Some things about homes we cannot change: we are most likely not going to move its location or drastically change the style of architecture. The good news, however, is that drastic changes are often unnecessary, and some efforts in the following categories can go a long way toward making your home more sell-able and helping the buyers to fall in love with it.
- Let the Light in.
Natural light coming through sparkling-clean windows is an instant mood lifter and it also makes spaces look larger.
- Air It Out and Consider Investing in Some (mild!) Home Scents.
Every home has its unique scent, which becomes almost impossible to detect once we’ve lived in it long enough. The buyers, however, are new to the place, and if the home smells fresh, their impression of it will most likely be better.
- Cover the “Naked” Ground.
Landscapers say that bare ground is like bare skin – not too much of it should be seen in public, especially when we’re about to make one of the largest business transactions in our lives. As long as we’re not talking about a massive outdoor project, if you have some time and people power available, a trip to Home Depot for a few supplies and advice can often save on expensive landscape work. Some Winter Rye seed can help “repair” dead patches in lawn, ornamental bark can be used in flower beds, and some river rock or other hardscape that fits the home’s character can give your outdoors a quick update – and improve the curb appeal, bringing in more buyers. One of the most important (and often neglected) areas of outdoor improvements is getting rid of junk – large or small, that could be an eyesore and could potentially steal the attention from the great features of your home.
- If There is Room in the Budget, Update the Kitchen a bit.
Unless you’re in a fine estate area where buyer will look for a luxury home with every latest upgrade, you do not have to necessarily tear out everything and rebuild form scratch or spend a fortune on Viking appliances. Consult with your Real Estate professional and see what buyers typically expect to see for your area to know what improvements would pay off, so you update smart without breaking the bank.
- Put Some Makeup on It.
Again, if there is room in the budget and a bit of time, invest it in a fresh coat of paint – inside and outside where the home could use it. It shows care has been taken to maintain the property, and could increase your home’s curb appeal dramatically. Many home improvement stores now have an app that allows you to “try the paint” on your home on-screen, so you can get an idea of how your color choices will look on the large scale before you have painted it all on. This could be fun to use with kids!
- Stage Your Home or Get a Professional to Do it.
It can often be difficult for buyers to see the benefit of a “bonus room” or the real beauty of a living room with whole-wall windows without all the accompanying pieces in place: add some décor and furniture and give the room a designation to show what it can be used for as an idea.
- Power-wash the Outside of the Home and the Hardscape.
Unless you literally painted everything outside (we hope not), power-washing the eaves, walls, sidewalks, driveways, etc. can freshen up the home’s look, which will improve its appearance in listing photos. Stain-free concrete and cobweb-free eaves will always leave a better impression on the buyers and are an inexpensive way to improve the curb appeal.
Finally, take a breath! There is no home in the world that does not need maintenance, and you will likely not going to get everything 100% perfect on time for showing, and that’s OK. Small repairs and minor change requests from buyers are to be expected and are usually a part of the selling process, and are not deal-breakers. Applying what you can of the above tips and teaming up with the right Real Estate professional can put you in a good position to sell your home within the time-frame you want and at a price you are comfortable with.
Here’s one last idea: borrow ideas from the competition! See what others are doing to attract buyers and see if you can do it better – or get decorating ideas from them that will help to showcase your home’s unique features and character. Take a look at the current listings FREE with my Home Search App.
Marina Alkasas | Realtor® |Cal DRE License # 02070557 | Century 21 CARE