While it’s true that the overall condition of your home is a major factor that will determine how quickly the house will sell, and for how much, there are more specific features that will have a great impact. Concentrate on those features, and you may be able to sell your house quickly, and without the need for costly renovations.
Take a close look at each of the features below, and how they appear in your home. If they don’t show well, you might want to invest some time and a little bit of money in bringing them up to a marketable condition.
The Front Doorway (Seriously!)
In Today’s Homeowner Danny Lipford declares that curb appeal begins at your front door. That’s not an exaggeration either. Your front door – not just the door itself, but the entire entry way – are a buyer’s first impression of your home. If that impression is favorable, the buyers will want to see the rest of the home. But if it isn’t, you may lose the prospects before they look any further.
Lipford recommends that you upgrade the door finish (painting, varnishing, etc.), add a kick plate to protect the bottom of the door from scuffing, replace entry way woodwork, add lighting, and even add extras, such as a mail slot or an attractive door knocker.
When selling your home, the front doorway must scream ”Welcome,” to provide an open invitation to buyers. If it’s tired looking, it might very well imply “Go away.” Since you can upgrade your front door for just a few hundred dollars, it’s an improvement well worth investing in.
More generally, this is about curb appeal – how you home presents on first glance. Landscaping is a major part of that appeal. A well-maintained property indicates a well-maintained home.
Landscaping isn’t just about keeping the lawn cut. It’s also about making sure that hedges are trimmed neatly, driveways, walkways and curbing are properly edged, flower beds are clean of undergrowth, and seasonal flowers brighten the property.
In addition to the landscaping, consider the overall appearance of the exterior of the house. If it looks at all worn, it may need a freshening. This doesn’t necessarily require a new paint job either. Sometimes you can dramatically improve the appearance of a home just by giving the exterior a good pressure wash and maybe repainting just the trim.
It’s all about making your home make that favorable first impression.
The kitchen may be the biggest single selling point in your home. That’s partially because it’s usually the busiest and most functional room in the house, and because it will be the most costly to renovate. For that reason, a kitchen that has the latest popular appointments can really help to sell your home.
Two of the biggest selling points in your kitchen are granite countertops and stainless steel sinks and appliances. That’s because both can last forever, and look good while they do.
While you don’t have to completely remodel your kitchen to sell your home, you should make sure that it presents well. Bright colors can make a kitchen look larger than it is. And it may be worth refinishing the cabinets if they’re worn and chipped. Also, remove any excess clutter. The kitchen should be present as wide open and ready for use.
Many of the same features that buyers will look for in your kitchen, they’ll also hope to find in your bathrooms. While many years ago bathrooms were considered an afterthought, today they are primary rooms – at least when a home is up for sale.
Like the kitchen, the bathroom should be both bright and uncluttered. It also needs to be clean. That means removing any soap scum from the walls and joints, and replacing grout wherever necessary. Pay close attention to the plumbing – buyers certainly will. If there are any leaks or evidence of persistent leaking, you should repair them immediately.
Once again like a kitchen, bathrooms can be expensive to renovate. Buyers will pay close attention and show a strong preference for homes with bathrooms that are up-to-date.
Home buyers continue to show increasing preference for hardwood floors over carpeting and other surfaces. And it’s not hard to see why. Hardwood floors are easy to clean, they don’t stain or retain odors, they don’t require periodic and expensive shampooing, and they don’t have to be replaced every few years.
If you have carpet, and it’s in good condition, it may not be an issue. But just understand that buyer preferences run strongly in favor of hardwood floors. Having them might mean that both your home sells faster and that it fetches more money on the final sale price. If you have hardwood floors underneath your carpeting, it might be worth your trouble to remove the carpets and refinish the floors.
Debbie Gartner – a.k.a., The Flooring Girl – notes that dark hardwood floors are the most popular, though there is a wide range of choices if you want to go with a different color scheme.
If you’re trying to sell your home, there are all kinds of features that you can either add or improve to increase the salability of the house. But the features listed above are the ones most likely to result in a quick sale, and at close your asking price.