Spending a few days or weekends on getting your home ready through prioritizing the miscellaneous projects will really make a huge difference and increase your returns when you sell. Chances are, your home already has plenty of beautiful elements and it just needs some finishing touches to really look its best. Put some time and effort into it and you’ll be amazed by the results.
De-cluter and Organize
Remove and pack up and stow away any and all personal pictures and items that you would not find in a typical model home. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Organize anything that stays in the house neatly in the pantry, closets, linen closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Stow garden tools and toys out of sight.
Make Everything Shine
Have the exterior of the house power-washed – it will make a world of a difference making your house look like new. Power-washing is done with Clorox and will not only remove any cobwebs, mold, dirt and dust but it will make the trim look like freshly painted. Then get the gutters cleaned out, clean the windows inside and out, clean the carpets, touch up or repaint the walls with neutral colors, clean the lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
Freshen up the Curb Appeal
Edge the lawn around walk ways and trees and trim bushes and trees to create a groomed landscape. One of the most obvious and most impactful ways to boost curb appeal is fresh mulch on all landscaped areas and pine straw for larger woodsy areas. Then add some fresh greenery and flowers or you can simply add some planters to accentuate and frame key visual points, like windows and entryways. Even just one pretty plant arrangement can significantly add to your home’s exterior appearance.
Fix Up the Little Things
From a buyer’s perspective, the little things add up and may be a foreplay for bigger things not being taken care off. Don’t let buyers think your house may be too much work or has potential surprises. Take care of any small repairs, like ripped screens, dents, holes in the wall or chipped paint. Even tiny flaws can stand out against an otherwise picturesque house, so it’s worth taking a day to fix them. Walk around the inside and outside of your house noting anything that requires a quick fix, and then get the tools you need and get to work. Spruce up the front door with a fresh paint if power-washing or cleaning isn’t enough and stain your garage door if needed as well. Here is a useful iPhone or iPad app that can help with color selection: Front Door Paint.
Upgrade Your Mailbox
Swap out a dated mailbox with something more stylish. It’s a super easy project to take on, and can make an understated but noticeable difference in your home’s curb appeal. Depending on the type of mailbox that you need (i.e. a standing mailbox or one that’s attached to the wall), plan on spending about $50-$200 to replace it.
Gather up Warranties
Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.
Get an Estimate on the Big Things
Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so. If you are not planning to do these to sell the house you can have them ready and use them to adjust and then justify the sales price. The figures will also help buyers determine if they can afford the home with the needed improvements, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.
On the Day of Showing
Just as it is important to fix up exterior and interior of the house, on the day of showing your house we have additional steps to take to make that first impression for the buyer. See our advice on how to get the house ready on the day of showing.