9 Experts Share Insider Tips on Preparing Your Home for Sale
Are you thinking of selling? You’d think it would be as easy as placing a “For Sale” sign on the front yard and waiting for the offers to roll in, but for most homeowners the process is a bit more complicated. Unless you keep your home in perfect “show ready” condition, there will likely be some cleaning, decluttering, and home improvement projects on the to-do list to help your home look its best and maximize the resale value.
From reorganizing the living room for better flow to recaulking the shower surround, there are a lot of small improvements you can make to better appeal to potential buyers and get top dollar for your home. We had the chance to chat with nine experts including real estate agents, architects, and general contractors who offered their insider perspective on how to prepare your home for sale, attract the right buyer, and maximize resale value:
Bold Isn’t Always Better
If you’re planning a reno but expect to move in the near to distant future, be wary of bold customizations and design choices. You may be crazy for neon yellow tiles in the bathroom or leopard print wallpaper in the living room, but will potential buyers feel the same way? Keep design choices a little more palatable if a home sale is on the horizon. I always advise clients to be as unconventional as they want with accessories, but when it comes to fixtures, flooring, and wall coverings, keep design choices a little more universal.
Personal photos everywhere, kids’ artwork on the fridge, and odd little trinkets through the house make it hard for people to picture themselves in the home. Tuck these personal items away. Not only will your home look cleaner and less cluttered, but it help the house show well. This easy step is completely free and costs nothing but your time.
Especially if there are a lot of comparable homes on the market, you need to stand out from the crowd. Have you thought about installing a gas fireplace in the master bedroom for that WOW factor? By the same token, heated floors in the master bath are worth every penny as an upgrade. These kinds of luxury elements really stick in people’s minds when they’re consider a home, but they don’t cost as much as you think as the seller.
If you live in a new build home and don’t yet have a fenced-in yard, get on it. Fencing often doesn’t come standard for new builds, and owners keep delaying construction and then just get used to having no fence. While this may work for you, you don’t want the perfect buyers to be turned away because they didn’t want the kids or the little puppy playing in an open backyard. There are lots of fence options available at affordable price points that will put that perfect finishing touch on your home.
A new front door will make an amazing first impression, whether in listing pictures or at an open house. You often only notice a front door in two situations: when it’s damaged, dated, and faded, and when it’s an elegant, architectural focal point. It goes without saying you’d rather fall into the latter category. I always recommend custom options to take it to the next level, with detailed moulding, an eye-catching archway, elegant sidelites, handmade stained glass, and more.
This is a question we get a lot when homeowners are preparing to put their house on the market. The answer is…it depends. If the roof is in pretty good shape and your home has a lot of things going for it, it may not be worth the investment as potential buyers won’t even see the value in a new roof. But if your roof has severe damage or you see internal signs of trouble like water spots, act fast. The last thing you want is an old roof dragging down the value of your home. Most potential buyers won’t bother, especially if there’s a comparable home with a new roof down the road. In either case, your best course of action is to schedule a roof inspection to evaluate your specific situation.
For every buyer with a lifelong dream of owning a backyard pool, there is a buyer who is scared off by the potential cost and maintenance requirements. To best appeal to both sides of the coin, make sure your pool area is as clean and attractive as possible. Whether that’s buying new lounge chairs, fixing the liner, patching cracks in the concrete, or just making sure there are no leaves floating around during the open house, don’t neglect your backyard staging.
Climate control smart home features are going to be all the rage in 2017. These features set your home to be at the perfect temperature when you’re home, but are set to energy saving mode otherwise. Get in on the ground floor now before these features become standard, and really help your home stand out for the cost-conscious, eco-conscious, and tech-friendly crowds.
Did you know that upgrading to energy efficient windows can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs? That’s exactly the kind of value that prospective homeowners like to see. It will also boost curb appeal and help your home stand out in a competitive real estate market.