Getting the House Ready for the Market (Part 2)

Part 2

In part one of this series you learned the importance of curb appeal and what to look for when evaluating the exterior of the home. If you followed our advice, you’ve lured the buyers out of the car and into the house, Congratulations! Is what they'll see compelling enough to make them want to venture forth or will it send them running back out to the car?

When considering the condition of the interior of your home remember that first impressions are everything. Stand at the front door and use all of your senses to experience the home's entry as a stranger would.

What’s that smell?

We've all been in homes where we have to catch our breath after the initial assault of unpleasant odors. If you've grown accustomed to your home's particular odor, go grab that neighbor again and get her opinion.

When it comes to odors in the home the biggest culprits are kids and pets. They both have accidents and, if not cleaned immediately, the site becomes a source of odors. To rid the house of kid and pet stink, consider the following:

  • Have the carpets professionally cleaned and deodorized. You may have to do this twice if odors remain after the first cleaning.
  • Open all the windows to ventilate the home.
  • Clean the cat's litter box regularly while the home is on the market.
  • Clean the exhaust hood over the stove. Nasty cooking odors tend to cling to the grease on the hood's surface and a thorough cleaning typically removes them.
  • Since odors cling to fabric, dry clean or launder all window coverings, throw rugs and bedspreads.

Avoid the use of commercial room deodorizers. Although you may find a particular scent heavenly, it may be offensive to a potential buyer. Fresh flowers help add a light scent to rooms and small, tucked-out-of-sight bowls of baking soda help absorb unpleasant odors.

What’s that sound?

Stand in your entry way and listen. Are there distracting sounds? Does the neighbor's yapping Yorkie seem to be the most prominent sound? Make a note to play soft jazz or classical music during showings.


What do you see as you step through the door? If it's piles of kids' toys or laundry you've got some work to do. If it's too dark to see anything, make a note to either purchase new lighting or open all the curtains and blinds on showing days.

Ensure that when a buyer walks through the front door, his or her senses aren’t assaulted and you’re one step closer to having them fall in love with your house.

In part 3 we’ll take a look at decluttering the home to make it appear larger, less personal and more enticing to a wide range of buyers.

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