Most weeks I don't even know where to start CLEANING, and I know that getting a home ready for market is MUCH more daunting. I'm going to spend one post per room, but today I'll start with a couple of broad rules, regulations, or maybe just call them suggestions...that will help guide you through the process!
If you think you should, then you should.
For instance, let's say you are standing on the front porch looking at that 20 year old pitted brassy porch light. You think to yourself..."I wonder if I should replace that?" If you are wondering if you "should", I can promise that buyers will wonder why your didn't if you don't!
It will take longer and cost more than you think. Save money and save time. Call a realtor to walk through and give advice.
The secret is time. Give yourself as much as possible. If you give yourself enough time to do something, you won't have to pay someone else to do it. Sometimes a repair or update will lead to more repairs and more updates. It's ok, it's not the end of the world. Please please please have a real estate agent visit with you before you do anything. We don't care if your house isn't perfect. I'd much rather have you doing things that are going to give you the biggest bang for the buck, and not spending money on things that won't make a whit of difference! Choosing the right color for a fresh coat of paint will make you thousands of dollars, I promise!
Clean everything and anything you can.
Look up at the tops of ceiling fans, and down at baseboards. I promise no one will stand in your home and actually NOTICE those clean fan blades, but they sure as heck will see dirty ones! "Clean" says this to a buyer: "I am well cared for. You should buy me before someone else does."
Take little bites of this big elephant!
Confine yourself to 1 task at a time. Cordon off a room, or maybe a corner of a room. Stay there until it's perfect. Congratulate yourself and move on. Going from room to room or pile to pile doesn't give you any sense of accomplishment. You'll feel frustrated, you might even get a little cranky. If you can declutter just 1 bookshelf and arrange it nicely, and stand back to admire it, you will find it much easier to breathe!
A good handyman is better than a marriage counselor.
Some people can change a light bulb. Some people should hire that out. You know who you are. When you are selling, best to have minor repairs done well. It would be a shame for a doorknob to come off in the inspector's hand...all of a sudden he's going to look at everything maybe a little more closely. Here's another shameless plug for a real estate agent...we have good resources for handymen, painters, contractors of all sorts if you need them.
That's it for now...next time we are going to one of my favorite places...the bathroom!