BOB UPTON, Realtor®, CBR's Blog
No matter how you look at it, putting your home on the market is a life-changing experience!
Not only will it change your future circumstances, but it will have an impact on your day-to-day routine, right now.
If your home is actively being shown by real estate agents, there are a few things you may need to do on a regular basis to make the best possible impression on potential buyers:
Keep it clean: Ordinarily, most homeowners aren't inclined to thoroughly clean their house every day -- or "at a moment's notice." Very few people have the time or motivation to keep their home's immaculate on a constant basis; it's exhausting just thinking about it! However, when your house is being viewed by prospective buyers, cleanliness -- or the lack, thereof -- will be noticed. Although "old habits die hard," it may be necessary to enlist the help and cooperation of your children (and spouse) in keeping the house looking presentable at all times. While it's unrealistic to expect your home to look immaculate day after day, it might be necessary to establish some new rules and standards for your family to follow about picking up clothes, toys, snack wrappers, and food residues. If you can maintain a "semblance of order" on an ongoing basis, then it shouldn't be too difficult to prepare your home for the next showing. While you'll usually get at least 24-hours notice before a house showing is scheduled, there may be the occasional request for a same-day visit.
Appearances count: "Keeping up Appearances" is more than just a popular British sitcom; it's a necessary goal for anyone hoping to sell their home within a reasonable period of time. Doing your best to stage your home in an attractive, inviting way is a key ingredient to a successful home-selling strategy. Setting priorities for curb appeal will also help you put your best foot forward in a competitive real estate market. Although many aspects of home staging are based on common sense and simple home decorating principles, it's difficult to be objective when your family's home is involved. There's certainly a lot of credible information online concerning the benefits of reducing household clutter and leaning toward neutral paint colors, but you can also turn to your real estate agent for tips on enhancing your home's curb appeal, interior appearance, and overall marketability.
Unless the home you're selling is relatively new or completely updated, there are a lot of decisions to make about how much time, energy, and money should be spend on upgrades, repairs, and enhancements. While everyone's situation, budget, and timetable is different, it's usually necessary to correct issues that might be considered a glaring problem or a deal breaker. Sometimes those issues don't come to the forefront, however, until you get specific feedback from agents and prospective buyers.
It's probably much easier and less expensive than you realize to improve your home's curb appeal. Simple fixes such as replacing rickety porch railings or giving trim a fresh, bright coat of paint go a long way toward making prospective home buyers smile. And when you create a welcoming pathway, that leads right to your door from the street or driveway, you may get more than smiles. Depending upon how professionally it's done and how cozy it appears, you just might get more money for your home. Try these five attractive options for creating the perfect, welcoming walkway:
They come in all shapes and sizes, and they're relatively inexpensive when you catch them on sale at your local home store. Pavers can help you design a walkway that looks upscale and unique to your home. Place them on the diagonal, or lay them with small stretches of grass or gravel in between for a one-of-a-kind look that's unlike any other home in the neighborhood. A paved walkway gives guests traction on rainy days and can help keep the path to your front door mud-free.
Stamped concrete lasts forever, and you can customize it to create many different looks. Mimic cobblestone or slate, brick or natural stone, simply by stamping different designs into your concrete before it's fully set. Once cured, your design is there forever. And if your stamped concrete was dyed before it was poured, no one will even recognize that it's concrete.
Stamped concrete brings texture and form to your front yard. It also provides nice, clean edges for placing annual border plants such as petunias or marigolds. Add color and function all in one, when you install a stamped concrete walkway.
A mulched pathway is an improvement over no pathway at all, but it may not raise your property's value. Mulch keeps mud at bay, and it delineates where guests should walk as they move from driveway to front door. It's an economic choice, however. And if budget is an issue, mulch is a perfectly acceptable material to use in building walkways. You can always up the wow factor of your mulched walkway by evenly nestling single, large pavers on top for feet to land on.
Natural stone such as shale or slate gives walkways an immediate boost. It can be a bit slippery when it rains, however, so be careful building natural stone walkways on slopes. Natural stone is one of the more expensive building materials to use inside or out, but its distinct appearance adds value anywhere it's used.
When you're ready to bump up your home's curb appeal, whether for your family's convenience or to impress prospective buyers, consider the formidable power of the front walkway. It's a gorgeous few steps in the right direction.
In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.
Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.
1. Paint the front door ($30)
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.
2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)
Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.
3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)
They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.
For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.
4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)
Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.
Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.
5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)
Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.
6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)
Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.
7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)
Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.
8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)
Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.
You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.