket that can be stored
underneath the sink or in a cabinet.
" Strip out and replace old grouting and caulking at the slightest
hint of discoloration.
" Make sure faucets don't leak and replace any fixtures that
have lost their finish.
" Strip old wallpaper and paint. Three-dimensional or foil
wallpaper must go.
" Keep bathrooms spotless and smelling slightly of cleaning
products. Tilex, Lysol, Bathroom Duck, etc., work great.
" Consider replacing tiling around tubs and showers if the
colors are dated.
" Consider replacing old shower enclosures, curtains, etc.
" Keep curtains open to let in more light (unless they face
a busy street, freeway, etc.)
" Keep extra furniture to a minimum.
" Limit pictures, paintings, photographs, and wall hangings
to a minimum.
" Fill the closets with toys, clothes, and anything else that
might be left out. Anything extra reduces the size of the room.
Tips for Improving the Value of your Home page 3
" Keep as many items as possible neatly stored in rafters,
cabinets, or boxes.
" Try to make the garage - one, two, or three car - appear
to accommodate that many vehicles, even if it's full of stored items
" Remove unwanted or seldom used items often through garage
sales and donations.
" Keep fireplaces clean. Replace old grates and screens that
are worn or unattractive.
" Make sure window screens and vent screens are in good repair.
If screens are not necessary for certain windows, remove and store
them in the garage.
" Make sure doorknobs aren't loose and all doors latch properly.
" Replace yellowed, worn, cracked, broken, or missing faceplates
for switches and outlets.
" Patch and paint settlement cracks on a regular basis.
" Repair lifted or severely cracked walkways and driveways.
" Don't use the front yard, side yard, or backyard to store
cars, boats, and other large items. Get a storage unit for this
and anything else that affects the visual impression of the property.
" Have pets out of the way as much as possible. Even iguanas,
parakeets, and aquariums distract a buyer from focusing on the house.
Also keep in mind that many buyers may have allergies to your pets.
Try to keep the property as hypoallergenic as possible (i.e. remove
excess cat hair, dog hair regularly, visible catboxes and pet bedding,
should be placed discretely during the sale, etc.)
Common sense should dictate what must be done and what may be done.
Keep this thought in mind, "What if I were considering buying
the house?" Walk across the street and look at your home as
if you were looking at it for the first time. And don't forget to
call me about any tough decisions in updating your home.