I am often asked by my clients what things they can do to improve their homes appearance to potential buyers. While there are many improvements that can be made to any home to enhance it’s value, the following list sums up a few “must-do’s” for anyone who is considering placing their home on the market.
Make them fall in love from the outside in
We all remember Mom telling us not to judge a book by it’s cover, right? Well, clearly Mom was not referring to house hunting when she said this. Buyers are evaluating your home from the moment they pull up outside, comparing it to other homes in the area. Be the best one they’ve seen. Let them see the pride of ownership that you have in your home. Keep the lawn neatly manicured, trim the bushes and shrubs around your yard, sweep the sidewalks, powerwash any brick or siding that looks dull, re-paint any exterior woodwork that is chipping or faded and definitely plant some colorful flowers. Mulch around your flower beds to make them look fresh and new. Consider installing an attractive front door if yours is looking a little outdated. You might be surprised at how much difference a new entrance can make to the curb appeal of your home. A colorful front door is always a plus.
Less is more
Simply put: The less clutter there is in your home, the more spacious it will seem to a potential buyer. Scale down. If there’s one thing almost all buyers are looking for, it’s closet space. If you have large walk-in closets and plenty of extra storage space then you are in luck, but if you don’t you’ll need to make the space you do have appear large and appealing to buyers. Clean out all of your closets and pack away those winter clothes that might be hanging around. A closet organizer is a great investment to make to get your shoes off of the closet floor and add storage to the top of the closet. In the kitchen, try to show as much of the countertops as possible. Put all of the small appliances away that you wont be using on a daily basis. Buyers will be envisioning themselves cooking and entertaining there, let them see how much space they’ll have to work with. If you are like me and your house has been overtaken with children’s toys, not to worry. You won’t have to rush out to donate everything, just get creative with toy storage. There are many great storage ideas for kids rooms online, you’ll be able to find something that works perfectly in your home. If you want to make sure your kids keep their rooms in tip top shape for all of the showings you’ll have, come up with a fun way to help them do it. In my home, bribery works wonders. Cash and/ or ice cream can make my kids do pretty much anything.
Paint, paint, paint!
This is perhaps the least costly, most effective improvement you can make to your home. For about $25 bucks you can completely transform the look and feel of a room. Choose neutral colors that will lend themselves to any décor. Stick with pretty shades of taupe, beige, sage and other light hues that buyers won’t have to paint over. Now is not the time to see if the master bedroom will look nice in that deep wine color you’ve always dreamed of. It won’t. If you have wallpaper, remove it. The chance that a buyer is going to like the same wallpaper that you liked years ago is very slim, and instead of seeing a beautiful room lined with fields of blossoming roses, all they will see is visions of themselves doing manual labor with scorers and scrapers and sticky wallpaper remover goo. If your walls are looking a little scuffed, but you don’t want to go through the effort or expense of hiring a painter or painting yourself, then you must at the very least become well aquainted with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It is magic, really. This little sponge saved me from having to paint a townhome that I own before putting it up for rent. It will take away all of those little shoe marks and scuffs that might be lingering on your otherwise bare walls. I swear by it.
Leave the cleaning to the pro’s
You want your home to sparkle for buyers, right? Of course you do. Save yourself the time and energy it would take for you to do a deep, thorough cleaning on your home and hire a professional cleaning company to do it for you. You’ll be so glad you did. You could have every enhancement imaginable in your home; granite, marble, porcelain tile, custom cabinetry and more, but it will all disappear in a buyer’s mind if your home is dirty. You want to show them how much pride you take in owning your home, make it shine.
Of course, there are many enhancements that you can make to improve your homes’ appearance to potential buyers. The list of possibilities is endless, but I suggest starting with the minor, manageable things first. There are so many things you can do that will get you big results without breaking the bank. Start small, and you’ll be surprised at the differences!