Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
From experience, Realtors® know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price than a "shabby" house, even if both are structurally well maintained. Buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is well maintained, they assume that what they can't see has also been well maintained. Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal.
How Much Should You Spend?
Spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive polishes and touch-ups to your house (such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of paint in the living room) than doing extensive and costly renovations (such as installing a new kitchen). Realtors® are familiar with buyers' expectations in your neighborhood and can advise you on specific improvements that are most effective.
Maximizing Exterior and Curb Appeal
When getting your home ready to sell, focus first on the exterior. If the curb appeal looks good, people will more than likely want to see what's inside. Here are some tips to enhance your home's exterior to appeal to buyers:
Keep your lawn healthy by maintaining the cut, edging, and ensuring it's watered
Trim hedges, weeds, and flowerbeds
Give your front door area a 'welcome' feeling; for example, by adding an outdoor rug, flowers/plants, and/or by painting your front door
Check foundation, steps, walkways, and patios for cracks and deterioration (if able, fix any problem areas)
Remove and repaint any peeling pain on doors or windows
Maximizing Interior Appeal
Three words to focus on when you think about interior appeal are spacious, bright, and clean. It might be a good idea when you're ready to list the home to remove a lot of your personal and sentimental objects so buyers can begin to imagine themselves living there. Here are some tips to enhance your home's interior appeal to buyers:
Thoroughly clean and remove clutter.
Make the kitchen and bathrooms inviting by organizing and removing less frequently used items from your counters. Both the kitchen and bathrooms should look as modern, bright, and fresh as possible. It is essential for them to be clean and odor free.
Repair dripping faucets and showerheads
Buy showy new towels for bathroom and put them out only for showings
Spruce up a kitchen in need of remodeling by putting up new curtains, cabinet knobs, or applying a fresh coat of neutral paint
If needed, repaint dingy, soiled, or strongly-colored walls with a neutral shade of paint (such as off-white, gray or beige).
Check for cracks, leaks, and signs of dampness in the attic and basement, and fix any problem areas