So, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to put your rambling house on the market and move into something more manageable. Maybe declining health issues have forced your hand or maybe you’re finally ready to put your long-awaited travel plans into play. You might also just be tired of dealing with the yard, roof, driveway, furnace, etc. The list can be endless. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work making your home as appealing (and valuable) as possible. Here are a few things you can do that will result in more money in your pocket:
- When in doubt, throw it out! - a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but the truth is simple - we all have too much stuff. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s probably time to donate it or throw it out. How many turkey roasters, animal crates, lobster pots, vacuum cleaners, broken lamps, empty gift boxes, pieces of ribbon, old stereo speakers, and suitcases do you need? And if you’re holding on to something because you think your kids want it, think again. Decluttering your home will not only show better to prospective buyers, but it will also make your job of packing much easier.
- A fresh coat of neutral colored paint will more than pay for itself. And don’t forget the molding, trim, and ceiling. Spa and nature-inspired colors such as light gray and taupe will appeal to everyone. If your current style includes unconventional or dark colors (or worse yet, wallpaper) you have your work cut out for you. This might be a case where calling is a professional is a good idea.
- Turn a critical eye to your hardware. Replacing old, broken, or outdated hardware in your kitchen and bathroom as well as on windows and doors is a very easy and inexpensive upgrade. Potential buyers notice these types of things!
- Light it up! Don’t hesitate to replace old and outdated fixtures with new lighting that’s appropriate for the location. Low-key ambient lighting fills a room while task lighting is better for kitchens, bathrooms, and reading areas.
- Window treatments. There are a lot of schools of thought on this one. I’m not a fan of heavy, ornate draperies mostly because they block so much light and remind me of a funeral home. I think simple blinds or sheers can offer the privacy that most people desire while still allowing light to brighten the space.
- Clean, clean, clean, and then clean some more. Nothing turns off prospective buyers faster than a home that isn’t spotless. Clean rugs and, if necessary, remove any carpets that are stained or tattered. This will also help to eliminate odors. All rooms, cabinets, and closets should be pristine (don’t forget the basement, garage, and windows!).
- You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure your yard (front & back) is in tip-top shape. The grass should be mowed, and the flower beds weeded. Also, remember to sweep the front walkway and wash (or paint) the front door. It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a new doormat.
Selling a home can be a stress-filled event but it doesn’t have to be. Get ahead of the game by having your house in excellent condition. You’ll not only get the best possible price, but you’ll also sell quickly.