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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Get your home ready to sell

David Uffington King Features Syndicate

The home-selling season is halfway over for the year, and far too many houses are sitting unsold. Beat the competition by getting your home in shape before you even put it on the market.

“Have your own property inspection done before you put your home up for sale. This gives you a repair checklist and saves you from having to make costly last-minute repairs (or renegotiate the price of the home) if the buyer makes them part of the contract.

“Hire a weekly lawn service until your home is sold. Aim for a manicured yard, trimmed hedges and colorful flowers each and every day.

“Hold a garage sale or rent a storage unit to clear out the clutter. The idea is to open up the space and make the rooms and closets look as big as possible. This goes for the garage as well. Unless the garage is already well-organized with shelves and cabinets, clear out the excess.

“If it makes noise, fix it. Stair treads, wood floors, door hinges and cabinets are all places for squeaks that you might not notice anymore, but a buyer will. Tighten loose cabinets and doorknobs.

“Replace rusted gutters and screens with holes, clean oil-stained garage floors and driveways, and repair dripping faucets and doors that don’t open easily. A fresh coat of interior paint can make the whole place look cleaner and bigger, especially if you go with a neutral color.

“Paint the front door and make the entryway look inviting. Invest in new door hardware.

“Buy stronger light bulbs. Go for at least 100 watt bulbs all over the house to brighten the space, especially if you’re showing your home on an overcast day.

“Spend the money for a professional cleaning service at least once, and follow them around to see how they do it.

“Make sure the kitchen and baths are sparkling clean.Consider hiring a “staging” consultation. Stagers can often bring in higher prices (and faster sales) for homes because the home is rearranged to show its best features.

“Try to see your home as a buyer will. Aim for large, bright, airy rooms free of clutter.

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