There’s no doubt you want to get the most money out of your house for sale. But a remodel might not be practical or affordable. There are simple and inexpensive ways, however, to improve your home’s value before listing.
Your real estate professional can provide more detailed information about your unique situation, but here are some tips to get you on the right path.
Start with Maintenance
Before you worry about dressing your house for success, you’ll need to make sure that the structure and its systems are in good standing. There are three reasons to make repairs before selling.
First and foremost, know that the buyer’s lender will send an inspector to investigate the foundation, roof, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, will look for pests like termites, and more.
If problems arise from the inspection, the buyer could ask you to make repairs, negotiate a lower price to allow for improvements, or, in the worst case, can terminate the contract altogether, sending you back to square one minus repairs.
Second, when a buyer notices something broken, cracked, stained, or otherwise aged, they begin to see projects in their minds, dollar signs racking up, increasing the chances they’ll submit a lowered offer.
Third, you want to know that you’re walking away from the house with a clean conscience, integrity intact, and peace of mind.
Think Curb Appeal
Curb appeal may be the most powerful tool in your arsenal, aside from the marketing images you use online. It’s the first thing potential buyers see, their first impression, and you want it to be a powerful one.
The condition of the outside of your property can either attract buyers or turn them off completely. The outside reflects what the buyer is likely to find inside.
There are a lot of free or cheap things you can do in your yard and to your home’s exterior that will increase the value in both the appraisal and in the buyers’ eyes.
Begin by removing any debris, toys, hoses, and unnecessary lawn furniture, save for an arranged seating area that could add square footage to your space for outdoor living.
Remove weeds, mow the lawn, and trim bushes and trees. If there are no trees, consider planting one. You can also improve your home’s value by installing a few plants and flowers, particularly near the entryway.
A power washer can do amazing things for the way your home’s exterior appears, making it look fresh and clean.
You can also replace window screens to lend a feeling of new, also indicating that the home is well maintained.
Another small investment you can make is to install outdoor lighting, always an attractive feature that adds a touch of elegance.
Replace Your Garage Door
It may be a small investment, but after you’ve beautified the outside of your property, you may see a need to replace your garage door if it’s not able to be painted.
Declutter, Depersonalize, and Clean
Staging means getting the house in its best condition for showing. To do this, you have to start to minimalize your belongings. Discard anything you don’t need, pack what you’ll need but not until after your move, and only keep what’s necessary. This also includes furnishings like china cabinets, hutches, overstuffed chairs, and bookshelves.
Replace family photos on your walls with artwork such as landscape photography or abstract visual art – something that compliments and enhances the space in a non-personal way. This is also when you should pack up books, magazines, collectibles, wall decor, and other personal items.
Cleaning is one of the most crucial elements in increasing your home’s value. If you’re not up to the task, you can hire a cleaning company, but know that clean sells.
Paint. Painting your walls is one of the least expensive ways to make your house look fresh. Choose soft, warm, neutral colors like taupe, beige, or light gray. You might also choose to paint the doors, including the front door.
Once you have cleaned and painted, you’ll have a clear picture of whether or not your carpets need to be shampooed or if the flooring needs replaced.
Get New Energy Efficient Windows
Getting new windows isn’t exactly a cheap or easy project, but generally produces a great ROI on your house for sale, especially if they’re energy efficient. And, they’ll look great with the window screens you put up on the outside of the home.
Brighten Your Space
Remove any window dressings, with the exception of new blinds, which should be kept open during showings.
To allow in the most natural light, make sure that windows are clean inside and out.
Update Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
People notice ceiling fans and light fixtures when they’re shopping for houses. Fans and fixtures can make a home look outdated and less appealing.
Replace Faucets and Showerheads and Regrout Tile
New faucets in the kitchen can improve your home’s value significantly. They not only make the rooms look modern (especially if they’re touchless!), but they also add an element of sparkle and shine.
Showerheads tend to build up water stains and buildup that can’t be easily cleaned. Switching them out is a quick and easy fix.
While you’re focusing on the bathroom, think about regrouting the tile to add a pop of clean and new to the sparkle and shine.
Swap Out Wall Switches and Face Plates
Swapping out face plates and wall switches is a super quick, easy, and inexpensive way to add value to your house for sale. You’ll be removing years of discoloration, scuff marks, fingerprints, and add vibrance to each room.
Change Cabinet Hardware
You don’t have to upgrade your entire kitchen to give it an updated feel, nor do you have to be a handyman. With a simple screwdriver, you can remove dated cabinet hardware with something more contemporary and attractive.
Make Your House a Smart Home
Modern technology makes it easily accessible to add smart devices such as door locks, doorbell cameras, and thermostats.
Making your house a smart home is a fabulous way to attract buyers who are drawn to technology and contemporary updates.
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
Final touches that can add elegance and charm to your home are things like potted plants in the rooms, fresh flowers on the table, and bowls of fruit on the kitchen counter. Each of these accessories lends to the inviting sense nurturing and growth in the house.
In the bathrooms, consider adding crisp, white, neatly folded towels, white candles, and a plant or flowers for a spa-like feel.
Get a Pre-Appraisal
Appraisers measure home values, typically, in $500 increments. This means that $50 worth of face plates and switch covers could bring ten times the reward.
Your buyer’s lender will require an appraisal, separate and apart from any listing appraisal you obtain prior to listing. But there are multiple benefits, including the expert advise on how to increase your home’s value before the next appraisal.
Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent has developed an expertise for knowing what buyers want, the condition of other properties for sale in your neighborhood and may even be a certified appraiser. Ask your agent for more ways that you can add value to your home with a few cosmetic changes.
Have Questions? Ask The Market Team!
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give The Market Team / Keller Williams Realty Covina a call today at 626-388-5518 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.