Want your home to sell quickly? Of course you do! And when you follow these seven must-do’s, you greatly improve the odds your home will not only sell fast, but will bring you top dollar.

1. Clean! Clean!! Clean!!! The kitchen and bathrooms need to sparkle before showing your home! Clean your oven thoroughly. Make sure the ick factor doesn’t exist in your bathroom. Redo the grout around the tub, shower and toilets so it’s fresh. Remember to scrub the tub and clean the soap residue off the glass in the shower. (Mr. Clean scrub pads or CLR works great!)

2. Steam clean the carpets and the tile grout! Don’t rent the shampooer at the grocery store, hire a steam cleaner to do the job. (Otherwise you’ll just have clean, soapy carpet!) Fyi, we have long term relationships with contractors for both cleaning and carpet replacement that will offer you my wholesale pricing! And if your carpet is getting a little worn and showing traffic patterns, it may be time to replace it. The investment often comes back in both a higher selling price and speed to getting an offer.

3. Clear out the clutter! “Stuff” tends to collect in the corners, on the kitchen and bathroom countertops and in the closets, so start there. Remove any excess furniture and/or decorative items from each room. Remember, your prospective buyer wants to experience the room when he/she walks in, not your furnishings and decorative items. (Besides, you’re taking that stuff with you when you leave!)

4. Touchup the paint throughout. If you’ve repainted with any of those bold “designer” colors, we may need to tone it down a little with more neutral colors. Yeah, that means “boring beige” or some of the lighter taupe tones. Everyone has their own color pallet in their brain when they walk in, and may have trouble envisioning themselves “at home” when the wall color(s) conflict with their personal preferences. In other words, let’s give them a neutral canvas on which to “paint”, and allow them their own vision of what your home will look like once it becomes theirs!

5. Spruce up the yard. The front yard is where the buyer’s first impressions will be created. Water and fertilize the grass, trim the bushes and freshen up the mulch for a clean, inviting appearance. It’s inexpensive to replace the front door mat and add a couple of seasonal potted plants. Remember, as much as 80% of the buyer’s perception of your home will already be established before they stop the car, so it’s REALLY important to create a positive first impression of your home!

6. Fix what’s broken or outdated. This includes the cabinet drawers and doors, electrical and plumbing fixtures, door hinges/locks and broken/foggy windows. If you’ve seen sheetrock or brick veneer cracks, call a foundation specialist. If a hail storm came through your neighborhood recently it may be time to call a roofer or your insurance company to check it out. (Especially if roofing signs are popping up in your neighbor’s yards!) These things will most likely be caught by the buyer’s inspector, so we might as well address them up front. Especially the obvious stuff!

7. Be sure the light bulbs work. If you still have those florescent style bulbs that take forever to brighten up, PLEASE replace them! LED bulbs have come way down in price and are every bit as cost effective as the florescent bulbs. Here’s another tip: open the blinds and pull back the drapes. Buyers like light and bright rooms!!