If you make the right improvements when fixing up your property, you increase the odds of selling it quickly for top dollar.
Start the pre-sale fix-up process by getting an outside opinion of your house's strengths and weaknesses.
Buyers begin forming their opinions of your house long before they go inside. Curb appeal (the external attractiveness of your property) is critically important. Here are some tried-and-true ways to enhance your house's curb appeal.
Painting: Paint your house's exterior before you put it on the market.
Lawn: Keep your lawn freshly mowed and neatly trimmed.
Sidewalks: Sweep your sidewalks daily.
Shrubbery: Remove or replace any dead or dying trees, hedges or shrubs and prune anything that looks scraggly or overgrown.
Flowers: Filling flower beds with seasonal flowers is an inexpensive way to add color and charm to your property.
Repairs: Be sure that all gutters and down-spouts are in place and clean. Replace missing roof shingles and broken or cracked windows. Check exterior lights to be certain that they're working properly.
Windows: Keep your windows spotless inside and out throughout the marketing period.
Eliminate or hide clutter: Clear everything out of the garage that you don't need.
Curb appeal draws buyers into your house. But appealing interiors make the sale. Little things you do generally give the biggest increase in value. Concentrate on the following list of essential improvements.
Clean, scrub and polish: Keep your stove, oven, refrigerator, microwave oven and other appliances spotlessly clean inside and out.
Eliminate odors: Buyers will notice strong smells as soon as they walk through your front door. Eliminate smoke, mildew, and pet odors.
Fix drippy faucets: If any of your sinks or bathtubs drain slowly, unclog them.
Get rid of clutter: Keep clutter off of kitchen counters and dirty dishes out of the sink.
Make cosmetic improvements: Painting isn't expensive if you do it yourself, but be careful when selecting interior colors. Avoid cherry red, canary yellow, cobalt blue, emerald green, and other bold colors with strong visual impact.
Pre-marketing Property Inspection
Prudent purchasers will have your property thoroughly inspected before they buy it. The best defense is a good offense. Discover everything wrong with your house before putting it on the market.
Damage control: If you discover the problem before marketing the house, you can disclose it to prospective buyers with a repair estimate.
Financial planning: It's very important to have a realistic estimate of your present house's net proceeds of sale before committing to buy a new home.
Fine tuning: Professional property inspectors can help you spot minor defects: such as dirty filters in the heating system; ventilation problems in the basement, garage or crawl space; blocked gutters; loose doorknobs; stuck windows; a missing chimney hood or spark arrester, and so on.
Peace of mind: The inspector alerts you to health and safety precautions you should take.
Staging a house goes way beyond your efforts to make it look nice before having friends over for a dinner party. Here are some staging tips that you can use to increase your house's emotional appeal.
Kitchen: Aromas from fragrant goodies like freshly baked gingerbread or just-brewed coffee bring back wonderful memories of home.
Bathrooms: Always have fresh towels in bathrooms. Buy new shower curtains. Put new soap in the soap dishes.
Clear everything off your refrigerator: Most folks use magnets or tape to stick everything from vacation snapshots and finger-painting masterpieces to notes for the kids and "to do" lists on the surface of their refrigerators.
Comfort: Keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A house that's too hot or too cold isn't inviting.
Flowers: Vases of colorful, fresh flowers spotted throughout the house make a wonderful impression on prospective buyers.