Prospective sellers often ask me about various repairs and projects they're contemplating prior to putting their house on the market. Should we put in a second bath? Should we renovate the kitchen? They wonder if it's time for the renovations or big fixes they had always planned to do. Usually my answer is No - you will not get your money back for big projects completed shortly before you sell your house. Better to keep your money for a new kitchen in your next home - and have some time to enjoy it.
It's actually the less expensive, easier fixes that have a high return. Selling your house is all about first impressions. You want your house to sparkle and shine from the first time an agent or buyer walks in the door.
Here are some easy, inexpensive projects to get your house or condo in tip top shape:
1. Declutter, declutter, declutter
. You want your home to look like a show house. Counters cleared off, closets thinned, surfaces bare. When in doubt - out and away it goes.
2. Rent a storage unit
if you have nowhere to put your clutter. It's relatively inexpensive and the answer to the question of "but where do we put our stuff?"
3. Depersonalize your home
. It's ok to have some personal items scattered about the house. The goal is not to strip your home of all of its personality. However, if you've turned your home into a family photo gallery or have loads of memorabilia scattered about, it's time to thin the collections. You want buyers to focus on the house, not on the details of your life or hobbies.
4. Clean, clean, clean
. Your house must sparkle and shine. Fingerprints cleaned, counters, cupboards and drawers wiped clean, bathrooms gleaming, stove sparkling, floors shined. If you're not a cleaning whiz have a housekeeping service do the job.
5. Get the windows washed
. Dirty windows are a turnoff. Your buyers want to see the sun streaming through clean and sparkling windows.
6. Fling open the windows
. Fresh air is free and you want to make sure your home is free of all odors while you're on the market.
7. Caulk your bathtub and clean the grout
. It's something that we sometimes overlook in our own home but one of the first things a buyer will notice in your bath.
8. Paint the trim and woodwork
. Look around your home with a critical eye. Stair risers scuffed? Woodwork chipped? Paint and some sandpaper is an inexpensive fix with a big impact.
9. Spruce up your yard
. Keep the lawn mowed, bushes trimmed, garden beds mulched. A big pot of flowers in bloom is a nice addition to your front steps. If you're in a condominium, add some plants or flower boxes to your deck. No outdoor space? Keep bouquets of fresh, sweet smelling flowers in your condo.
10. Make sure your entry looks inviting
. Your house need to appeal from the moment someone walks up to the door. Paint the door if needed, make sure your railings and steps are secure and in one piece, get a nice new doormat. If your decluttering didn't extend to the entry take care of it now - when you sell your house the piles of boots and shoes, recycling bins, and other paraphernalia usually stowed in the entryway have to go.
These low cost, high impact tasks will ensure that your house looks its best and sells for top dollar
If you're planning a move and want to talk about today's real estate market, get advice on preparing your home for sale, or want to learn about the top marketing efforts that lead to a successful sale - give me a call or an email
. I can be reached at 617-504-1737 and I look forward to speaking with you.
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