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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    It will be Punxsutawney Phil's 127th prognostication this weekend! While he's the only true weather forecasting groundhog, Houlihan Lawrence knows that spring is just around the corner no matter what Phil predicts for the remainder of this winter.

    Here are seven tips to consider when preparing your home for sale this spring:

    1. De-Personalize and de-clutter. Nothing is more distracting to a potential buyer than a home that is loaded with personal photos and vast quantities of knick-knacks and disorderly clutter. Buyers want to imagine their own possessions and mementos in your home. They also want to be able to view the house without a lot of distractions. Consider donating or throwing away items you no longer need and don’t want to take with you when you move.
    2. Organize your closets and cabinets. If your closets and cabinets are packed, the message you send to buyers is that there is not enough storage space. A well-organized closet or cabinet is an indication that you are taking good care of the entire property. Evaluate what you need and pack or get rid of the rest. Less is more in this case.
    3. Clean, polish, dust, wax, wash and vacuum. A clean house smells fresh and looks great. View your home as if for the first time. Are the windows clean, are cobwebs hanging from the ceiling? Do the floors need vacuuming? Is the bathtub grout stained and dingy? A little sparkle goes a long way!
    4. Make minor repairs. Walk around your home and look to see if there is anything that can be easily repaired. Check for leaking pipes and faucets, clogged drains, broken toilets and sinks.  Replace broken switches, outlets and light fixtures. Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors if you don’t already have any. If you have any rotten windowsills, broken steps or cracked window glass, plan to make those repairs as soon as the weather allows.
    5. Refresh ceilings, walls and floors. A fresh coat of paint is the most cost-effective improvement you can do to prepare your home for sale. Removing dated wallpaper and textured ceilings, replacing worn carpet and refinishing wood floors also makes your home appealing to buyers.
    6. Updates for your kitchen. If your cabinets are painted, apply a fresh coat of paint. Replace older cabinet hardware and faucets with new. Make sure your sink isn’t stained and unsightly. Consider a new light fixture if your current one is dated.
    7. Create curb appeal. It may not be warm enough outside to do all the necessary cosmetic repairs needed for the exterior of your home. As soon as you are able, consider repairing walkways leading to your front door, resurfacing asphalt driveways, planting or potting flowers by the entry, replacing old locks and doorknobs. Buy a new welcome mat. Any or all of these improvements will make a great first impression on potential homebuyers.

    Evaluating your home the way a buyer would is a step in the right direction. When you list your house for sale this spring is it in “move-in condition”? Give yourself one advantage over your competition by doing everything you can to make sure your house shines.