Remember the saying “You never get another chance at a first impression”? Well, this goes for your home as well. So it is important to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective home buyer and try to look at your home as someone else would see it. After time in a home, we get used to seeing things as they are and where they are. For example, you probably don’t think a thing about having Fido’s baked buffalo ears in a bowl on the counter. So, it is certainly helpful to get an objective opinion from a friend or your broker.
Preparing a home for sale is not necessarily expensive, but a bit of time and effort can go a long way to improving first appearances. Here are a few tips to get you started:
De-clutter - The #1 complaint of prospective purchasers when they visit homes on the market is clutter. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for some people to see past their clutter and envision a world where their things look tidy and neat. So, while your home is on the market, put away magazines, kid’s toys, dog beds, litter boxes, etc. Try doing this room by room and incorporate the 4 step rule for items: Trash, Return, Donate, and Might Need, and don’t forget about closets, cabinets, kitchen counters & garages.
Remove - It is best to remove any fixed items from your home that you don’t plan on including with the sale. Replace Great Grandma Ethel’s chandelier with something nice, yet affordable from your local home improvement store.
Repair - In preparing your home for the market - Spend as little money as possible. Buyers may 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 doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. Don't hesitate to ask your Dreamcatcher Realtor for advice.
Fix drippy faucets, loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers. Repair kitchen/bathroom caulking and other minor flaws. They detract from home value, because when buyers see things that need attention, they begin to worry about things they can't see.
Clean Clean Clean - It seems obvious that you should clean your house for sale, but, surprisingly, many people do not.. An immaculately clean house is a well-cared for house - the kind that buyers love. Clean the place wall to wall. Paint over anything that cannot be cleaned. Clean your windows, carpets/area rugs & light fixtures. Clean & reseal your Saltillo Tile, kitchen & bathroom grout.. Clean your utility room, as unappealing as that might be. Consider hiring a professional if this is too overwhelming. It will pay off!
Curb Appeal – Trim overgrown bushes, paint your front door or hang new colorful ristras (chili pepper wreaths). Buy a new “Welcome” mat. Anything that you can do that will give prospective buyers a good first impression of your house and show pride in ownership, is a definite plus
- Interior – Paint rooms with any worn or outdated colors with subtle but not stark neutrals, green up with some healthy houseplants, add some new throw pillows or a table runner or buy some new bathroom towels. Consider removing any heavy or fussy window treatments, as today’s buyers are looking for a clean light look. If you have worn living room furniture, consider some inexpensive slipcovers to update your home.
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