Studies show over 80% of first-time home buyers are looking for a house that’s “move-in ready.” Although most buyers are willing to overlook a few needed renovations for the opportunity to land the perfect house, some just can’t see past a home’s flaws. Never count on a buyer’s ability to imagine how good your house would look IF…IF the porch was clean, IF the paint was fresh, IF the cabinets were new.
Spring is the perfect time to make a few simple improvements to your home to greatly increase its liklihood of being sold. Your house only has one chance to make a first impression. These tips from On the Move Charlotte offer simple, inexpensive fixes for some of your home’s biggest selling hurdles.
7. Improve the Exterior
When potential buyers drive up, you want them to be blown away by your house. You’ve learned to look past those rusty gutters and peeling paint but buyers won’t. Spend a few hours doing the touch-ups you can handle on your own and consider spending the money to have the house repainted and professional landscaping installed this May.
6. Update the Fixtures
It’s amazing what an impact little details can have on a buyer’s impression of your home. If your fixtures – the bathroom faucet, the cabinet handles, even the door hinges – scream “1980s!” the rest of your home will too. Changing out the fixtures is one of the cheapest ways to bring your house into the 21st century.
5. Clean the Nooks
Over time, every home gets dirty. Does your bathroom grout have a gray, worn tinge to it? What about the deck…has green lichen started to spread up the posts? Hiring a professional cleaning crew (or putting the kids to work!) and renting a pressure washer will freshen up your house and give your buyers the impression you’ve taken excellent care of your home.
4. Work the Windows
Your windows are one of your home’s greatest assets – make sure they’re being used effectively. Remove any heavy curtains or blinds and change out old, cloudy screens with new ones. Give your windows a thorough cleaning inside and outside to make sure every ray of sunlight can be exploited. Natural light is a home seller’s best friend and can make the difference between “it’s nice” and “I have to have it!”
3. Spiff Up the Floors
Buyers love hardwood, but if your wood floors are dented, dinged, or scratched, now may be the time to shell out for refinishing. Likewise, outdated, blonde-wood floors may be dating your house rather than adding value so consider choosing a more modern stain color. If you’ve got carpets just make sure they’re very clean – hire a steam cleaning company to come in or better yet, replace the carpets altogether if you can afford it.
2. Invest in the Kitchen
Some home improvements won’t ever “pay you back,” particularly if you over-upgrade the kitchen. However, a great kitchen can sell your home so it’s worth the bulk of your improvement cash. Changing out the appliances is worth it if yours are especially old, as is replacing the countertops. Don’t worry about not having custom tile or top-of-the-line granite – just do what you can to make your kitchen look fresh, clean, and updated within reason.
1. Replace the Roof
Nothing makes your home look less livable than a stained, cracking roof. Likewise, nothing improves the wow factor of the outside of your house like a shiny new roof. This is an expensive fix but Spring is the perfect time. The winter weather’s over and a new roof can actually save you money on summer’s hefty cooling bills. If you’re on the fence about springing for a new roof, remember that most sellers have to replace worn out roofs anyway once an offer moves to the inspection stage.
If you’re considering putting your house on the market this Spring, know that selling prices in Charlotte are at their highest point in years. Leigh Bryant of On the Move Charlotte represents sellers all over Charlotte, from Ballantyne to the University area. Call Leigh at 704.513.3318 today to discuss your home’s market value.
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