You’ve lived in your home a long time. Long enough that the wobbly handrail on the staircase doesn’t faze you. The moldy caulk in the shower doesn’t get a second glance. The inch-wide gap under the front door looks normal. But it’s time to wake up, buttercup. If you’re thinking of selling your home, there are a few projects you should tackle before your listing goes live.
Your home is a major investment and potential buyers see it the same way. In order to make a good first impression and a good profit, here are five (relatively easy!) tasks to ensure the sale of your home brings in top dollar.
Nice and Neutral
I know, I know, that deep maroon in your dining room brings back memories of Meemaw’s stately fried chicken dinners, but potential buyers have neither the sentiment nor the time to repaint. Many buyers don’t want to paint before moving in, and bold colors are a deeply personal choice. When putting your home on the market, think neutral shades on the walls—white, eggshell, tan, or a pleasant pewter. This gives your prospective buyers a better chance to connect with your home and imagine their own belongings in it.
Savvy buyers consider more than just aesthetics when purchasing a home; they consider ongoing expenses like upkeep and utility costs. To make your home more efficient and appealing, consider upgrading to appliances with Energy Star ratings and installing a new HVAC system. Don’t have the capital for such big upgrades? Consider improving your home’s energy efficiency by sealing and insulating. Cracks and gaps around doors and windows should be addressed, siding damage should be repaired, and insulation should be checked and bulked up where needed. An added bonus? Your county or local utility company may offer rebates or incentives for boosting your home’s efficiency.
Clear the Clutter
Your Faberge egg collection? Sayonara. Caboodle of ceramic cats? Adios. Creepy doll wall? Bye now. Clutter makes a home look small and…well, cluttered. By clearing out the odds and ends, your home will look more like a showroom and less like a museum. It can be overwhelming to tackle such a project, so start small; simply box up your collections and stash them in unseen areas like under the bed. If you’ve got a lot of tchotchkes, consider renting a small storage space while you’re making your home more appealing to buyers. This includes cleaning out closets to show their capacity and emptying the garage. (Gulp.)
We all know it: first impressions are everything. Add to the age-old adage the fact that many prospective buyers do a drive-by before scheduling a viewing, and you’ve got yourself an appointment with your favorite landscaper. By keeping your yard nicely maintained—think tended flower beds, manicured shrubbery, a clutter-free yard—you’ll make a good first impression with prospective buyers. But don’t stop at the greenery; upgrading the mailbox, painting the front door, and repairing the walkway will also help to entice your buyers.
Brush Up the Bathroom
Don’t panic: I’m not talking a complete remodel, here. Through small touches like recaulking the shower surround, reglazing the tub, dusting light fixtures and upgrading towel racks, you’ll give your bathroom a renewed, refreshed look. Whichever small touches you choose, be sure to leave the bathroom meticulously clean while your home is on the market. Sweep up stray hairs, keep the mirrors clean, and dust the top of the commode so things stay shiny.
A tidy, well-staged home draws more prospective buyers and encourages the spirited bidding war every seller wants. Present your home in its best light, and reap the major rewards.