REPAIRS TO MAKE BEFORE SELLING
Update the essentials
Hire an inspector
Remember regular maintenance
Improve curb appeal
Let the light in
Paint the interior with neutral tones
Touch up exterior paint and trim
Play to your buyers "nose"
Update light fixtures
Refresh the kitchen & bathrooms
UPDATE THE ESSENTIALS
HIRE AN INSPECTOR
If a buyer’s inspection report shows that the electrical panel predates modern codes or the furnace is more than 15 to 20 years old, there’s a strong chance that a buyer will negotiate for a sizable credit to replace it. Stay in a strong negotiating position by keeping your homes’ mechanicals up-to-date.
If you’re worried about what the buyers’ inspection might say, take a proactive approach and hire a licensed home inspector to conduct a walkthrough of your property before you decide to sell. For a few hundred dollars, you’ll have a report of every issue that may need to be addressed. You can then make decisions about what to tackle and what to forgo.
Maintenance won’t boost the value of your property, but neglect could dent your property value, or make it tougher to sell for the price you’re seeking.Regular maintenance throughout the life of your home could prolong the life of your components, which will be cheaper in the long run.
IMPROVE CURB APPEAL
Repaint or replace your front door. Power-wash your siding. If necessary, paint your siding, trim, and window shutters. Trim the hedges, keep the lawn mowed, clean your gutters, and plant flowers in the front yard.
Cleaning and decluttering is probably the least expensive way to make your home feel larger. 93 percent of agents recommend decluttering your home prior to listing. Remove items that are too personal, like family photos. It will help if potential buyers imagine themselves in the space, not confront the fact that it’s your space.
LET LIGHT IN
Lighting can make homes look more spacious and desirable, according to Realtor.com, which also noted that dark or dimly-lit homes tend to languish on the market longer and receive lower offers.
Schedule open houses and home showings for the middle of the day, when the sun shines brightest, and open the blinds and window shades before prospects arrive.
PAINT THE EXTERIOR
Don’t forget about exterior paint, particularly if your existing paint is chipped, peeling or cracked. Too many colors could make the home appear choppy rather than integrated by a common palate.
UPDATE YOUR LIGHT FIXTURES
Hang an attention-grabbing light fixture, such as a chandelier or hanging Edison bulbs, in one or two locations. These eye-catching elements can improve the perceived value of your home, giving you an edge over the neighborhood competition.
GET READY FOR YOUR FUTURE
You might enhance the sophistication of a home by installing a few smart home devices, such as wifi-enabled thermostats and door locks. The Nest thermostat, for example, automatically learns your patterns and adjusts home temperatures accordingly. A smartphone can operate it, so you can monitor your home’s temperatures when you’re traveling, or heat your home in time for your return.
89 percent of realtors recommend cleaning your home before showings, and 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning. Think beyond your standard vacuuming routine. Hire a company to deep-clean your house. Professional cleaners are less likely to overlook something that may not be in your field of awareness, like the sheen of fingerprints on cabinet doors.
PAINT WITH NEUTRAL TONES
A coat of fresh paint can instantly update your home. Choose warm neutral colors such as beige, tan, grey, and “greige” — a blend of grey and beige. Lighter colors can make smaller rooms appear larger.
PLAY TO YOUR BUYERS "NOSE"
Make sure that musty or unpleasant odors, such as the smell of wet dog or spicy food, are cleared from your home before showings. In the same way that you want a neutral color palette on your walls, you’ll also want a neutral scent palette for your air.
You might benefit from a few inexpensive, environmentally-friendly upgrades, but don’t overdo it.
If you make green upgrades, focus on low-cost improvements, such as swapping out incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Don’t forget that caulk and weatherstripping make a huge impact on the efficiency of your home, at a much cheaper price point than replacing your windows.
SPRUCE UP YOUR BATHROOM
A few inexpensive touches could present your existing bathroom in the best light.
Replace the bath faucet with a stylish option. Trade your standard showerhead with a more impressive-looking option. Add a builder-grade granite or marble countertop to your bath vanity for a relatively low price point, as the material costs won’t be too high. If your bathroom is already modern, these upgrades aren’t necessary. But if your bathroom features a 10-year-old countertop with dings, chips and stains, replacing this could help you attract a buyer.
UPDATE THE KITCHEN
If your cabinets are in good condition but outdated, you can make them appear new by applying a few coats of fresh white cabinet paint, and replacing the hinges and handles. You could also hire contractors to replace the cabinet doors, while leaving the cabinets themselves intact. Swap white or black appliances with stainless steel to upgrade the look of your kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are typically viewed as higher-end. Replacing your aging countertop with granite could also add value. If your current countertop looks good, you can skip this step. But if your countertop is made from yellowed, peeling laminate, this project could help boost your home sale value.