1. An untidy landscape
Just like a firm handshake gives people their first impression of you, so does your landscape. Most people will do a drive-by before making an appointment to tour the home. If it looks neglected, they will keep driving.
Taking the time to mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, remove fallen twigs, and pick up toys compel buyers to tour the inside. Power washing the exterior of your home can really freshen it up. You may even want to repaint the outside if it is badly sun faded. Sometimes you can get away with repainting window trim, doors and the garage door.
2. Neglected gutters and roofs
A rainy day and overflowing gutters can turn off potential buyers in a hurry. They may wonder about water damage to the foundation and drainage issues. Water damage should always be mitigated.
Don’t forget about the roof. While the roof will be included during the home inspection, it’s beneficial to correct potential problems before putting the house on the market.
3. Cooling system maintenance
Keeping your air conditioning system in tip-top condition keeps things running at optimal efficiency, saving you money, whether you live in the home or not. A big turnoff for buyers is a dusty-smelling AC unit when it’s turned on. There are a few steps to maintaining an AC system, such as cleaning the evaporator coil. You can maintain your own system, and it’s a smart idea since it can extend equipment life. See this AC maintenance article from the DIY Network. If you have wall mounted units, they should be cleaned as well. Setting the thermostat at 66 degrees Fahrenheit during showings ensures a comfortable tour of your home
One often overlooked item to clean is ceiling fan blades. Simple to clean with a step ladder, it’s another one of those items that shows pride of ownership in your home.
4. Critter control
In warm weather climates we have a myriad of pests to deal with. Professional pest control can be costly, so make sure you are doing everything you can to keep pests out. Inspecting your home for entry points, such as cracks and holes, is a good idea prior to putting your home on the market. Include the foundation, siding and fascia under the roofline in your walk-around. Wire mesh or steel wool around stove and dryer vents can often deter these unwanted guests. Mice can be especially troublesome, but there are solutions you can do yourself. If you have a large infestation, you may want to hire a professional to close any gaps where they enter your home.
5. Cleaning windows
One of the easiest and fool-proof ways to show off your house is through clean windows. Dirty windows could tell buyers that you just don’t care about the house, but sparkling windows give the home a refreshed look.
Pro tip: Clean windows early in the morning before they are heated up by the sun. A hot window, or a window in direct sunlight, is next to impossible to clean. No matter how good the window cleaner is, they will streak.
If one of the selling points of your house is the outside view, grimy windows will be a detriment. You might want to take the time after a storm to wipe them down for a clear look at the backyard.
6. Clear up lanai spaces
Getting top dollar for your home can be all about the details, so don’t neglect these general maintenance areas. You will come out ahead in the long run.