A house that “sparkles” on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained.
From experience, your Realtor also knows that a “well-polished” house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can’t see has probably also been maintained. In readying your house for sale, consider:
- how much should you spend
- exterior and curb appeal
- preparing the interior
Prepare a budget
In preparing your home for the market, Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren’t likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive “polishes” and “touch-ups” to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. Your Realtor, who is familiar with buyers’ expectations in your neighborhood, can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice.
Maximize exterior and curb appeal
Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary to maximize its exterior and interior appeal. Tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal as far as painting and staining:
Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
How does the garage door look?
Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
Maximize interior appeal
- Repaint dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
- Check for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
- Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
- Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork. Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems.
- Repair dripping faucets and showerheads. Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
- Spruce up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.