#1 Stage Your Property
Staging is key in making your house look its best for the all-important online marketing photos. According to the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 81% of Realtors agree that professionally staging a home makes it sell more quickly and at a higher price. In my experience, it typically makes a night and day difference and is well worth the effort.
#2 Light It Up
Make sure burnt out light bulbs are replaced, and update important light fixtures including chandeliers and bathroom vanity lights. Dark homes don’t show well, so make sure to remove any heavy window treatments before putting your house on the market, and let the sun shine in during showings.
#3 Curb Appeal Matters
The importance of curb appeal cannot be overstated. Inexpensive outdoor improvements like a freshly painted front door, a new mailbox and well-maintained landscaping will have a big impact on the first impression buyers get as they pull up in front of your home.
#4 Tackle Deferred Maintenance
At a minimum, you should repair anything that is broken, leaks, or has rotted (ie fascia or siding boards, porch pickets, leaky faucets, etc). Most buyers want a move-in ready house, and if they spot obvious repairs that are needed, it can turn them off.
#5 Update Your Kitchen
These days families gather in the kitchen, and this room could not be more important to buyers. Even a minor kitchen remodel offers a high likelihood of recouping the investment, according to a 2015 study by Remodeling Magazine. NAR reports that new kitchen appliances, granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances all rank high with buyers. But new trends are on the horizon, like copper appliances and quartz, marble and glass countertops. So make a budget, and don’t go overboard.
#6 Make It Big
A cluttered house feels like a smaller house. While a cozy feel with all your collections feels great to you, it won’t feel great to buyers. The goal is to make your house feel as large as possible, and the less stuff you have in it, the bigger it will feel. So start packing before you put the house on the market.
#7 Update Flooring & Walls
Worn out carpet, scratched wood floors, and bold paint colors are a buzz kill for most buyers. It is really difficult for them to look past these items, even if they intellectually realize it will be easy to change them. They often make the assumption that the whole house is in poor condition, even if it isn’t. Updating the flooring and repainting provide a lot of bang for the buck, and are both well worth it.
#8 Add Outdoor Living Space
If you’re wondering how to increase the value of your home, a new deck offers additional living space at the fraction of the cost of a home addition and can be used for the majority of the year in our Triangle market. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost Vs.Value Report, a wood deck is high on the list of mid-range upgrades that are most likely to recoup the outlay cost.
#9 Go the Extra Step
Having your home inspected prior to listing can uncover needed repairs that may not be obvious to buyers, but that they will discover when they do their own inspection during their Due Diligence Period. Flush out those repairs with your own inspection and address them prior to putting your house on the market. You don’t want the buyers backing out during the Due Diligence period because they were overwhelmed by the quantity of repairs that are needed.
#10 Now Make it Shine
Clean, clean, then clean some more! Giving your house a deep clean right before putting it on the market will have a big impact. That includes windows, replacing HVAC filters, and wiping down baseboards, and the tops of ceiling fans. Buyers assume a clean house is a well-maintained house.