How would a prospective buyer view your home? That's the first thing you should ask yourself before putting your home on the market. A few small changes can make a big difference.
• Is it cluttered? Remove photographs and small items from tabletops; put away kitchen appliances and other items on countertops and tables; organize closets and cabinets; and remove furniture so rooms look bigger.
• Does your yard look messy? Neaten up the lawn and clean drain gutters.
•Is your home welcoming? Make your front entry attractive by painting the door; hanging a wreath; installing outdoor lighting to make your home attractive in the evening; and sweeping the driveway.
• Does your home smell good? When prospective buyers come to call, bake bread or simmer some vanilla or cinnamon-scented water on the stove.
• Does your home look dark? Take down heavy drapes and let the sun shine in.
• Does your home look appealing? Buy some live plants and paint dingy walls. Preparing your home for viewing may result in a better price and faster turnover. Most importantly, homeowners should clean everything from their ovens to their window dressings. A multipurpose cleaner like OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover powder can be used to clean siding, gutters, unfinished decks, Venetian blinds, garbage disposals and stained countertops. Laurie Kilpatrick is a home- care expert who has managed homes and large estates for 20 years. She is also the author of "Miss Laurie's Smart Guide to House Cleaning." Make sure your home is spotless for prospective buyers. Clean everything from windows and window coverings to gutters.