March 4, 2016
Ok, you’re ready, you’re committed, you’re excited, you’ve decided to sell your house! Now what?!
I’m often asked by potential sellers what they should do to get their home “show ready”. Misguided advice can leave sellers spending thousands on unnecessary improvements that a buyer may not like and will likely not provide a good return on the seller’s investment.
Check out these low cost, highly effective tips:
- Freshen up your landscape: Put down fresh sod, replace tired bushes with new ones and add some color, either with flower beds or potted flowers.
- Spruce up your entry way: Buy a new front door or paint the old one. If your house number and mailbox look old, buy and install new ones.
- Change out light fixtures and plumbing fixtures: Gold light fixtures are long outdated, and brass is less popular than brushed nickel. Replacing outdated ceiling fixtures and bathroom faucets can give your home a modern touch for a minimal investment.
- Clarify any spaces that might confuse buyers: If you have an odd alcove, add a desk or a dresser – something that will suggest how the space is best used.
- Do partial renovations: Rather than gutting an old bathroom, for example, consider getting a new vanity and re-facing the existing tub. In the kitchen, keep old cabinets but replace countertops and hardware.
- Remove window treatments, unless they are current and high-end: That cuts the risk of turning off would-be buyers who don’t share your taste. Uncovered windows also let more light into the rooms.
- Return rooms to their original uses: If you’re using your dining room as an office, turn it back into a dining room. If your third bedroom is an office, turn in back into a bedroom. You can however, display a photo of the room’s other potential use.
- Replace dirty or worn carpet: You might try cleaning it first, but dirty carpet is always turnoff for buyers. In some markets, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
- Depersonalize: That means packing away family photos and taking the children’s drawings (and everything else) off the refrigerator. You want a new family to envision themselves living in the home.
- Clean thoroughly: Do a deep clean before you put your home on the market so everything shines. Be sure to wash windows too.
- Paint: You daughter may love her purple room, but a prospective buyer probably won’t. Repaint all rooms in neutral colors. A fresh coat of paint also makes the house look newer and more modern.