Cathy Lomasney's Blog
If your house is on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, you probably feel like you have 101 things to do!
Fortunately, the list is much smaller than that and you can enlist the help of a real estate agent to handle many of the details.
To increase your chances for a fast sale, your agent will offer you suggestions on ways to enhance the eye appeal and curb appeal of your home. Although many of the things they point out may seem minor and superficial, the cumulative effect they'll have on the marketability of your home could be significant.
Minor flaws will be noticed by potential buyers and could easily give them the impression that your home hasn't been updated, properly maintained, and well taken care of. While that may not be true, remember that presentation is everything. And, if I may slip in one more old, but true cliché: "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression!" That is as true in real estate sales as it is in making sure you're breath is fresh!
With that in mind, here's a list of some of the relatively inexpensive improvements you can make that will help you favorably impress prospective home buyers.
- There are a lot of cheap or relatively inexpensive repairs you can make, such as repairing and painting over damaged walls, oiling squeaky hinges, and replacing cracked windows and bathroom tiles. Toilets that run and faucets that leak are other examples of minor problems that can make a bad impression on potential buyers.
- Lighting, both natural and artificial, sets the mood in a room and can have an impact on how people perceive your home. It's usually advisable to let in as much natural light as possible and increase the wattage of lightbulbs in dark rooms and hallways. On the other hand, harsh lightening can also make an unfavorable impression, so it's necessary to find the perfect balance between glaring and dreary lighting. Most real estate agents are attuned to minor (or major) changes that need to be made to elements like lighting, décor, and furniture arrangement.
- Avoid the appearance of clutter, disorganization, and chaos in any part of your home! This would apply to everything from closets and cabinets to counter-tops, desks, and bedroom dressers. If your basement or attic is a "disaster area," that could reflect negatively on you and the attractiveness of your home. A good, general rule-of-thumb for controlling clutter is "less is more."
- Be prepared to do at least a little painting and a lot of cleaning to prepare your house for successful showings. A certain amount of landscaping and lawn care is also necessary, with tasks such as mowing, pruning, and weeding at the top of the list.