Sellers should understand that when you list a home at a price based on comps that
weren’t sold “as is,” or “fixer-uppers,” buyers expect the condition of
the property to be pretty close to perfect. The home’s curb appeal
should be maximized. Its interior should be clean, uncluttered, and as
spacious looking as possible. Things that “aren’t quite right” need to
be fixed. Plus, there are upgrades that buyers especially value today,
which sellers may find worth investing in, to up the price and speed the
sale. Here are some worthwhile ways to spend pre-listing dollars.
Spruce up the exterior.
It’s always worth the investment to ramp up a home’s curb appeal.
Sellers should freshen up the yard—rake leaves, mow grass, trim
shrubs—and clear gutters, touch up peeling paint, clean and, if
necessary, paint fences. It’s worth it to put money into a new mailbox,
new house numbers, and fixing cracks in paths and driveways. With
shorter days, sellers should make sure outside lights work, changing all
bulbs in the entryway, walkway, landscape, and other decorative lights.
Paint doors, polish or replace locks and doorknobs. Power wash the
siding and wash windows for a striking first impression. Finally, repair
broken roof shingles, gutters, and downspouts.
Rent a storage space.
Decluttering a home often means removing items and furniture sellers
want to keep, to make the home feel more spacious. The easiest way to
deal with this is to rent a storage unit to keep these things until
movers take them to the sellers’ new home. When done decluttering, have
sellers clean and disinfect all rooms.
Make everything function as new.
All appliances, door hinges, doorknobs, windows, and light fixtures
should work without a hitch. If not, the seller should repair them.
Paint rooms that need it.
Even better, paint the whole house in the same light neutral color or
slight variations of it. This gives the home a feeling of continuity,
removes visual choppiness from one room to the next, and improves the
sense of a cohesive design.
Refinishing hardwood floors or even replacing wall-to-wall carpet with
new flooring can be wise improvements that make an enormous impact.
Add today’s most wanted upgrades.
With people spending more time working, schooling, and just living at
home, buyers key in on five big upgrades: real home office space for one
or two adults; classroom space; a good internet connection; a
functional kitchen as the center of home activity; and inviting outdoor
spaces, such as a deck, patio, or screened porch.
Pay for a pre-listing inspection.
Having sellers pay for a quality inspection up front has always been a
good idea to avoid an incompetent inspection that could sabotage a sale.
Today, a pre-listing inspection makes even more sense, as it lets
sellers control who comes into the home and assures buyers of a home’s
condition without having to set foot in it.
CLICK HERE for more on pre-listing basics to check.
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