"The most important thing you can do is to make your home look welcoming when people drive by," says Kimber Powell, Realtor and sales manager for Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group in Altoona, Iowa.
"You want to invite them in. Make sure your front door looks nice. Trim and landscape your yard. Accent your entryway with a new door mat and pots of flowers that contrast with the color of your home," she says.
Follow these tips to position your house for a successful sale:
Enhance curb appeal
A well-maintained house appeals to more buyers and can sell faster and may sell for a higher price, according to Realtor.com.
Maximize your home's exterior appearance. Keep the lawn and landscaping edged, cut and watered. Inspect doors, windows, trim, foundation and siding for peeling paint. Repaint and replace items as needed. Clean out gutters and replace missing caulk and shingles.
Make your home look bigger by removing clutter and storing personal items and extra furniture before prospective buyers arrive. Make repairs where needed, Powell advises.
"Repairs are ongoing maintenance needs that show your home has been well-cared-for and kept up-to-date," she says. "Most potential buyers want turn-key homes that are easy to move into."
Repaint dingy or stained walls with a neutral shade of paint. Repair cracks or holes in walls, ceilings, tile and woodwork. Replace broken items and consider updating worn-out cabinet knobs, dated curtains and battered bath and kitchen hardware.
Show lifestyle possibilities
Create a lifestyle story to help buyers envision themselves living in your home. Have a small kitchen but a big deck? Focus on outdoor entertaining by adding lights, comfy cushions and showcasing grilling areas, Powell recommends. If you love your neighborhood, highlight a front porch with wicker furniture and window boxes.
"You want to show buyers the ways they can use the entire home and yard," Powell says. "If you don't have outdoor furniture or decorations, work with a stager to borrow those items." Or consider borrowing items from friends or family to get your home staged for sale.
Highlight quality brands
If your home features or you've replaced items with high-quality brands, like Pella Windows and Doors, include their names in your home's sell sheet, Powell says.
"People are very conscious of name brands and high-quality products. They also want to know about energy-saving benefits and warranties that may transfer to them," she says.
Windows, door replacement
Projects like window and door replacements can recoup more than 70 percent of their cost at resale, according to the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine's Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.
Whether you're preparing your home to sell, or updating it to live in longer, Pella offers low-maintenance, energy-efficient vinyl, wood, and fiberglass replacement windows and doors that can help improve your home's curb appeal, and help lower utility bills.
"Stylish exterior doors that look like wood, with the minimal maintenance of fiberglass, are popular replacement options," says Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella spokesperson. "Plus, fiberglass offers exceptional energy efficiency, weather resistance and outstanding durability."
Pella fiberglass entry doors offer many prefinished options, as well as custom colors so you can design a door that truly reflects your home's style.