Real Estate Tips November 8, 2019

Ramping Up Your Home’s Interior Appeal


You see your home through your heart. To get the highest price and have your home show its best, you have to appeal to potential buyers who will see your home through cold, calculating eyes. If buyers have the choice between two comparable properties that are similar in price, they will choose the one in the best condition. 


The following list will help you give the interior of your home its greatest presence. 


1) Get the home aired out. Someone who lives in a place is the last person to notice any peculiar odor that may be obvious to visitors. However, if you do notice any bad odor, search for and destroy its source. 

2) Wash all the windows inside and out. Clean the window sills and the bottoms of the window jams. Wash the blinds and vacuum the drapes. 

3) If your carpets look dirty or have not been cleaned in over a year, clean them. Buyers only know what they see .. not the way it is going to be. Unless your home is a “fixer”, badly worn or very out of date carpets should be replaced before coming on the market. Offering a buyer a credit to pick their own new carpet or discount off the price is far less effective and usually ends up costing more money and slowing down the selling process. Pick a light colored short plush or Berber carpet. Realtor beige is a safe color. 

4) Clean or polish all floors. 

5) Clean all the closets, cabinets, and drawers. Get rid of things you have not used in the past five years and pack everything that you have not used the past year (this will also give you a head start on moving). 

6) Make sure the closets look like they have enough room to hold additional items. Make sure doors do not stick and nothing will fall out when opened. Get everything off the floor (unless very neatly arranged) and do not have the shelves piled to the ceiling. If necessary, box up off-season clothes (this is another head start on moving). All coats should be facing in the same direction. 

7) There should not be too much furniture in the rooms. You will be far better off selecting the pieces that look best and putting the others in the garage or in storage. 

8) Make sure fireplace mantels are not overloaded with items on display. A couple of well-placed items like a vase or small flower arrangement are all that is needed. , 

9) Make the fireplace a focal point, the star of the room. Arrange seating to face the fireplace. Remove the television, if large and in a formal living room. 

10) Clear the ashes out of any fireplace if it is not being used.

11) Clear out family photos and all other items that say “You do not live here” to a potential buyer. Fill any holes and touch up paint from taking them down. 

12) Put maximum safe wattage of light bulbs in all fixtures. 

13) Clean all wall switches and replace broken plates. 

14) Make sure that any pull-down staircase is strong enough to be used safely. 

15) Consider whether the posters currently in your children’s rooms are likely to offend any buyers. If so, store those posters for now. 

16) Remove all ashtrays. If there is a smoker in the residence, all smoking must be outside (not in garage) while property is on the market. 

17) Invest in some new and luxurious bedding (comforter, sheets, and accent pillows). You can take them when you move, and they will improve the look of the bedrooms while your current house is on the market. 

18) If your house is the least bit dated, consider changing items that will increase your home’s desirability such as dated wallpaper, light fixtures, etc. 



The kitchen may be the most important room in the home. Clean this room like your sale depends on it- because it does! 

1) Clean the oven and keep it clean; even if this means eating out (or getting deliveries) more often. 

2) After cleaning the range, put new drip pans under the burners or foil over the old ones. 

3) Clean around the seal of the dishwasher door. 

4) Look at the kitchen as if you were a health home inspector. Paying particular attention to: 

  1. Garbage area 
  2. Cracks
  3. Corners 

5) Make certain you get rid of all junk, broken or cracked dishes. Also remove disorganized items that have accumulated in the kitchen drawers and cabinets. 

6) Keep everything put away that can be put away, especially on counters. 

7) Check the cabinet doors and door handles for fingerprints. 



1) Put soaps and supplies in cabinets or containers. 

2) Keep counters and sink clean and empty. 

3) This is one room to take special care with lighting. Many laundry rooms are way too dark. Upgrade wattage in light fixtures if safe to do so. 

Make sure that any pull-down staircases, such as to an attic are working. Be sure that there is a working light in the attic, if equipped. 



1) Repair all leaky faucets. 

2) Caulk bathtubs, showers, and sinks. 

3) Coordinate towels in one or two colors. Fold clean towels in thirds and hang onto racks each day. Purchase new towels if necessary. 

4) Clear all items out of shower stalls and tubs except for necessities. 

5) Clean or replace shower curtains. 

6) If necessary, remove the shower door for cleaning. Use solution of one part muriatic acid to 10 parts water (use goggles when mixing), then scrub with plastic scouring pad and rinse clean. 

7) Fresh flower arrangements do wonders for a bathroom, both in appearance and aroma. No plug-in air fresheners or scented candles. 

8) If you have pets, be sure to clean around their food areas and empty litter boxes frequently. · 



1) Clean and sweep garage. Consider painting walls flat white and floors light gray.

2) Store any dangerous tools and arrange others neatly. Use containers and tool boxes as necessary. 

3) Check garage windows and screens. Windows should be clean and screens free of rips and tears. Windows should be checked for cracks and holes. Replace as needed. 

Remove all “junk” from the attic, closets, garage, and tool sheds. Large storage areas appeal to buyers. Rent a storage unit and clear out as much as possible to make your home feel open and roomy.


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