The weather isn’t the only thing that gets hot during the summer; real estate sales traditionally heat up, too. With the combination of historic low interest rates and a higher number of distressed properties on the market, giving your home fresh appeal can mean the difference between getting a full-price offer or listing for months at a time with nary a Lookie-Loo.
If you want your home to present better to homebuyers, or you just want a summer project that gives you the most visual impact, look no further than these tips.
Nice to meet me! Pretend you’re seeing your home for the very first time. In fact, pretend you’re a guest. How much “stuff” is distracting you from really seeing what the house has to offer? If you’ve crossed the line between decoration and clutter, perhaps it’s time to make a delivery to your local Goodwill!
Think small. You don’t have to knock down walls or make sweeping renovations to make a big visual improvement–if you’re selling, you shouldn’t do that, anyway. Fill old picture holes, touch-up paint, take a Magic Eraser to scuffs on floors, doors and walls. “Wear and tear” is usually inexpensive to correct and has a dramatic visual payoff
You never get a second chance… First impressions count. As you walk up and enter the house, what do you see? Are weeds growing? Is the landscaping in need of flowers and potted plants? Are the porch and walkways swept? Are there coats and piles of shoes to greet you as you walk in? The house should look lovingly cared for–you’ll attract others who want to live there, and lots of great compliments!
A room with a view. Dirty screens and dingy windows quite literally ruin the view and keep the full effect of natural light at bay. If your dog has lots of “face time” with the sliding glass door, you’re certainly safer at night, but a poor visual impression is had. Your guests or prospective buyers may not even consciously realize why they feel claustrophobic, but they’ll certainly notice a nice view.
Do you pass the “Barefoot Test?” Nothing says ‘home’ quite like walking around barefoot indoors. If your flooring is dirty, distressed or stained it will make your guests feel like standing on a chair instead. Imagine children playing on those floors, better yet, imagine eating down there because your furniture hasn’t arrived yet–this is often a homebuyer’s reality!
Perform a Smell Check. Remember the musty smell of your first apartment or dorm room? Back then, you probably didn’t have a choice, and eventually, it smelled like home. But not everyone “smells” the same. Funny–or funky–odors are the unseen deal killer. But don’t just try to cover them up with perfumes or baked cookies. Better to fix the issue and make sure you don’t lose by a nose! Whether you’re selling or not, these simple and inexpensive ideas can make an enormous difference in how people see your home–and give you an advantage over less proactive sellers in your market.
This article was taken from my May 2013 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter. If you have any questions about your personal situation, please contact me.