In today’s real estate market it can be pretty hard to sell your house fast. With the rising number of foreclosures, home buyers have more options than ever when it comes to selecting a new home. Fortunately there are some relatively cheap and easy things you can do to your house that can improve the chances of a quick sell!
When competing with all of the overwhelming foreclosures, the one thing you have as a homeowner that banks do not, is the ability to make minor changes and improve the ‘move-in’ quality of a home. There are definitely many rehabers and house flippers out there that love the thrill of buying a dilapidated house and fixing it up, but most people are looking for a home that is ready to move into. Look at your house with the eyes of these talented bargain hunters and make those improvements now!
Beyond placing a sign in your front yard, what else is there about your house that would encourage a person to call their realtor? Stand in the street and evaluate your home as a buyer would. What draws your eye first? Does the house look dingy? Is the grass green? Is the pathway attractive? Does the house look like it’s in need of repair? All of things will help you find ways to improve your chances of selling your house fast.
Updating the Curb Appeal, Pathway and Door
If the house is dingy, rent a pressure washer, it’s much less expensive than repainting and will greatly improve your homes curb appeal! Consider different things you can do to make the walkway look more attractive. Always make sure to water your grass early in the morning and late in the evening, this conserves water and also ensures a nice green lawn. Make sure the lawn is mowed and edge the walkway to give a clean appearance. Take a look at your mailbox, what shape is it in? There are many decorative ways to repaint a mailbox, or if you are not the creative type, just buy a new one. To spruce up the walkway consider purchasing some outdoor lights, this also helps bring attention to your home in the evenings when most people are out house hunting.
Once up the pathway, consider your front door. Doors are quick and easy to paint, and adding such new door hardware such as new knobs or handles, can greatly improve the over-all feel of the house before a potential buyer even walks in! This is also a good time to access your door bell or knocker. Is the door bell broken or discolored? Do you need a new door mat? How about the house number display – do you even have one? You definitely want to make sure they remember the address. Take a hard look at all of these items and coordinate each update to encourage that put together feel.
Updating the Foyer or Entry Area
Now that you have a home buyer through the front door, what do they see? Make sure all of the clutter is cleared away, pack up all of the family pictures and replace with neutral art, but leave a few thoughtfully placed nick-knacks around the house to draw attention to your homes major selling points. Inspect all of the walls to make sure they appear clean, repair any nicks in the walls and replace any switch plates that are mismatched, broken or discolored. You want the buyer to envision the house as their own, but at the same time create that warm homey feel.
Don’t forget the lighting! Properly placed lamps can make all the difference in how a room appears. Turn off the overhead lights and use strategically placed floor or table lamps to create a warm golden glow in the room. Continue through your house, one room at a time, and analyze each one the way your mother-in-law would! Are the baseboards clean? Is there dust on the curtains, do they need to be replaced? If not, consider just updating the curtain rods or drapery hardware. Rummage through the closets, move everything off of the floor and pack up clothes to give the appearance of more closet space.
Updating the Bathroom
Bathrooms are always a major selling point, so make sure they are clean and look fresh. If needed, buy a new bathroom mat, a hand towel and shower curtain. Accessorize the bathroom so that it looks uncluttered and organized, simple items such as a soap dish, shower baskets and towel bars can produce this effect quite easily. There are also products at your local hardware store that allow you to quickly re-stain wood cabinets and by adding some new cabinet knobs you can change the entire look and feel of the entire room.
Updating the Kitchen
Kitchens also need to look uncluttered and organized. Clean all of the appliances off the counters to give the appearance of more counter-space. If the appliances look outdated, consider buying new appliance handles. Freshen up the cabinets and make sure all of the appliances are clean and don’t forget to remove any magnets or personal notes that are on the refrigerator.
Using a nice cinnamon or vanilla scent in the kitchen can also create a nostalgic feel to the room when a buyer is looking at your house, make sure it is nothing overbearing or too obvious. For a nice natural scent, one easy idea is to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in the oven under low heat, or you could go all out and bake some chocolate chip cookies or fresh bread. Make sure to take a close look at the cabinets in the kitchen also. Tighten up or replace any lose cabinet hinges and consider replacing the kitchen cabinet knobs if necessary. If your cabinets are in really bad shape, sanding down the rough area’s and repainting will completely brighten the entire kitchen!
Beyond Home Maintenance
All of the above tips and tricks are intended to help you sell your house fast, but beyond maintenance there are many other things you can do to make your house more sell-able. Be in touch with your real estate agent often and make sure they are familiar with online real estate marketing. Give them your high and low price on the house and allow them some bargaining room when working with potential home buyers. Ask them what other marketing methods they use when selling a home and make sure to write down any newspapers or websites where they advertise your real estate listing. Always make sure that your agent contacts you before coming to show the house so that you can tidy up and leave! There is nothing more overbearing to a buyer than having a seller right behind them as they are looking through the closets. When you return to your house, take another critical look from the curb to the bathrooms and continue to make improvements until the house sells – It may happen quicker than you think with the right kind of updates!