I was browsing Reddit the other day and a user posted a question asking what small things he could do around his house to help sell it faster. From what I understand, they have had their home on the market for a little while now and their showings are starting to dry up. He and his wife were expecting their tax refund soon and were going to dedicate a portion of that to freshening up their home in the hopes of increasing interest in the home. I happily replied with a few suggestions that are comparatively inexpensive in the arena of home improvement. A lot of folks who are selling their homes may feel like they need to provide some feature that differentiates their home from the others on the market. It is obviously helpful to make the listed home as memorable as possible to potential buyers, but doing or adding too much can hurt more than help. Keeping those upgrades simple and easy will yield the best results.
Yesterday, I came across an article from Inman Group that discusses this exact topic and I wish I'd had it to share with that gentleman on Reddit. The article is titled, "8 'extras' that help sell a house," and lists every suggestion that I have for those who are willing to put in a little extra work to help sell their home quicker. The beautiful thing about most of these upgrades is that they do not cost much in comparison to other projects at home. In fact, many of these things will be done by the new homeowner anyway! Most Buyers much prefer it when they have little or no work to do to their new home.
Let me expand on these 8 things a little more...
- Exterior Paint: Painting the exterior of a home can get very pricey. Especially if you hire it out. This is the most labor intensive and pricey projects on this list. If you are hiring it out to professionals, make sure you get multiple quotes. If you plan on doing it yourself, be VERY thorough and check the weather beforehand! Really, the easiest solution here is to have taken good care of the exterior home and made sure to have kept the old cans from the last time the home was painted. This makes matching the color and finish a breeze. From there, you can just follow step #8 and touch up any problem areas with the same color! P.S. New shudders are an inexpensive way to freshen up a home!
- Carpet: This is likely the second most expensive project on the list. If you do not wish to replace the carpet, at least have it steam cleaned or go rent a RugDoctor from a home improvement store. If the entire home is carpeted, the labor and material will make it quite pricey to replace all the carpet. If it is just a couple or less rooms, try to find "remnant" pieces. These are essentially left over or oddly shaped sections that you can buy at a discount.
- Remove the wallpaper: This job is not fun. As a rehabber, we buy a lot of very dated properties with a lot of wallpaper. I can attest to the frustration of scraping glue from the walls. Most folks that are in the market these days, do not enjoy wallpaper. They think that it makes the home feel old. It is not a very difficult job. It is just very time consuming and monotonous. Some of the older wallpaper glues are more like cement and require serious scraping. The best tip with removing wallpaper is to mix very warm water and vinegar, spray a manageable area and scrape the paper off while it is wet and the glue is made malleable by the warm water.
- Lighting: You do not want the home to feel dark and cavernous. The trend amongst homeowners these days seems to be open floorpans with a lot of natural light and higher ceilings. Even if your home lacks these things, you can at least try to mimic that effect by getting rid of the artificial light and adding as many LED and high-wattage bulbs as you can.
- Air Filters and Vents: They say you should change your air filters every 30 days or so. I usually don't because I forget. It's not the end of the World if you do forget. If you have pets and do this routinely, you'll notice a huge difference in the air quality of your home. It is also very easy to vacuum the AC registers around the house to clean them up. It's a cheap thing to do that shows the buyer that the seller is on top of maintenance!
- Remove all traces of your pet: A lot of people really love animals. Even stranger's animals! There are also a lot of people that do not love animals. People that do not love animals or do not love the idea of living with animals will immediately be turned off if they see evidence of a pet in the home. It is in your better interest to just tuck these things away while the home is being shown.
- Interior Paint: Maybe you and your family love the colors in your house, but that does not mean that potential buyers will. It is a safe bet to just repaint and use a neutral and fresh color. When a buyer visits a home, they are trying to imagine themselves and their families in that house. If you create a blank canvas for them, they can imagine their family's future enjoyment much easier.
- Pressure Wash: You should definitely do this before you list your property. It is very inexpensive if you own a pressure washer. If you do not, I bet you know someone who has one. If not, rent one. Being thorough when you pressure wash can make not only the siding of your house feel fresh and new, but it can also rejuvenate the foundation, sidewalks, windows, doors, etc! You wouldn't sell a dirty car, would you?
- This is an additional step from me. Make sure that you have a responsive and attentive listing agent. I encounter too many listing agents that do not answer the phone and leave loose ends around the property. If you do need a listing agent, please contact me. I will be more than happy to list your property!
If you have any questions about selling your home, feel free to contact me! I am happy to help and I would love to be your listing agent.
If you are ready to buy, please contact me! I will be happy to represent you as your buying agent, as well!
Troy Franklin Gandee