First Impressions and Curb Appeal
1. Clean up your landscaping, add mulch, and colorful flowers.
2. Remove old and overgrown bushes and trees.
3. Fix masonry and paver stones.
4. Seal, coat, or repave your driveway.
5. Paint your front door an inviting color and add a nice new welcome mat.
6. Paint the exterior -- especially the trim work.
7. Get your roof cleaned to give it a brand new fresh appearance.
8. Bright white trim looks fresh and clean.
Repaint the House, Inside and Out
9. Painting can make an incredible impact for a low price. Update colors to work in your favor.
10. Seek advice from an expert to help make your color choice. Neutral colors, neutral colors...neutral colors! Warm and inviting colors evoke warm and comforting emotions.
11. Dark stained moldings and windows should be painted bright white. Dark wood crown molding generally doesn't appeal to buyers because of it's tendency to make the room feel less open. Online photos can also make the homes with dark molding look outdated.
12. If you have a staircase, for a fresh look, paint the spindles and risers white.
The Wallpaper Must Come Down
13. Nearly all homebuyers cringe when they walk into a home and see wall paper! All that goes through their mind is the anticipation of a huge and expensive mess. When looking online at homes, most buyers will press "next" when looking through the homes pictures. For more positive responses, it's the best idea to remove the wallpaper.
Darker Stained Flooring is More Popular Lately
14. If your floors are a bit outdated (pickled or honey oak), consider having them refinished for that incredible impact.
15. If you have carpeted floors with hardwood under them, uncover them!! Hardwood floors are "sexy" to buyers and will raise your home value in their eyes.
16. Change the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs to stainless steel or brushed nickel.
17. Brass can often viewed as outdated. Remove as many brass fixtures as possible.
18. Kitchen cabinets may benefit from being painted or re-stained.
19. Add new stainless steel appliances.
20. Replace your old countertops with granite. Whatever your home's price range, buyers want and expect granite!
21. Consider installing a stainless steel sink and pull-out spray faucet.
22. Buy some fresh white towels. To have in stacks or hanging on your
23. Change outdated light fixtures.
24. Add new, stylish drawer and cabinet pulls.
25. Remove large outdated mirrors and replace with a picture frame mirror. DIY option to paint or stain moldings along the perimeter to enhance the look.
26. Add a new shower curtain.
27. Consider adding a seamless shower door.
28. Re-grout the tub and shower if applicable
29. Clean the grout on floors.
30. Least expensive suggestion on this entire list! It can, however, be the most time consuming and emotional part of your preparation. Be sure to plan ahead! It's never too early to start cleaning...even 6-12 months ahead of when you are planning to sell. It will only make the process that much easier when it comes time to sell. Simplify your space (often times more than you think you need) and buyers will be able to picture themselves living in the space more easily.
Clean the Unfinished Spaces
31. If there is a musty smell, adding a dehumidifier to take out excess moisture will benefit the sale of the home as buyers walk through. Avoid plugins and deodorizers as it may seem you are trying to mask a water issue.
32. Painting the concrete garage flooring will give the space a fresh. A medium grey color is always a great color. If there is a basement, give the walls a fresh coat of waterproof paint to give buyers a sense of security knowing the house is free of moisture.
Maximize the Light
33. Buyers value great lighting; remove heavy drapery.
34. Trim back bushes and trees to maximize the light.
35. Clean your windows!
36. Replace light receptacles with higher wattage bulbs.
37. Remove window screens.
Know the Market
38. You should be aware of the current inventory of homes for sale in your area, as these homes may represent your competition or future comparables when you are ready to sell. Don't get caught up in the idea that placing your home's sale price higher than it's value will leave bargaining room. In a high demand area, buyers appreciate a fair price which would, more often than not, lead to a competitive multi-bid situation. Thus, resulting in a higher selling price.
Avoid using your emotions when evaluating the market value of your home. Fair pricing requires the ability to be objective and realistic. This will also keep the buyers from being demanding when various inspections come into play.
Buyers are Doing Most of Their Research Online
39. School systems bring buyers to the community! Even if buyers don't have school-aged kids, most of them realize the advantage for future sales power, to own a home in a great school district. Therefore, the research that parents with school aged children are doing should be some of the same research that you do to understand how the school district in the area compared to others.
Have a Pre-Home Inspection
40. If you have a certified home inspector inspect your home before you sell, you will have the opportunity to fix the small and distracting problems beforehand, as well as any larger issues that are uncovered. In the long run, this will save you money as the seller. Fixing these issues can keep nervous buyers from getting spooked out of a deal, keeping them calm throughout the transaction. Be sure to keep any pest maintenance contracts in effect until after closing in case a buyer's inspector should find any critters or wood ruining insects.