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Getting your house ready to sell

Remember, first impressions are the most lasting. So start with the outside. Make sure your home invites people in rather than causes them to drive right by.

Ask your Delphi sales representative for help. He or she can tell you how to enhance your property economically.

Spend a few dollars to spruce up your property, it will pay off with a faster sale and a better price.

Outside the house

Make sure the front door looks impressive. Fix it, paint it. Do whatever needs to be done to make buyers want to enter.

Scrape off chipping paint on the gutters and have the gutters painted if necessary. Touch up the rough spots on the house but don't paint the entire house unless it's really in bad shape.

Trim shaggy shrubbery, clean up the yard and remove any trash. Have the lawn fertilized and keep it cut.

Replace any broken steps leading to the door. Have the driveway sealed.

Wash the windows. Make them sparkle in the sunlight.

If you have a garage, keep its door closed. Houses generally look better that way. If your garage is filled with junk, get rid of it. You need to show a roomy garage.

Inside the house

Concentrate on the kitchen and the bathrooms. Those are the rooms that sell homes, so make them shine. Take everything off the kitchen counter unless it makes the kitchen more attractive. Remove excess tables or stools that take up space.

In the bathrooms, check the caulking around the tubs; clean and scrub the tiles. Buy bright new shower curtains and toilet seat covers. Neatly hang out some colorful towels.

Clean up the bedrooms. Make them cheery and bright. If you have a huge dresser in the smallest bedroom, move it to another room. People like spacious looking bedrooms.

Make all the rooms look as roomy as possible. Push chairs, and sofas against the walls to get a feeling of roominess. Store surplus dishes, pots, pans and anything else that makes the house look cluttered.

Paint faded walls. You don't have to redo the entire inside of the house, but a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color or white, could brighten your whole house and will increase your chances of getting a better price.

Show big closets. You can't really make them bigger, of course, but you can make them look big by reorganizing or removing some of your clothing. Rent storage space if necessary, but make sure your closets aren't jammed full.

Get leaky faucets fixed! The leaks may be minor, but they are hard to explain and could make buyers think the plumbing is faulty.

Clear out the basement. Remove any accumulated junk you've been meaning to throw out for years. If the walls are in poor shape, a coat of white waterproof paint will do wonders. Clean out your attic. Remember that you are selling space, so don't hide it.

Tighten all doorknobs. That may not seem so important, but have you ever seen a prospective buyer who opened a door and ended up with a doorknob in his hand?

Naturally, you'll want to make sure that basic parts of the house, such as the heating and cooling system, the wiring and plumbing are in adequate working condition. But most important, the goal is to spruce up your home from top to bottom so that you can put your home's features to their best advantage.