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When you market your listings, you want prospective buyers to focus on what’s great, not what needs fixing or is in poor condition. Sellers can do a lot to make sure their home shows well and will get better offers than those that are in obvious need of TLC. The idea is to take attention off areas of superficial concern that buyers might otherwise focus on. Every negative adds up in the buyer’s mind, so it’s often wise to invest in some basic updates and repairs before the home is listed.

A significant kitchen or bath remodel may not be possible or practical, but some updating will help these spaces boost their appeal to potential buyers. In many neighborhoods. upgraded and updated kitchens and baths are the norm, and anything less will be looked upon negatively. If the appliances are old or in less-than-perfect condition, replace them. An updated kitchen faucet is another nice touch that doesn’t have to cost a lot but will make a good impression. In the bathrooms, tile flooring should be professionally cleaned and the grout sealed. If the tile is in bad shape, replacing it with neutral, basic tile will make it a non-issue. Here, too, an updated faucet is a good choice. Replace the shower curtain with a neutral style or better yet, remove it altogether for a tidier appearance. This will make the bathroom appear larger, too.

Carpeting should be cleaned and in good condition. If it’s very worn and stained, usually the best choice is to simply replace it. The same goes for kitchen flooring—if it’s in bad shape, new flooring is the way to go. In some cases, new flooring can be installed right over the existing material. Replacement flooring doesn’t have to be top quality; the most important thing is that it looks good and won’t draw negative attention.

Having the windows washed inside and out makes the whole house sparkle and is another sign of a well-maintained home. Removing dated or less-than-pristine window coverings will maximize the natural light and create an open feeling in the home while eliminating another potential distraction. These can be stored on site in case the buyer wants to use them when they move in.

Outdoors, replace any missing or damaged fence boards. It may be obvious that they’ve been replaced, but that’s preferable to leaving the fence in bad shape. Plants should be trimmed and weeds pulled. A thick application of bark mulch is an easy and inexpensive way to make planting areas look clean and neat instead of a mess the new owner will have to deal with. Clean up patio areas so that it’s easier for prospective buyers to envision themselves enjoying those spaces.

As you well know, one of the first impressions you want a buyer to have is, “It looks like this home has been well taken care of.” Homes that look great can mean better offers for your clients and happier buyers, which will reflect well on you, too.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is committed to ensuring confident homeownership. To learn more about how Pillar To Post Home Inspectors can help your clients, visit