One of the first questions I encounter when meeting a home owner who is considering putting their home on the market is, “ what should we do to to get our home ready to sell?” My response is often a surprise. Hint- I do not recommend removing family photos. I find buyers find the family photos give the home a storyand warmth. Here’s my list of ten simple improvements you can do to help your home sell faster:


  1. Spruce up your baseboards: Repainting baseboards after repairing scratches with putty can make the border of any room look new.


  1. Fill in nail holes: Part of interior repainting should be careful attention to those errant nail holes from pictures, shelves, and other wall-mounted baubles. Putty, smooth, sand and paint an light neutral color.


  1. Sniff for smokers: Filter replacement is a must if someone’s been smoking in your home. Also wash down those walls and solid surfaces, prime them to seal in nicotine, and repaint. 


  1. Review the roof: Do you have missing singles? Broken tiles? Is mold and moss growing up there? Do some cleaning and spot replacing.


  1. Reinforce your gutters: Clean them out, dry them out, caulk them to prevent leaks. This will keep water off the siding, reducing staining and damage.


  1. Replace bad vinyl floors: Not only are they tacky when they’re cracked or cut, but they can suggest water damage to buyers. Shampoo carpets and have hardwood sanded and refinished. I do not recommend replacing the flooring completely unless it is unsightly. Too often a seller chooses a carpet they love, only to have the buyer want hardwood.


  1. Repair dripping faucets: Buyers will turn faucets on and off. What will they find? If your sinks and baths dribble, fix them before buyers imagine their future headache.


  1. Fill cabinet scratches: Tibet Almond Stick, Old English Scratch Cover, or even some artful re-staining can make cabinets seem new. Remember to polish them up when you’re done!


  1. Reseal wobbly toilets: If the bowl moves when you sit on it, the bolts are rusted or loose, or the bathroom floor is damp and discolored around the commode, replace the toilet or at the very tighten the bolts. This is one home inspectors report all the time.


  1. Clean, clean, clean: Wash windows, doors, light switches and all surfaces. Declutter, start the moving process by packing away as much as possible. Oh and yes, you can leave out pictures of your family.