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Expert advice on how to make your house shine inside and out
 
Youíre ready to sell your home. Itís important that prospective buyers see your home at itís finest. Here are some simple tips on how to spruce up the appearance of your home without spending a lot of money. These little tricks can pay big dividends at closing.
 
Landscaping, Fences and Gutters
First impressions of your home are key. As potential buyers see your home from outside you want to make sure that your grass has been recently trimmed and your flowerbeds are free of weeds and freshly mulched. Make sure your shrubs are neatly trimmed as are not blocking windows or the entryway.
 
Keep your fences clean and in good order. Power washing your fence is a simple way to keep it looking its best. If it is sagging or crooked, be sure to have it fixed before you place your home on the market.
 
If your rain gutters are clogged, clean them out. Make sure the soil surrounding the downspout isnít washed out. Reinforce your gutters if they are sagging.
 
Walkways and your Driveway
Keep these areas free from bicycles, toys, tools, boxes and anything else that can create clutter. You want your home to be inviting to your prospective buyers. If there are weeds or grass growing up through the cracks, use weed or grass killer to clean them up. Use an edger or a weed eater to keep the edges neat and tidy.
 
Front Door and Entryway
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a dingy front door. Remember, for the prospective buyer this could be the gateway to their new home. If the doorknobs are loose, tighten them, if the door squeaks, oil it and make sure the doorbell is working properly. A potted plant with some colorful flowers and a new doormat can make the entryway that much better. A freshly shampooed/waxed/polished floor in the entryway can set a positive tone. Adding a fresh area rug with a nonskid surface can also help. By hanging a mirror, the entryway can appear larger and brighter.
 
Create an inviting kitchen setting
Be sure that your countertops appear spacious and free of clutter. Add a decorative candle or some homey canisters to set a warm inviting environment. Be sure that the sink, countertops, stovetop, refrigerators and cabinets shine. Itís not a bad idea to degrease the oven and clean out the refrigerator because prospective customers will look inside.
 
Shine up your bathrooms
Look around the bathrooms to see if everything is clean and shining. If the caulking is damaged or discolored, replace it. If the faucet leaks or toilet drips be sure to have them fixed. Keep the countertops free from clutter.
 
Organize your closets
A closet that is neat, tidy and organized appears larger. Many prospective buyers are concerned over the amount of available storage space. Donate unwanted items to charity and store what's left in stackable plastic totes.
 
Lighting and fixtures
Clean out fixtures that have accumulated dead bugs and cobwebs. Make sure all bulbs are in working order. In high traffic rooms consider replacing dated fixtures. Indoor track lighting can be added to accent artwork. Open drapes and blinds to let in natural light. Outside use landscape lighting to accentuate architectural features.
 
Donít forget the attic, basement and garage
Unwanted junk clutters up these areas. Sort through these areas to see what you want to take to your new home and what you want to donate to charity (or have a garage sale). Storage shelves to help organize tools, sports equipment can go a long way to clean up clutter. Use wall hangers for garden hose, blowers and other equipment.
 
Your local home improvement center is a great resource for most of the suggested fix-ups.
 
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