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Ask Adam: Sprucing Up Your Home

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: Do you have any last minute advice you can give us to spruce up our house before we put it on the market? 

It’s time to get your Martha Stewart on! The closer you can get your home looking like a model home, the greater your chance for creating emotional appeal and therefore maximizing the sales price. Below are three items I recommend for any home that is not being sold as a fixer upper or tear down.

Spic and span — Whether you are going to do it yourself or hire professionals, make sure you deep clean your house. This includes cleaning windows, dusting trim, bleaching grout & caulk, dusting blinds & ventilation grills, cleaning the oven & microwave, sweeping the garage… basically the ultimate spring cleaning. While you’re at it, replace old shower curtains and decorative towels. They will look crisp and smell new.

Schedule additional cleanings on a weekly basis until the home is under contract.

Declutter –– The object is no longer about function so put away all the small kitchen appliances and miscellaneous items on your kitchen countertops. You want them to feel as spacious as possible. Do the same for bathroom counters. Box up any unnecessary knick knacks and personal photos. Organize your closets and box up anything not being used for this season. Walk through each room in your house and collect anything that may be considered clutter. If necessary, rent a storage pod for items you do not have room for.

Walls and Floors — In case you were wondering… it is almost always better to paint and address the floors than to offer a credit. If you are selling your home as move-in ready, potential buyers want to see the full potential. A credit sounds nice, but it is not as powerful as a well presented home. Paint the walls if necessary. You can get away with touch-up paint or use a magic eraser if there are just a few minor scuffs. If the carpet is just lightly soiled then try a good steam clean first.  If the carpet is worn down, then it needs to be replaced. If the hardwood floors are scratched or worn, then sand & refinish them.

This may be more work than you were hoping for, but I guarantee it will be worth the return on investment. If you are on a tight budget, most of these items can be done yourself.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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