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Spring and Summer are the busiest home buying seasons in our market of Lawton, Cache, Elgin and surrounding communities. If you are considering putting your home on the market, here are tried and true tips to help your home look its best…which will make it more appealing to buyers and help it sell quickly!

Create Curb Appeal. The exterior of your home creates the buyers' first impression. Buyers often drive-by your home before scheduling an appointment to see the inside. They can make a snap decision to rule out a property based on how well maintained and attractive a home is on the exterior, assuming if it's not well maintained on the outside, the inside will be the same. First impressions truly do make a difference.

Draw buyers to your home with these simple exterior improvements:

  • Mow the lawn and reseed or add sod to areas that are bare.
  • Plant blooming flowers and green shrubs.
  • Hang easy to read house numbers.
  • Wash windows.
  • Touch up paint.
  • Clean siding.
  • Spruce up your porch with a clean doormat and blooming potted plants.
  • Keep your porch lights on in the evenings and consider adding solar lights to the front walk to make a nice impression for evening showings.


Your House should be Sparking Clean. Every surface of your home should sparkle. Clean the floors, windows, counters and grout. Steam clean carpets. This is the best way to help your home show at its best. You may want to hire a professional to help with the heavy-duty cleaning. It will definitely be worth the expense.

Clear Away All Clutter. Consider renting an offsite storage unit temporarily to get all clutter out of sight. Clear surfaces, such as countertops and floors, give the impression of more space to buyers. Sparsely filled cupboards and closets give the illusion of ample storage. Purge anything unsightly or unnecessary. Save your collections and personal style for your next home, as they may be a turn off to potential buyers. A few neutral items like vases of cut flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen can add a nice touch.

Rearrange your Furniture. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements are pleasing. Pull your furniture away from the walls and use pairs of sofas, chairs and lamps to create an inviting conversation area.

Choose Neutral Colors. Neutral colors eliminate the risk of buyers thinking their color schemes won't work in your home. You don't need to choose stark white, but instead select neutrals like taupes or grays. Your Realtor or local paint store can steer you toward popular colors that are appealing to buyers.

Remove Family Photos and Personal Items. Buyers want to envision themselves in your home, and that can be difficult when it is filled with your family's photos and personal items. Create a neutral environment that allows buyers to see your house as the next home for their own family.

Create a Gender-Neutral Master Bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can't go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and an attractive blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

Open your Closets! Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers. Help your closets appear more spacious by removing excess items. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.

Clean Up Toys. The clutter of toys strewn everywhere can be a real distraction to buyers, even if they have kids! When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. A beautifully organized kids room just might sway them. Box up extra toys and store them offsite, and leave a few favorite toys for your kids for this short time period.

 Use "Extra" Rooms Wisely. If you have a spare bedroom that serves as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it's time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids' room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.

Try a Pedestal Sink to Maximize Space. If you have a small bathroom but a huge cabinet-style sink, consider swapping it out for a simple pedestal version. Your bathroom will appear instantly larger and updated.

Use only Perfect Personal Accents. Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a beautiful, clean, fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent —but if your robe is nubby and worn, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor's eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).

Entice People to Explore the Whole House. By placing something that draws the eye at the top of the stairs, in hallways or in corners, you can pique curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.

Show how you can use Awkward Areas. If you have any room beneath the stairs, or a nook or alcove, anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. By setting up a small work station, or built-in shelving, your awkward spot becomes another selling point.

Beware Pet Odors. Really, this can be a big one! When you live with a pet you often become immune to their odors, but buyers are not. If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Consider cleaning upholstered furniture, as it can hold odors. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.

Create an Appealing Lifestyle. Help buyers imagine how they might enjoy your home. For example, hang a hammock in your backyard and a place a bench swing on your porch for the perfect touch.

Stage the Outdoors too. Even if your home has only a very small patio, play it up with a cute café table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won't be thinking "small," they will be thinking, "What a charming spot to have breakfast!"

Think Seasonally. Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer, and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the season in autumn and winter, by building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove.

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