Elizabeth Eversen
Elizabeth Eversen
(805) 815-1976(805) 815-1976

Seller’s Check List

Spruce Up the Yard and Exterior

• Paint
Few things will enhance the saleability of a house quite so much, as painting the outside. Before painting, scrape or water blast any blistered or peeling paint; repair gutters and down spouts and replace wood showing dry rot. Wood, trim work, gutters, and wrought iron should receive primary attention.

• Front Entry
Give special care to this area. This is where buyers get their first opportunity to make a close inspection, and they will pick it apart looking for flaws, so eliminate them. All woodwork should be freshly and neatly painted, including the door if necessary. Replace a badly worn or broken doorbell button. Polish the door brass. Repaint or replace any unsightly mailbox. Put out a new or clean door mat. Do a thorough weeding and pruning job on any flower beds near the entry, and try to have some flowering plants growing.

• Yard
Mow and trim the lawn. Weed flower beds: remove or replace dead plants or trees. Water regularly during the growing season. With desert landscaping, make sure that no underlying plastic is exposed, that rocks and sand are tidy, and that weeds and grass are removed.Dr

• Driveway, Garage/Carport
Clean up grease or oil spots; remove the soil at least, if not the stain. See that the garage door opens freely and that the automatic door opener is in good working order. If possible, don’t park cars in front of the house or in the driveway, and try to have very few parked cars on the street near the house. Recreational vehicles or boats should be in the garage or carport or behind a fence in the back. Derelict cars or ones being overhauled, should not be visible from the street and preferably should not be present.

• Fence
A few missing stakes or slates are real eyesores to buyers, yet are usually inexpensive and easy to fix. Repair, paint or stain as necessary.

• Roof
Remove visible debris or toys. Straighten the television antenna if necessary. Remove any tree branches bearing on the roof.

• Air Conditioning
Repaint or replace any rusted exposed metal. Correct improper draining.

• Patio
A nice spread of outdoor furniture looks very appealing. If necessary, borrow from a friend to enhance show ability.

• Swimming Pool
Adjust chemicals until the pool sparkles. Hose dust and cobwebs from filtration equipment. Store chemicals and tools neatly.

Look at the Basics Around Your House

• Windows
Repair or replace torn or bent screens. As a last resort, remove them entirely; no screens are better than unsightly ones. Replace any cracked or broken panes. Also, notice foliage near windows. A window framed in ivy can give a warm, homey feeling, but cut it back if the foliage is restricting the light coming into the room. Drapery rods should be affixed firmly to walls and working smoothly; draperies should be reasonably clean and hang properly.

• Doors
Repair or replace doors with holes. One method of repair short of replacement is to cover a hole with a mirror or piece of paneling. Check to see that all doors open and close freely, including closet doors and patio and sliding glass doors. Oil any squeaky doors. Tighten the hardware, particularly doorknobs. And, while making this kind of adjustment, tighten hardware on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, too.

• Walls
As with the exterior, painting will pay dividends out of all proportion to the time and effort spent. Wallpaper should be clean and adhere smoothly to walls. Patch all major holes in the wallboard and plaster. Loose handrails on stairways should be secured to walls. Clean or paint air-vent covers.

• Floors
Repair or replace missing or damaged pieces of tile; polish if needed. Repair of a loose stair tread-plate or loose carpeting on a stairway is a top priority.

• Carpets
Steam-cleaning is the best answer for soiled carpet; shampooing seldom does the job where show ability is concerned. If pet odors are present, be sure to clean the carpet some time before the home is placed on the market to be sure the odors have been eliminated. Loose carpet should be anchored properly.

Check Mechanical and Electrical Features

• Lights
Every light socket in and around the house should have a good bulb of adequate wattage. Don’t overlook those outside; in the garage; utility room, halls, closets, or over the kitchen sink; and in the oven and exhaust hood.

• Switches and Fixtures
Repair or replace wall switches, outlets, and light fixtures that don’t work, replace any broken switch plates. Note: If you are not fully competent to handle these repairs, call in a professional.

• Appliances
Those that will be sold with the home should be in good working order. If specific equipment does not work and you do not intend to repair it, point this out.

• Plumbing
Badly chipped or irreversibly stained sinks and tubs should be re-enameled, patched, or replaced. Leaky or excessively noisy toilets should be fixed, as well as any dripping faucets.

• Sprinkler Systems
These should be working properly with no defective heads.

Arrange for a Spacious Look

One of the best and least expensive ways to improve the show ability of your home is to open as much space as possible. Openness stimulates positive feelings in buyers. Overstuffed rooms or closets give the impression of being smaller than they really are. You can’t change the size of what you have, so try to present it in a pleasing way. If necessary, rent a mini-warehouse to store your extra belongings in while the house is on the market.

• Closets & Storage Areas
One of the most frequently voiced requirements of buyers is for closet and storage space. Open up your storage areas by getting rid of items you aren’t using.

• Counters & Cabinets
The same principle applies here. Over-crowding gives the impression of inadequacy. This applies to bathrooms and kitchens, with the kitchen being the most important. Store infrequently used counter-top appliances. Do some prudent discarding in cabinets.

• Garage
Buyers will pay a premium for a garage if they visualize it being a value to them, but it’s hard to sell the virtues of a garage when it is filled to overflowing. If your garage has become a two-car attic, move excess to a mini-warehouse for the duration.

Hints on Housekeeping

The following tips address areas often neglected or overlooked.

• Bathrooms
Few places in the home can get so dirty so fast, and yet few things will “unsell” a house as fast as dirty baths. Vanity, sink, faucet hardware, and mirror are the focal points, but other potential problems might be soap residue in a shower, a moldy shower curtain, accumulated dirt in the track of the sliding shower door, soiled or missing grout, stained toilet bowls, and dirty or battered mats.

• Kitchen
Like baths, kitchens get dirty all by themselves. Most buyers will inspect this area carefully, so extra time invested here is well spent. Clean the stove inside and out. Replace badly stained or corroded reflector plates under the heating elements on electric range tops. Don’t neglect the kitchen exhaust hood; buyers frequently check this area as a clue to general housekeeping.

• Windows
Clean windows are an absolute necessity if a house is to look its best, yet this is very often overlooked.

• Water Heater & Softener
Perhaps because it is so unusual, a sparkling clean water heater or water softener really impresses buyers – and it takes so little time and effort.

Sniff Out Unpleasant Odors

• Wet Towels and Washcloth
Residents of a home frequently aren’t aware of what a potential source of bad odor these are. Replace all used towels with fresh ones before a showing.

• Soiled Clothes
When the house is being shown, keep dirty laundry out of the living area; move it to the utility room, garage, or storage area. This applies especially to a diaper pail.

• Garbage
Take all trash and garbage out of the house, particularly any food-related discards from the kitchen, and make sure no potatoes or onions are going bad under the sink or in the pantry. After running garbage through a disposal unit, grind up part of a lemon to add a fresh smell.

• Cats & Dogs
As a first step, move the cat’s litter box out of the house. And be sure to clean up after the dog before any showings.

Important Reminders

• Valuables
You may have valuable possessions that you like to display in your home, but when the house is being shown to strangers is not the time. Never leave small valuable items lying around on counters or visible in closets or cabinets. Get them out of sight, if not out of the house. Don’t invite a problem.

• Exclusions from the Sale
Make a note now of the items you do not intend to include with the sale of the house. Freestanding items generally are not included, but when in doubt, spell it out. Some items that often cause misunderstandings are light fixtures, draperies, large mirrors, water softeners, garage door openers, and television antennas.

• Keys
As you are readying the house for the market, make a note to gather all the keys for the house, including keys for doors, deadbolts, garage doors, and any padlocks around the property.

• Instruction Manuals
As with keys, gather manuals and warranties for the mechanical equipment in the house – kitchen appliances, water heater and softener, air conditioning and heating units, evaporative cooling units, pool and filtration equipment, and electronic air filters.

Tips for Showing

• Lights
Open all draperies unless there is an objectionable view. In most rooms, you should turn on lights for a bright and cheerful look. Lamps and indirect lighting are preferable, and use overhead lights if that’s all there is in a particular room.

• Light Switches
If some wall switches operate wall outlets, plug in a lamp or radio to demonstrate that the switch works. When a buyer flips a switch and nothing happens, he instinctively suspects a problem.

• Aromas
Set out some fresh flowers, both for their appearance and fragrance. Right before an agent showing, place a small dish of vanilla extract in your oven at 250 degrees.

• Closets
Keep doors closed except for walk-in closets. Have those doors slightly ajar and turn on the lights to draw attention to this special feature.

• Posters & Signs
We live in a tolerant age, but don’t take a chance on offending a potential buyer. Remove all signs or posters that might be considered offensive.

• Ashtrays
Dirty ashtrays are both unsightly and a source of objectionable odor to nonsmokers. Keep them clean.

• Utility Bills
Have copies of the past 12 months’ bills available, or at least a written summary of the amounts paid monthly for the period.

• Pets
Get them out of the house, if not off the property. Some people don’t like dogs, and nobody likes muddy paw prints on a clean suit or dress. Cats can be just as objectionable to the person who doesn’t like them, and invariably a cat will single out the cat-hater to use as a rubbing post.

• Music
Soft background music will help create a relaxed mood that prompts buyers to linger and enjoy, but no music is better than loud music. Never have the television on when the house is being shown.

• Your Presence
Most buyers will not relax and closely inspect a home if the owners are present, so try to arrange to turn the home over to the salesperson. If you must remain at home, refrain from talking unless questions are directed to you. All to often, a seller will jump in to point out some special feature, fearful that the salesperson might overlook it. But, please bear in mind that some of the most successful sales people will say little or nothing during showings, and for two reasons: First; they have made their selling points before entering the house; and second; they want the buyers to discover some things for themselves in order to build excitement. The salesperson also knows the buyers temperament. So trust the salesperson’s professional judgment.

Elizabeth Eversen

Picture of Elizabeth Eversen

Elizabeth Eversen

Your Camarillo and Ventura County Real Estate Professional

CA BRE# 01912095

EEversen@BHHSCalHomes.com

350 N. Lantana G-1, Camarillo, CA 93010

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Realty

350 N. Lantana St., G-1. Camarillo, CA 93010

Elizabeth is your go-to realtor for buying and selling your next home or investment property. Serving the real estate needs of home buyers, sellers, and property investors in Ventura County including Camarillo, Santa Rosa Valley, Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Moorpark, and Westlake Village. Elizabeth specializes in Camarillo’s many distinctive neighborhoods from Village at the Park, Mission Oaks, Spanish Hills, Sterling Hills, Las Posas Estates, Camarillo Heights, Camarillo Springs, University Glen, Santa Rosa, Somis, and Old Town Camarillo. ©2017. BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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