Improve the look and value of your home with these simple upgrades. Sell your home faster and be more competitive with our 10 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast.
How you live in a home is much different than how we prepare your home for sale. Think of selling your home as a business decision. You should be thinking about how best to merchandise your home appeal to buyers, creating as much demand for your home as possible.
When buyers search for homes they will see many different homes and interiors. That’s why the 1st impression is critical. New construction homes photographed bright and perfectly staged will be compared to older homes with dated finishes and furniture. Making sure your home is presented in its best possible light with professional photography and videograghy creates more curb appeal on-line which leads to more buyers viewing your home in person. We often recommend to our clients to make upgrades prior to listing to maximize the marketing and positively impact the price.
Initially, most people are put off by putting money and effort into a home they’re going to sell. The goal is to maximize demand and your bottom-line. If there are items that need repair or upgrading, buyers will contact designers and contractors before making offers or during inspection periods. Instead of negotiating prices later, you control the costs with contractors of your choice. In addition, it’s a positive for buyers when you do the work before selling so they can roll the costs into the mortgage instead of producing out of pocket cash.
So let’s review 10 tips and upgrade suggestions to sell your home faster and for more money.
1. De-Clutter and Deep Clean
This is mandatory for every home seller. You wouldn’t sell your car unwashed, with clutter in the back seat and trunk. It’s difficult for most buyers to visualize themselves in your home if it’s dirty and full of personal items. Deep cleaning your house is essential to give the best impression. Buyers could infer you didn’t care for unseen parts of the house if your house is dirty. Deep clean the oven and refrigerators to look unused. Pay for professional window washing to bring the outside in. Make the home more neutral by editing items by showcasing the house, not your personal tastes. When you think you’ve de-cluttered enough, do 50% more. Less clutter avoids buyer distractions. Move the extras to storage or arrange them neatly in uniform boxes in the garage.
2. Landscape Meticulously
When the buyer drives up to your house you want to make a great first impression with a nicely maintained exterior. Americans love their grass, well maintained grass sells. Potted plants will accentuate and frame your entry. If the exterior looks unkept buyers may assume that the interior isn’t well taken care of, potentially reducing buyer interests. Pay for landscapers to move, trim and freshen both the front and back yards. Remove any dead or dying plants, and if necessary replace.
New paint will make your house look newer and cleaner. Inspect interior rooms you want to showcase and areas with heavy traffic. Paint the trim when cleaning won’t remove marks. Update the kitchen, bathroom and living rooms. If your exterior paint is more than 4 years old it probably needs new paint prior to selling. Remember first impressions are critical. New paint will improve the photography and curb appeal. You choose the painter, costs and present a beautiful home. Make sure to choose neutral colors for general appeal. If there are visible paint issues like pealing, fading or mold, buyers will consider that in their valuation and most likely ask for allowances during the inspection period. Painting the front door is also an easy option to make the home stand out and look refreshened. You’re safe to choose bolder colors for the front door.
Giving an update to your flooring goes a long way in impressing buyers. Refinishing hardwood floors with wear and scratching is an improvement that can double the return of cost. It’s a 3 day process that will make your hardwood look like brand new and make you wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner. Replace your carpet if there are noticeable wear patterns. Buyers want a fresh feel. Choose neutral colors. If you have newer carpet with buckling it’s a sign of improper installation. Luckily, a carpet installer can repair the buckling with stretching for much less cost than replacing.
5. New Hardware
Installing new hardware is an easy way to update an older home. Set a budget, look at current trends on Pinterest and go shopping. New cabinet and door hardware can transform the look of both kitchens and bathrooms. Without the expensive cost of replacing the cabinets, new knobs and pulls bring a modern look to dated spaces. If your door handles don’t work well, are well worn or are not uniform replace all to have a new consistent look. Remember you’re merchandising your house for the maximum price. Consistency and modern elements bring more interested buyers.
6. New Fixtures
New plumbing fixtures draw the eye and elevate the sink and counters. Replacing dated bathroom fixtures, think sink faucet, shower handle/head and towel rack, improves the bathroom vibe immensely, especially with a new coat of paint. Make sure to have consistency of finishes between the fixtures and other metal in the bathroom. Swapping in a new stainless steal kitchen faucet is a quick improvement that when done with hardware and appliance replacement makes the kitchen look newer and more expensive.
If your kitchen appliances are old or dated it’s easy to switch with new energy efficient models. Buyers will appreciate the modern finishes, new technologies and conveniences. Look to buy Energy Star appliances with smart features so your house can be marketed as having energy efficient and smart technologies. You get the benefit of updating your kitchen appeal while controlling the cost instead of buyers asking for credits on old appliances.
An often overlooked element to showing a house is lighting. With the phasing out of incandescent bulbs many homes have a hodgepodge of different bulbs throughout the house. Incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs usually look and perform different. Cold and warm bulb colors mixed together give the house an inconsistent look. To make the entire house flow together replace all of the bulbs with the same soft white LED bulb. Buy in bulk, spend $100, you’ll notice the consistency.
The purpose of staging is to give buyers the best idea of how they would live in your home. It’s rearranging, editing and bringing in furniture and items to maximize the home’s potential. Use after you’ve moved out to fill your home or coordinate using some of your belongings. We highly recommended and have seen that it usually doubles the return on cost. Josh typically pays for a staging consultation to provide recommendations for his seller clients. Costs include time for the designer, crew installation and removal and rental of furniture. If you don’t have the budget for interior paint and carpet to make your home look newer this is critical for great marketing. Proper staging can make a small home feel bigger or a dark home feel lighter. It’s usually a good investment.
Buyers will want to know the condition of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and that you’ve been servicing them. If the the HVAC systems haven’t been serviced within the past 6 months be proactive and get them serviced. Provide records of services, manuals for appliances and smart home technologies, like thermostats or audio systems. Buyers will eventually ask so it’s a great way to quicken the sale and make buyers happy.
Each house is different and requires different amount of work in preparation for selling. Use these 10 tips to sell your home faster and be more competitive.