We don’t blame you for wanting to squeeze every last penny out of the sale of your home. And, aside from just a handful of factors over which you have no control (location, foreclosures or sexual predators nearby, etc), there are some inexpensive cosmetic changes you can make that will appeal to buyers, raising the home’s perceived value.
Even if your home isn’t located in a neighborhood that buyers clamor for, giving it maximum curb appeal will go a long way in getting them out of the car and up to the door.
Let’s take a look at some simple “fixes” you can perform that will ensure that those touring your home fall in love the minute they step through the front door.
1.Create a positive second impression
You know that curb appeal is your home’s first impression. The second? What the buyer sees when the real estate agent opens the door and they step through. If you don’t have an evident entry area, it’s time to create one.
What you use to create this area depends to a large extent on the size. Even the smallest homes, however, have space inside the front door to set a mood, from setting out a simple throw rug and small console table or interesting single chair to getting more elaborate with attractive lighting and accessories. A mirror, by the way, is the ideal accessory for a small foyer as it helps the area look larger.
If you have room, three items you must include in the area are a vase of flowers or healthy potted plant and a table lamp. Then, keep the area clutter-free while the home is on the market.
Next, stand in your foyer and take a look around for anything that appears dated. If it can be seen from the entryway, such as that 1970s light fixture in the hallway, it needs to be updated.
Bathrooms and kitchens frequently make or break real estate deals. The former can be a particular turnoff if not updated, staged and kept impeccably tidy. Luckily, it costs far less to give bathrooms a bit of pizzazz than kitchens, so let’s get to it.
If you have a shower curtain, replace it. If you have glass shower doors, clean them. Now, those are the no-brainer basics. To glam it up a bit will require a bit more money and elbow grease.
- Change out the linens to match or contrast with the shower curtain.
- Purchase a new faucet for the sink
- Sheet mirrors are boring, so if you have one, and don’t want to replace it, consider framing it.
- Strip “Hollywood” style lighting screams “DATED!” so leave some money in the budget to replace it with something more contemporary. Consider placing sconces on to each side of the mirror where they don’t cast as harsh a light as they do when placed overhead.
3.Do pay attention to the small stuff
The warning from home stagers to “depersonalize” and “declutter” doesn’t mean leaving the home devoid of all personality. Accessories are an important aspect of reaching out to a homebuyer’s emotions and, if chosen carefully, may raise the perceived value of the home to those buyers.
A home’s accessories include everything from throw rugs and art work to the pulls and knobs on cabinets. The latter is a good place to start adding back in a bit of character to the home.
Then, choose a color that you’d like to make primary – perhaps a soft blue in a piece of artwork or a color from your upholstered furniture. Then, use that when choosing accessories. For instance, purchase soft blue pillows for the sofa or candles or a vase in that shade. Sprinkled subtly around the room, these accents bring balance to the area, according to Tracy Kay Griffin, former designer for HGTV’s “Get it Sold.”
“We use lots of coffee table books, add curated collectibles to bookshelves, toss market baskets onto chairs, hang original art and use only real plants to give buyers the impression that someone actually lives there,” she adds.
The author, Rick Sheppard, is a licensed real estate broker with RE/MAX Achievers, Inc in Pennsylvania and a 32+ year veteran of the real estate trenches. He knows a lot because he’s seen a lot. If you have any questions about this or any real estate related topic, feel free to contact Rick at [email protected] and he’ll do his best to answer your questions.