Go The Extra Mile When Selling Your Home
So you've decided to sell your home, and now you are wondering how much time, effort and money you should spend sprucing it up to make it more attractive, sell faster, and get a higher price.
One important question is this: "If I spend money redecorating or renovating a specific part of my house, how likely am I to get that money back in a higher sale price?"
Or here is another slightly different way of putting this question: "Where will my efforts have the biggest impact in helping me to sell the house?" By "impact" we mean helping you to get a higher final price, but also making the house easier to sell, and ensuring that it will go quickly.
Often going the extra mile in preparing your home can make the difference between a quick sale and a long protracted one. Why? Because you normally have only one chance to impress prospective buyers in your price, feature, and location bracket. If potential buyers visit your home and get the wrong first impression, they are likely not going to add your home to their "short list". You will have missed your opportunity.
**Start by being practical**
Begin by taking a long hard look at every aspect of your home. As far as the exterior is concerned, here are some of the most important things to focus on:
The view from the street - This is often called "curb appeal". Stand across the street, or drive by your home in a car, and try to view it as if you were a prospective buyer. Pay special attention to how "inviting" it looks. Is the landscaping neat and tidy, and does it look as if it has been recently trimmed? Are the flower beds free of weeds? Or does your landscaping have an overgrown or unkempt appearance? These things can go a long way to making your house look old and tired, or fresh and inviting.
The appearance of your entrance way - The main entrance way -- normally your front door -- is one area of your house that is going to be seen by everyone who comes and looks at it -- even if they end up not actually going through the house. So pay special attention to making your entrance way look clean, tidy, and inviting. Paint where necessary -- the door itself is a good place to start. Clean the light fixtures and replace bulbs if they are dim. Make sure the walkway and step in front of the door are swept clean. Clean the windows above and beside the door. Get a new mat for in front of the door. Add some colorful flowers to the area around the front entrance.
Other areas around the house - Do a careful inspection of the exterior of your house, including the yard, landscaping, and fencing. Make a note of anything that makes the property look uncared for or might raise a red flag.. Trim broken branches from trees and shrubs. Clean up flower beds. Add some colorful flowers that will bloom throughout the period you will be showing the home. Fix anything that looks broken like fences, gateways, exterior doorways, and so on. These things are often easy to do and do not cost a great deal.
**Inexpensive things you can do inside**
You don't have to do expensive renovations in order to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. Here are some things you can do:
- Consider changing the wallpaper or sprucing up the paint in those areas that get the most attention: the entry, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Replace light bulbs that are dim or unsightly, and change fixtures that are out of date, discolored, or just plain ugly.
- Clean your home thoroughly from top to bottom, including the carpets and windows.
- Pay special attention to the inside area of the front entrance way. Paint where necessary. Make sure lights are bright and inviting. Windows should be clean and window treatments fresh and airy. Keep it neat and uncluttered.
- If it has been a while since your redecoration, consider painting the entire inside of the house. Tone down dark colors and focus on light neutral colors in order to make the inside appear larger and more inviting.
- If your carpets or floor coverings are worn or dated looking, consider putting new ones down. Or at least clean them thoroughly.
- Add new window treatments in the most visible areas.
- Add ceiling fans where possible. Many new homes are adding ceiling fans as a standard feature to aid with heating and cooling the home. Propsective buyers see ceiling fans as a modern feature that adds to comfort and heating/cooling efficiency. They are usually quite inexpensive and relatively easy to install.
- Consider buying new appliances in the kitchen. For a relatively small investment (compared to the overall selling price) your kitchen will appear much more attractive. This can actually make the difference in a prospect choosing your home over another.
- Make sure bathrooms are neat, tidy and clean. Pay special attention to sinks, tubs, and showers.
**Stretch your resources by looking for bargains**
Make a master list of all the things you intend to do, and get a fairly clear idea of how much your redocarating and "rejuvenating" plans are likely to cost. When calculating the cost of replacement items look for bargains. Ask friends and family where they have recently seen bargains, or which service providers they have been impressed with. Use the internet to find local suppliers. Or ask your real estate agent. He or she may be able to recommend vendors and contractors that will often cost much less.
About the Author: Rick Hendershot is a writer and online publisher, specializing in Real Estate promotion and lead generation. Services include Free FSBO listings, Free Real Estate Articles, and Real Estate Promotion