Think of your home as a product or service. You need to "package" it attractively to create a demand for it. Here are some fast, inexpensive changes that should make your home stand out among similarly-priced homes in your neighborhood:
Your yard, and the exterior of your house, is the first impression that potential buyers have of your home.
Yard. Keep your lawn neat and well trimmed, with well-proportioned shrubs. Consider replanting flowers or creating a flowerbed to enhance the appearance of your yard. If it is the fall, make sure the lawn is raked at all times. And in the wintertime, clear snow from your driveway and walkways.
The Front Door. Make sure your door is tightly on its hinges! Furthermore, the door should be neat and clean. Paint it if it needs it. If the door is in poor shape, consider replacing it. Finally, a holiday ornament on the door, like a wreath, ads a nice touch. Consider adding an inviting "welcome mat".
Home Exterior. Check for flat-fitting roof shingles, straight lines on gutters, shutters, windows, and siding; solid caulking around roofs and seams. Apply fresh paint where it needs it. Also, make sure the windows are crystal clear; potential buyers often peer through the windows.
Lights. During the evening, or whenever you have potential buyers in the home, make sure ALL of the lights are on. This makes rooms look more inviting and spacious. Also, make sure curtains are always up to let as much sunlight in as possible.
Smell. I recommend using a vanilla air freshener that applies directly to your air filter. This gives your home that "new model home" aroma.
Remove Excess Furniture. Remove as much furniture as possible. This can make your rooms look dramatically larger.
The Living Room. Strive for lived-in, cozy feeling. Discard worn, chipped, frayed furniture. Add lamps if it is dark. Open curtains. Set out fresh flowers.
The Kitchen. Many buyers judge the house keeping by the oven and stove. Appliances should be spotless and everything works perfectly. Replace or repair anything that sticks, squeaks or drips. Clear clutter from countertops.
The Master Bedroom. This is the second-most appealing room to a buyer (after the kitchen). Remove excess furniture to make it appear larger. Show the true size of the closets by removing or packing items that can be stored elsewhere.
Bathrooms. Make sure bathrooms are always neat and clean. Remove clutter from sink countertops. Make sure showers are free of scum and tile grout in good shape. Most buyers pay close attention to this!
Basement. If possible, make the basement look like a "living area." Clear out as much clutter as possible (consider moving it into storage). If you have an extra sofa or loveseat and coffee table, consider creating a living area.
Make sure that the exterior and interior are both in order! Furthermore, appeal to the potential buyers' senses: make sure the lights are on, the home has a vanilla aroma, and perhaps soft classical or jazz music playing on the stereo.
As your neighborhood real estate expert, I wrote this report to help educate you and help maximize the marketability of your home. These ideas are based on my collective experience. I hope you found them to be valuable, and if there is ever any way I can be of service to you or anyone you know, please contact me at (904) 307-8998. There's no obligation, and I'd love to help you!