While we are busying ourselves cleaning, decluttering, and generally preparing our house for marketing, there is an area that is usually overlooked–the ceiling. We are so focused on floors and walls that we neglect looking up and address what is going on above our heads.

First let’s examine the ceiling:

  • Are there water stains from an old leak?
  • Are there settlement cracks or nail pops?
  • Is there evidence of an old sloppy paint job that you vowed to fix but never did?
  • Is the ceiling dingy from years of cooking or smoking?
  • Are there cobwebs?

All of these items are turn-offs to buyers or, in some cases, red flags that there may be an unresolved problem, none of which is good for you as a seller.

How about the light fixtures:

  • Are your light fixtures dated? An inexpensive replacement could change the whole look of a room.
  • Do ceiling mounted fixtures have dead bugs lying in state up there?
  • Do your chandeliers or other lights have missing or dead bulbs?
  • Are spiders busying themselves stringing a zip line from one arm to another of your chandelier?

Ceiling Fans—A bonus feature or deterrent:

  • Real estate agents all hold their breaths when a buyer wants to turn on a ceiling fan.
  • Will they waver and clunk?
  • Will they spray a cloud of dust that starts everyone gasping for fresh air?
  • Or are the paddles so greasy and caked that the word “Eeeww” comes to mind?

Light Bulbs—An important yet overlooked detail:

Light fixtures need to have clean, dust free bulbs with the maximum wattage that the fixture will allow. CFL bulbs may be good for living to keep energy costs low, but for selling you are sending a message that the utilities in this house are high. Take the CFL’s to your new house.
One important, if not the most important, thing to remember is that light sells. Anyone in any kind of marketing knows this. Ever notice the crisp, clean feeling you get on those commercials for car insurance with the ever-exuberant character named Flo? It is done on purpose because light makes people feel good. You want buyers to feel good when they are in your home.”