Increasing your home’s appeal

The 60-second rule: That’s all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some ways to maximize your home’s appeal.

Exterior

Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
Tighten and clean all door handles.
Clean windows inside and out.
Powerwash home’s exterior.
Ensure gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
Paint the front door.
Buy a new welcome mat.
Place potted flowers near the front door.

Interior

Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room appear smaller.
Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
Shampoo carpets.
Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
Fix or replace discolored grout.
Replace broken tiles.
Replace worn countertops.

Special details for showings

Turn on all the lights.
Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
Keep pets secured.
Buy new towels for bathrooms.
Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
Replace old lamps or lampshades.
Play quiet background music.
Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
Infuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
Vacate the property while it is being shown.