This is a very tough time to try to sell a home. The market is flooded with properties and buyers have plenty to choose from. For these reasons, you must make your home the best that it can be. Whether you want to invest a bit of money or not, there are many ways that you can make your home look smashing. Follow this checklist and you will have buyers eating out of the palm of your hand.
Before you even start to think about what needs to be done, you need to walk around your home objectively. Get a pad of paper and a pen and write down things you notice. Now think about the existing space and what is in it. Do you have Elvis posters on the wall or hot pink carpet in the living room? Do you have a room dedicated to Precious Moments figurines? All these things are great, but please consider pre-packing them. You must appeal to as many people as possible. Remember your home is now a product for sale, so you must think like the buyer, not an owner.
You also need to decide if you want to invest money into your house. If you follow the suggestions below, you will make back your money. However, it does depend on the value of the home. You do not want to put the most expensive carpet in an average priced home just as you do not want the cheapest faucet in a high end home. Keep in mind; buyers want a “Move-in ready” home.
o Treat each room like an individual project. Each one will have different tasks to accomplish. Keep in mind what you may not like about the room and what the buyer may not appreciate. Write them down and tackle them in order of importance.
o What does your entryway say about your home? This is very important because this is where the first impression starts. Make it open & inviting.
o What color(s) are your walls? White is not permitted. It gives a very cold and uninviting feeling. Neutral colors are obviously the way to go. However, you can use some color. It is alright to give your home some personality. Soft colors of yellow, green, and even blues have a place in every home. Don’t forget about the ceiling. By painting the ceiling a shade lighter than the walls can make for a very cozy room. Ask your local paint store for help with color. That’s what they do all day long.
o If you have wallpaper, take it down! There is a good possibility that the buyer will not appreciate the pattern or color. Remember, they want “Move-in” ready.
o Slap on the spackle. Repairing holes or cracks in drywall is an easy & inexpensive way to take years off of your home.
o What condition are your floors in? There may be a few things to tackle here. If your carpets are in good condition & a neutral color, make sure they are clean. If you have flooring that is not neutral, replace them! You don’t want your buyers walking away because they don’t want to replace the carpet. If you have tile or wood floors make sure you have rugs down. Especially in a living room, a rug can pull a room together and really warm up the atmosphere.
o Declutter your home. The easier buyers can move through the space, the easier they can picture themselves there. Keep children’s toys in their room. Take down the wall collage of family pictures. Pack away some knickknacks. You want the buyers to focus on the architecture, not your belongings.
o Storage is very important to buyers. You do not want your home to look like it is bursting at the seams. There are several ways to make sure your home has plenty of storage. Pre-pack, pre-pack, pre-pack! Clean out your storage areas! Eat or donate some of the food in your overly stuffed pantry. Pack the out of season clothes. Add shelving. Whether it is in your closet, laundry room or in the garage, shelving is an affordable way to increase the storage. Don’t forget about the countertops. If you have too much on them, it appears there is not enough cabinet space. By having additional room in your storage places, it gives the impression there is plenty of room.
o How much furniture is in your home? Sometimes less is more. By just taking out a loveseat, bookcase, or leaf in a table you can make the appearance of the room look much larger.
o Get rid off or store old, beat up furniture. Frumpy looking furniture will make for a frumpy looking home. If you cannot afford new furniture, please get some new throw pillows or blankets to try and update it.
o Hire a home stager! For a small amount of money, we can place furniture and accessories, or provide a detailed list of necessary changes.
o Do you have a room in your house that you use for storage or don’t use at all? Give it a purpose. It’s like telling a story. You need the buyer to be able to visualize that room with furniture in it. Whether it is making a home office or even an exercise room, allow this space to have meaning.
o Shed some light on the subject. Upgrading you light fixtures will set your home apart from the other 10 homes your buyer is looking at. This can be an easy and inexpensive way to update your home. Find some fun, unique lighting for the kitchen and bath.
o Clean that fireplace! Even if you have only used it once, make sure your fireplace is spotless. This can easily date your home and give it the feeling it hasn’t been taken care of.
o Are you window coverings old, outdated, cheap looking, or too heavy? Get rid of them! You can get very inexpensive curtains or blinds from about any discount department store. Choose a color similar to your wall color. This allows the eye to keep moving, not stop and admire the “loud” coverings.
o What does your home smell like? Unfortunately, if it has a particular odor, you may be use to it. Ask someone who does not live in the home what it smells like. Having an odor can be a huge turn off to buyers. It gives the impression as poorly kept up or dirty. This doesn’t mean you have to bake an apple pie every time you show the home. Invest a few dollars in air fresheners. Choose a mild scent like fresh linen.
o Kitchens can be expensive to update, but well worth it. If your appliances, cabinets, or countertops are dated, replace them. You will be amazed at the difference. Choose a grade that reflects the value of your home. If you cannot afford to replace your cabinets, paint them and add new hardware to the doors. Add under cabinet lighting. This is an inexpensive way to add uniqueness to your kitchen. This is a great room to paint an actual color. It can create a contrast with your cabinets.
o Make your bathrooms luxurious. Notice many hotel bathrooms are very soothing and rich looking. Who doesn’t want that? Create that same felling in your home. This is an excellent place to spend some money because how many people actually upgrade their bathroom?
o Garages are unknown importance to buyers. The focus is always on kitchens and baths, but don’t forget about the garage. A few simple changes will go a long way. Organize and clean it. Do not use this as a storage area. For a small amount of money you can rent a storage box. Add storage which could include shelving and/or cabinets. Give it a fresh paint job.
o Odds & Ends- Add plants. They give life to a home. If you have a space that is small or doesn’t have a lot of light, add a mirror. If you have a lifeless room, consider adding trim. Whether it is crown molding or a chair rail, these will add character to the space.
Again, it’s all about setting your home apart from the others on the market. Invest in what you can see. Buyers do not appreciate non-cosmetic changes as much. Think about what you look for when shopping for a home. Remember, the harder you work on your home, the better the results will be.