Selling a home can be one of the more stressful endeavors in life (right up there with buying one). Although most of us like to think that we will be selling our homes at a time which is convenient for us, the fact is that many people will realize that they need to sell their homes at a less leisurely pace than they had anticipated. This is especially true of those who are selling due to a job transfer or other move which requires a location change, when one cannot afford to carry two mortgages at once.
Fortunately for home sellers, there are several improvements that can be made to help sell your home more quickly. Here are some ideas of where to look in your house in order to make a potential buyer think “I have to have this house!”
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and this is as true in real estate as it is in life. The exterior of your house, including your yard, will be the first thing that potential buyers take note of when they come to have a look at your house. Ideally, your house will be on the market in the summer or early fall when the exterior has a chance to look its best, but this does not always matter.
By way of minor improvements, make sure that your yard is uncluttered and that your driveway is free of debris including rocks and windblown garbage. It is likely that the potential buyers will only take a quick glimpse at the outside of the home, but nevertheless that one glance will set the tone for the rest of the tour. Make sure that your grass is cut and that your flower beds are weeded! Trees, bushes, and shrubs should all be pruned for maximum effect.
Middle-sized improvements to focus on when it comes to your house’s exterior largely have to do with paint. A fresh coat of paint will work wonders for your house’s appearance, so invest in a few cans for your fence, your walls, and any stairs or planters that you have on your property.
Big improvements included major repairs. The areas to be most concerned about are your fence and your roof. Roofs need to be redone every 25 years or so, more if you live in a windy area. Nothing says stay away like a roof with shingles missing or peeling off. Likewise, a fence that is falling apart is very visible and will discourage buyers from purchasing. Sometimes home owners will need to replace an entire fence, but more often than not it is only a matter of a few rails, instead of all the rails and the posts.
As far as the interior goes, the best thing you can do for showings is to make sure the house is clean. Most people will be willing to overlook a few areas where the house falls short if they feel it is well taken care of. A clean interior will also tell potential buyers that the house is easy to maintain.
There are three rooms that make the biggest impression on potential buyers when they are looking at a house. These are the kitchen, the bathrooms, and the entrance. Many people think bedrooms are important, but the fact is that most people are going to customize their bedrooms to their own personal tastes anyways, so the only thing that really matters is size. The same is true with family rooms and other types of living rooms.
Entrances should be spacious and easy to clean. Most entrances will have a large window with frosted glass beside the door; make sure that your house is included in this group. If you happen to own a house with a cathedral entrance, you should probably take the time and the money to expand the entryway a little bit, as anyone who has owned this type of house before will most likely be unwilling to purchase one again. They are hard to clean and tend to get cluttered when company is over.
Kitchens should always have a modern appearance, which includes lots of space and plenty of surface area for work. The most popular kitchens today are open, with easy access to the dining rooms and usually to the family room as well. Islands are also very popular. A kitchen should give off the impression that it is easy to clean and maintain; hardwood floors continue to rise in popularity along with natural countertop materials.
As wit the other two impression rooms, bathrooms should give off the impression of space and cleanliness. There should be several outlets for the various implements used in the bathroom as well as plenty of walking space, enough to accommodate at least two people comfortably. Your bathroom should be bright, both with natural lights and plenty of artificial lights. It should also be painted brightly, with clean floors. Tile floors are visually appealing, but make sure that the spaces between the tiles are clean.
As for the rest of the house, remember that the perception of the buyer is the most important aspect of selling a home. Make sure that you run your furnace prior to showing your home so that you are not caught unawares by any rattles or squeaks; if you find that you have some then get it fixed right away!
Many people are also looking for finished basements in today’s market. Not long ago, most houses were sold with unfinished basements. Today’s market is dictated by busy people who do not have time to undergo projects themselves, and thus a house that is incomplete will sell slower than a completed counterpart.
Above all, do not be tempted into taking shortcuts and cover-ups. Assume that all potential buyers are accompanied by a seasoned realtor who knows what to look for for her clients. Any band-aid solutions will be detected by the realtor and will directly affect your house’s price or selling time. Don’t be afraid to do what is needed to sell your house quickly; improvements always pay off in the end.