Even in the midst of a historic seller's market, it is important than sellers put their best foot forward when presenting their home to buyers...it maximizes the amount of interest and the result of that effort will be multiple highly-competitive offers and even a bidding war. In a marketplace in which there are about two to three weeks in which a new property receives the most attention it will ever get, coming out of the gates strong is crucial. Many times, homeowners are resistant to doing anything to their house, particularly when the perception is that the market is so hot that it'll sell, no matter what. This isn't always true...we see properties languish and suffer multiple price reductions, every week. But isn't the goal to net the maximum amount of money possible, anyway?
If you are considering the sale of your home and are tempted to list it "as is," let me try to sell you on five things that you can do to raise your home's marketing profile, attract buyers in droves and ultimately, receive a higher offer than you would have, otherwise.
#1: A fresh coat of neutral-colored paint
This is probably the biggest "bang for your buck" update that any seller can do to their home. Everyone's taste differs, but a neutral color will give every buyer an "empty canvas" mindset, when looking at your home. You don't want their decisionmaking to be impacted by your personal taste in colors...because it can immediately change a person's demeanor and attitude toward a home, when they consider something "ugly." Choose a color like light grey or eggshell white, and ensure that a lot of natural light is streaming into the home, during showings. It will brighten every room and give the house an airy, light and inviting feel...without turning anyone off.
#2. Resurface your hardwood flooring
Over time, that beautiful hardwood flooring can take a real beating...scuffs and scratches, dulling of the sheen in high-traffic areas, and cracks can make what should be an eye-catching upgrade into comments like, "But that floor really needs work." When buyers see work, they see price reductions. Replacing the flooring is a huge expense, but refinishing it with a darker, richer stain can have a major impact on how new a home looks and its "prestige" factor, give it a "like new" appearance for a faction of the price of replacement.
#3. Replace worn/outdated carpeting
This may be an even heavier hitter than refinishing your hardwood floors, depending on the type and condition of the carpeting. Are your living areas still sporting that thick shag carpet from the 1980s? Are there major stains or traffic wear on your existing pile carpet? If the answer to questions like these is "yes" then it's probably becoming pretty easy to see the negative impact that old floor coverings can have on your home's appearance. If the carpet is outdated, steam cleaning is not going to change a buyer's opinion that it needs to be replaced...and any time the buyer sees work, the potential offer price goes down. Replacing the carpet is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward project that can pay big dividends, in your net.
#4. Refinish your kitchen cabinets
Statistically speaking, people spend more money on their kitchen than any other room in the house. It is usually the centerpiece of any showing, because families spend so much time there and when you like to entertain guests, it's a central hub of activity. So bet on every buyer that looks at your home to spend a fair amount of time contemplating the condition of the kitchen. It's also the room most likely to be the target of renovation plans by most buyers, as they will seek to customize it to their own tastes. One thing that can make the home look a lot newer without making a major dent in your pocketbook is to refinish the cabinets, though. New paint and hardware can make a kitchen more inviting and make a remodel feel less urgent, which will take it off the "needs work" mental checklist that can negatively impact your bottom line.
#5. New light fixtures
Those ceiling fans from the early 80s aren't the look that today's buyers are interested in paying a premium for. New light fixtures and ceiling fans can have a massive impact on how a room feels, and the vibe it conveys. They can often almost single-handedly define a home as "rustic" or "modern" in the eyes of a buyer. Like everything else on the list, it's a relatively cheap way to give the impression that a home has been updated.
Whenever a buyer walks into a home that has been treated to these five updates before showings start, buyers who view it (both in photos and in person) will not feel that there is anything that would prevent them from moving in and feeling comfortable right away. There will not be a sense that a lot of work needs to be done right away, and any remodeling plans can be delayed until the buyers feel comfortable tackling them. This feeling will result in more and much better offers, than selling your home "as is" and expecting the buyer to handle everything.
Thinking of selling your home? Follow this link and provide a few details to learn more about my selling system...or better yet, give me a call or email and let's set a time for me to come and see your home, and give you an accurate valuation. You may be surprised at just how much you can get, in today's market!