There are many things you can do that cost nothing and will really make a big difference in your
home’s appearance. A better appearance will make it sell more quickly and realize more profit.
A clean house is obviously essential to making a good impression for a prospective buyer. You want carpets and floors to look their best. A nice entryway will make a much better impression than one that is dirty with cobwebs and dead plants.
Ask a trusted friend to help with this step. Ask them to tour your property with fresh eyes as if they were a
prospective buyer. Drive or walk up to your house and see how it appears from the street. Walk through the
front door and take a look around. Are there any strange smells or broken items? Keep a pencil and paper with you as they suggest things to do.
Sticky Doors and Sliding Doors
Sticky doors may connotative to the buyer that other parts of your home are in disrepair. If the doors do not open and close smoothly it costs you nothing to fix it (other than the cost of sand paper). The only “bad” part is you will need to touch up the paint, so sand off extra to allow for the thickness of the paint. Finish the repair job with a little oil on the hinges. The hinges could also be loose. Use a screw driver to tighten the screws, and if they seem stripped, replace them. For sliding doors; clean the tracks, and if they still stick, you might have to replace the rollers.
Clean up and remove things that do not need to be there. You will be moving everything out anyway, right?
Start early and remove things that your trusted evaluator friend says should be moved out. You can put it
in the garage or in an off site storage locker. Get rid of anything that blocks pathways or clutters up
side yards, back yards and patios. This includes toys, excess furniture and tools. Some people believe that too many family photos can also deter potential home buyers. Prospective buyers want to invision themselves in this new home, and your family photos can diminish that vision. Simplify and stream line is a good mantra to keep in mind when trying to stage your home for selling.
Don’t cook smelly or greasy foods when you are about to show the house. If you have cats, clean the litter box at least once a day. Bake cinnamon rolls or cookies before buyers visit to give your place a “homey” smell, or just place a pan of water on the stove and sprinkle cinnamon and cloves and simmer on low heat.
Low Cost Tips
Think about this like investing. If you invest a few hundred dollars a little at a time, you will more than likely see more return on the profit of your home. Some low cost things might make a big difference to a buyer and they might have walked away if you had not done the little improvements.
You probably have seen the house every day and have not noticed the changes. This is where someone else canreally help. Wash the interior walls and if they don’t look right, paint them. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to improve the appearance of your home, and it is a low cost project with big results. This is not the time to experiment with wild paint colors. Stick to the neutral tones! You might want to even repaint the front door and change the door knob.
Don’t overlook the outdoor landscaping. In the winter, the outside landscaping won’t be as important as
it is in the spring, summer or fall. So in the winter, make sure the yard is tidy and rake and sweep the yard and sidewalks. Remove dead or dying plants. Hire a gardener and ask the gardener to suggest what should be done. Spend a little money on some nice indoor plants. Plants can make a home look healthy and inviting.
Make sure exterior lights are working and have fresh bulbs. Turn them on at night. Sometimes
buyers will cruise by in the evening so you want the house to look nice if they do. Prior to buyers touring your home, turn on all the lights so the rooms look bright and airy.
Other Simple Stuff
Replace or remove torn screens or damaged storm windows. Shine or replace worn door knockers and hardware.
Clean your windows. You can also hire someone to come in and clean for a couple hours.
Consider renting a temporary storage space rather than stuffing your packed boxes in your closets or garage, which will make them look smaller.
Fix your floors. Real estate agents say buyers really notice the condition of floors. Hardwood should be polished and carpets shampooed, or if they are in bad shape, replace them. Repair any broken tile or linoleum.
Concentrate on smaller fixes with bigger impact, and let your buyers remodel to suit themselves.
Talk with me about suggestions and maybe which projects you should tackle before listing your home.
Consider a pre-sale inspection. You may want to hire your own inspector before you put your home on the market.
If the repairs are expensive, it is better to know now, rather than being surprised once your home is in escrow.