When you're selling your home, first impressions are everything. Typically, each home buyer is looking for something different in the house they buy. However, there are common problems that will make them walk — and, maybe, even run — out of your home if they see them. The good news is there are several things you can do to make buyers fall in love with your home.
- Boost Your Curb Appeal
Start with your yard. You won't believe the difference mowing your lawn, trimming hedges, picking up toys, adding fresh mulch, and raking leaves make. Best of all, improving the visual appearance of your yard doesn't cost you much. Just remember, once you're committed to selling your home, you'll need to stay on top of lawn work until the property has sold and is no longer your responsibility.
If you have a plain yard, you should consider adding one or two flower beds or planting an ornamental tree to spruce things up.
- Tweak the Interior
Take a look at the interior of your home. Is the paint chipped, streaked, or just tired looking? Do the fixtures and door handles match? Are the outlet covers and light switches working properly?
The odds are good that when you look at the interior of your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer, you'll realize that things are a bit dated. Now that you're selling your home, it's time to change that. A quick run to the hardware store for updated door fixtures, outlet covers, and paint won't cost too much. With a weekend's worth of work, you'll have given the inside of your home a facelift and made it more appealing to buyers.
When choosing fixtures and, more importantly, paint, stick to neutral options.
- Upgrade the Kitchen
Buyers have said that the kitchen was what made them decide to place an offer on a home.
If you're on a shoestring budget, you'll want to devote your funds to:
- Ensuring the plumbing works perfectly,
- Repairing and/or replacing damaged cabinet doors,
- Making sure the kitchen is well lit,
- Relining the shelves/drawers,
- Refinishing hardwood floors,
- Cleaning grout and re-grouting any damaged/crumbling grout.
If you have more money to devote to upgrading the kitchen, consider:
- Replacing older countertops with new granite countertops,
- Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.
If your home was built prior to the 1980s and has a popcorn-finished ceiling will want to have it tested for asbestos. If the test is positive, you'll want to replace the ceiling before speaking to a real estate agent. Now that buyers understand the potential health risks connected to asbestos, they won't consider a home with the material.
Even if the test comes back negative, you should still consider having the ceilings replaced. Not only does the popcorn finish give the house a dated feel, but it's also extremely difficult to keep clean or paint, which serves as a turn-off for any prospective buyers.
- Remove the Clutter
It's difficult for prospective buyers to fully appreciate the full potential of your home if it's full of clutter, so after deciding to sell your home, put any items you can temporarily live without into storage.
With these tactics and fixes, there's no doubt buyers will fall in love with your home. Ask your real estate agent for more tips on how to get the most out of your sale.