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Interior Tips

Atmosphere
When placing yourself in the potential buyer's shoes, you will want to consider the overall atmosphere of your home. Keep color, lighting, and smell in mind as you go through the home. Create an atmosphere within your home as one of shelter, a place that is safe and warm, and in good condition.

Smell
A clean-smelling house creates a positive image in the buyer's mind. Be aware of any odors from cooking, cigarettes, pets, etc. that may have adverse affects on potential buyers.

Color
Be cautious selecting colors when painting or replacing carpeting. The key is to promote your home to the largest segment of the buying market as possible. Stay with neutral colors - let the new owner choose their own color scheme.

Lighting
Take advantage of natural light as much as possible by cleaning windows, opening shades and drapes, etc. Add lamps and lighting where necessary. Be sure that all fixtures are clean and have functioning bulbs. Increase the wattage of the bulbs in the basement area.

Walls
Check for peeling paint, loose wall paper. Consider replacing unusual or bold colors with neutral tones.

Floors
Clean all wall-to-wall carpet and area rugs. Clean and polish linoleum, tile and wooden floors. Consider refinishing wood floors if necessary.

Closets
Empty closets of off-season clothing and pack for the move. Organize them to demonstrate the most efficient use of space. Leave as few items on the floor of shelves as possible.

Furniture
Arrange furniture to give the rooms as spacious a feeling as possible. Consider removing furniture from rooms that are too crowded. Avoid clutter. Pack up knickknacks -- both to protect them and to give the room a more spacious feel if necessary, but leave enough items to give the home a personal touch. Dispose of unneeded items. Store large furniture if necessary.

Woodwork
Clean and polish all woodwork if necessary. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bath cabinets.

Bathrooms
Cleanliness is the key! Make sure that all surfaces are spotless and remove non-skid decals that are in poor condition. Replace worn or dirty shower curtains, clean and repair caulking, store all personal care products out of sight. Repair any faucets that leak or do not function properly. Clear off countertops. Clean and organize all cabinets and drawers. Shampoo throw rugs. Consider bringing out your best soaps and towels. Add a plant for color and freshness.

Fireplace
Sweep and clean the fireplace. Place a few logs on the grate to create an attractive appearance. You are welcome to have a fire going during showings -- it creates a great atmosphere.

Appliances/Light Fixtures
Clean, bright sparkling and shiny!

Dining Room
Consider adding fresh or silk flowers, or setting the table with an attractive arrangement.

Kitchen
Avoid clutter -- store small appliances whenever possible to maximize the appearance of work space. Clean and organize all storage space. Sinks, cabinets, appliances, and counter tops should be clean and fresh.

Basement/Attic
The basement and attic should be cleaned and organized. Be sure that the stairs are cleared, well-lighted and that the handrail is secure. Remove and dispose of any items that will not be moved with you. Pack other items neatly in boxes.

Garage
Sweep and wash the floor to remove dirt and stains. Organize tools, garden equipment, bicycles, etc.

Items not included in the sale
Remove (and replace if applicable) any items that will not be included in the sale of the property such as light fixtures.

You might want to consider asking a good friend to walk through your house pretending to be a buyer. They can sometimes give a fresh perspective on areas where improvements can be made. Remember, you live in this house everyday and can sometimes overlook the obvious.

For even more tips please e-mail Cindy at: cindy@athenshomes.com.

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