Thinking of putting your home on the market soon? Here are 8 tips to get ready –
1. Don’t wait for ‘Spring’ – Spring is the busiest time of year in Real Estate, so if you are thinking of listing, get ahead of the competition and get a listing agreement with a licensed Real Estate Agent now! (contact us – www.bhoffmangroup.com) – “Coming Soon” signs can be put up right away to draw interest, and you can get the home on the market as soon as you’ve taken care of a few basics.
2. Get an Objective Eye – Ask a friend or neighbor to come over and give you objective advice. After you live in a home for a while, you might not see the things that will distract home buyers.
3. Exterior first – First impressions count. That’s why your yard needs to be inviting. Trim back the bushes and trees, especially if they block views from the windows and make your home difficult to see from the street. Bonus: If you list in the winter, you have fewer landscaping worries! For less than $500, you can:
Keep the lawn mowed, preferably on the diagonal.
Plant yellow flowers such as marigolds along the walk or by the front door. The color yellow sells.
Wash the exterior windows.
Paint or replace the front door and buy new hardware.
Power spray the house to get rid of dirt and cobwebs.
Buy a new welcome mat for the front steps.
Paint or replace the mailbox.
Paint your house number on the curb or buy a plaque displaying your house number and install near the entry.
Wash or replace a front porch light fixture.
4. Basic Interior moves: Many homes contain too much furniture.
You may benefit from removing 2 to 3 pieces of furniture from each room. Less furniture will make the rooms appear bigger. You can pay about $100 a month to place the furniture into storage or simply stack it neatly in the garage for free.
Remove the majority of personal photographs from tables and walls.
Patch holes in the walls or hang non-personalized artwork over the existing nails.
Pack up your bookcases (you’re going to move anyway).
Clean out the closets and store non-essential items.
Arrange your kitchen pantry, kitchen cabinets, and bedroom closets in an orderly manner.
5. CLEAN: You can hire a professional cleaning crew or do it yourself for free. Be sure to wash the inside of the windows.
Rent a carpet steamer and clean the carpets. You may find they do not need to be replaced.
Dust the tops of your doorways and window frames.
Polish all wood / ceramic flooring.
Wash all light fixture coverings and ceiling fan blades.
To give your home a more open feeling, consider removing a few doors that open into each other or otherwise block the flow of traffic.
6. Kitchen Updates: Kitchens are the most important room in the house. It’s the heart and soul of the home. Even if a buyer is not much of a cook, the kitchen is still where family and friends tend to gather.
If new granite is out of your budget, consider either re-grouting the kitchen counter tiles, which is surprisingly cost effective, or covering them with granite tiles instead of granite slab.
For wood cabinets, stripping the finish and re-staining or painting will save you more money than re-surfacing the cabinets.
Buy new knobs and / or pulls for the cabinet doors. If you have 40 or so knobs on your kitchen cabinets, at a cost of about $5 per knob, your total outlay for new hardware will be about $200.
Replace a worn kitchen faucet for about $100 to $200.
Buy new kitchen sink basket strainers for less than $25 each.
Consider installing kitchen pendant lights over the sink.
7. Paint! Professional painters will probably charge you anywhere from $300 to $500 to paint each room, but with a little patience, you can paint the rooms yourself. This is not the time to get creative.
Choose a soft color in a light neutral tone (never white), and paint every room the same color.
The painting will go faster if you paint the ceilings the same color, but ceilings really pop if they are a lighter color than the color of the walls. Lighter colors also make the ceilings appear higher.
For a 10 x 10 room, you will need 2 one-gallon cans of eggshell paint. Each one-gallon can of paint should cost no more than $25. For the amount of money a professional painter will charge you to paint one room, you can probably paint the entire house yourself.
8. Bathrooms: If you have wallpaper in the bathroom, it’s most likely peeling and should be removed. You can rent a steamer to remove the wallpaper or strip it yourself.
Consider replacing the toilet (or at least the seat and lid) and vanity, especially if they are stained or particularly outdated. A new toilet and vanity will cost less than $500, and it’s easy to replace a toilet.
Buy a two-light wall fixture or a light bar for over the sink.
If the tub is stained, hire a professional to refinish it; it will cost $200-$300.
Replace water-stained shower doors or clean them with a lime dissolving detergent.
Buy a new shower curtain and tie it back with ribbons.
Hang fresh towels and lay down a new bath rug.
Place scented candles near a basket of tightly rolled wash cloths to create a spa-like environment.
Stash all personal items under the bathroom sink.
Contact us for any and all your home selling needs!
written by Rhoda Wheeler