Spring market is almost here. Now is the time to get started.
Now is the time to start on taking care of those long forgotten maintenance chores and take the time to make your house shine before placing it on the market. The question is were should you start. Getting ready can become overwhelming, especially if you only give your self a few weeks to take care of it. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier on your self without breaking the bank.
1. A clean house will go far when buyers are trying to choose what house they want to make an offer on. Set yourself apart from the competition by having a well organized and clean home.
Tips: Wash the windows inside an out. Shampoo carpets, scrub and wax linoleum or wood floors. Mend torn screens and clean out all window tracks. Clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven). Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways. Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs. Clean and organize your closets and storage areas by packing up seasonal items and clothes. If you have no place to store your packed up belongings consider renting a storage space. Over stuffed closets can make your home feel small and allow the buyer think there is not enough storage available for their belongings. If you feel overwhelmed with all the cleaning, consider hiring a professional cleaner. It may be worth $100-$200 to let someone else do it. There are even professional organizers out there that can help you pair down your closets and show you easy storage solutions.
2. Curb appeal will be your homes first impression when the buyer comes to tour home. Many buyers make up there mind on if the home will be a contender before they even step inside.
Tips: Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn. Reseed sparse areas. Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees. Cut back overgrown shrubbery. Reseal cracks in foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios. Power-wash the exterior. Clean and align gutters and downspouts. Clean the chimney. Remove oil stains from the driveway and garage. Keep walks and driveway swept or free of ice.
3. Once inside the home a prospective buyer will be checking out everything from layout to finishes. However, even if your home checks off all their wants and needs, if your home has an unpleasant smell, they will not consider buying your home. Here are some tips to get rid of pesky odors:
Tips: A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. Get carpets professionally cleaned. Avoid cooking ethnic or heavily spiced foods. Rent an air ionizing machine to help remove food, pet and cigarette odors form the air. If the home has a long history of pets or smokers consider having the air ducts and furnace cleaned. Avoid covering smells with candles or air fresheners, buyers will often get suspicious and/or turned off to your home when the home is overwhelmed with strong perfumes and scents.
4. Home staging can give your home that extra boost simply by showcasing the already positive attributes of the home.
Tips: Start by removing at lease one piece of furniture from each room. The idea is to showcase the available space, and not your furniture. Replace burned-out light bulbs, and use the brightest bulbs your fixtures can handle. A bright space feels bigger and more welcoming than a poorly lit space. (This is especially important when your selling in the winter months when the majority of your showing can happen after dark.)
5. Finally pay attention to minor cosmetic details that can show a buyer you have taken good care of your home.
Tips: Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles. Replace damaged windowpanes, moldings and woodwork. Repair drippy faucets and shower heads. Unclog slow drains. Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it. Renail creaking boards or stairs; lubricate squeaking doors. Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
If you start your check list early you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Most of these tips can be done for free or at a very small cost and will create a sizable return on your investment. For questions or additional tip that are more specific to your home, call me and schedule a free pre-list consultation and I will be happy make suggestions for you and your home.