Most homes can use a little C.P.R. - Clean, Purge and Repair.
Start with a checklist for the outside and one for the inside, in order of priority.

Outside-Curb Appeal

1. Paint--does it need painting or touching up? How about power-washing the outside—this can be tricky, a professional knows how to do it correctly.

2. Is the lawn neat and green, shrubs trimmed lower than windows, and trash out of sight –many people won’t even look at a house if unappealing on the outside.

3. Give the front door a welcoming presence--paint the door and add a Baldwin brass kick plate on the bottom edge.

4. Replace light bulbs and all torn screens at local hardware/glass repair shop.

5. Freshen up the mailbox, place flowers or greens in empty window boxes. This increases market value and curb appeal immediately. Ditto for kitchen entrance.

6. Check walkways and stairs for cracked cement/bricks. Purchase ready mix cement from local building supply for repair if necessary. Minor repairs can be done easily.

7. Clean out gutters and downspouts.

8. Wash windows outside and in so they sparkle. Replace any broken panes.

9. Check roof for condition, if replacement is to be needed this will be a bargaining tool-one you’re prepared for.

Inside Appeal

10. “Clear the clutter, clear the mind”, a term often used in feng shui. Remove all unnecessary items from closets. You want to create the feeling of space, and organization.

11. If there isn’t enough time to methodically go through your closets, rent a P.O.D.--Portable On Demand storage. These can be filled and left in your driveway.

12. Eliminate bad odors-- smoke, mildew, and litter boxes. Hide the litter box from visibility.

13. Basements should have dehumidifiers running constantly. A good de-humidifier will go a long way to keep mildew smells at bay. Lava rocks sold at many bed and bath shops also help to neutralize odors.

14. Clean and de-clutter the kitchen—very few appliances should be left out

15. Scrub your refrigerator, stove, and oven-- especially if it is to be negotiated in with the house.

16. Make sure bathrooms sparkle and smell mildew here. Leave out new soap and fresh colorful towels for a good impression.

17. Change shower curtain liner.

18. Replace cracked floor tiles. It is easy to do.

19. Paint! It is one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to increase market value.

20. How is your furniture, artwork arranged? Is it a hodge-podge of different pieces? Hire a re-design specialist to re-arrange/ hang furniture and artwork for maximum resale. You want to display your home’s maximum desirability!

21. Repair any leaks. If you see them potential buyers will too!

22. Lubricate door hinges, knobs to eliminate squeaks.

23. Lighten up! Take off the five-layer décor on the windows. It is dated and no one likes a dark room. If your curtains are out of date, take them off and replace with shears.

24. Make beds look inviting and cozy by plumping up with a few decorative pillows, and attractive bedding. A bed-skirt can also make a room look lush.

25. Make sure carpets are clean and hardwood floors shine.

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Selling a home is different than living in it. Staging can make a large home look grand and a smaller one look like a jewel. It gives future buyers the opportunity to see it as theirs and not the present homeowner’s. The traditional starter home is now selling for $350,000 - $400,000 in the Boston area, so competition can be fierce.

A budget of $2,000.00 could go a long way to ready a house for resale:

Staging each room using a redesign specialist

Outside/inside painting of trim, doors

Hardwood floor refinished, carpets cleaned

Flowers purchased and planted in window boxes, beds or freestanding containers

Windows washed

Cleaning crew

Restaging your home can make the difference by getting your house sold at or nearest to the asking price and selling with the fewest days on the market. A house that stays on the market a long time loses its appeal in the resale market.