By Candice Cerro • August 05, 2013
1. Focus on first impressions – The front of your house is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so curb appeal ranks high in the order of top updates before listing. Make sure the lawn and flowerbeds are manicured and plant seasonal flowers to add some color. Washing the windows and driveway and removing all cobwebs are small items that can make a big difference. For extra appeal, update the paint or stain on your home’s front door or add a new mailbox if yours is out of date.
2. Go neutral – Sure, you might love lime green paint or funky wallpaper, but creating a relatively blank canvas will help potential buyers envision themselves in your home. Many times buyers won’t look at a property they see online if they dislike the dark walls or other personalized features seen in listing photos. Painting walls a more neutral color won’t cost much, but could attract more buyers and help fetch a higher price. Go to sites (like promocodes.com) to compare sales and deals from retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s to find out who’s offering the best price on paint at the time.
3. Deep clean and de-clutter – Whether cleaning your home yourself or hiring an extra set of hands, it’s extremely important to tidy up before taking listing photos and putting the home on the market. Shampoo the carpet if you aren’t replacing it and make sure all pet odors are accounted for if you have dogs or cats. Don’t forget to clean the closets either, as buyers usually take a peek inside to see extra space. Likewise, remove all unnecessary clutter and put in a storage unit until the home has sold. Unnecessary furniture, knick knacks, etc. can make the rooms of your home look smaller and distract buyers from noticing the great features of your home.
4. Hardware updates – Door knobs, cabinet pulls, faucets, etc. are small items that make a large difference in the overall look of your home. If they are tarnished, scratched, or otherwise worn out, buying new ones will be a small touch that goes a long way. Sites like Overstock.com offer a wide array of fixtures that can be purchased in large packs for updating across the house. Add new furniture or other items for your new home to the purchase and receive coupons such as $50 off $450 or more to maximize savings.
5. Research, research, research – It’s important to meet with a real estate agent who knows your neighborhood well in order to find out what your house is worth before listing. A good agent will find similar properties in your area and let you know what they are listed for or have recently sold for. It might not be necessary to make any updates depending on the state of comparable houses on the market, or you might need to do some renovations in order to be competitive against other listings.
1. Customize to your personal taste – If you decide to make updates to your home before selling, try not to personalize too much as potential buyers may have very different taste. Consult a professional about the most popular tile, marble, paint, etc. colors before making any purchases.
2. Put out seasonal decorations – If you are selling your home around a major holiday, pass on themed decorations. Holiday décor can detract from your home’s appeal, especially in listing photos. If the home remains on the market for a long time, it will be confusing for buyers to see Christmas decorations in July and it’s not the way you want the home to be remembered.
3. Spend more than you need to on updates – If you spend too much money updating your home, you might not make all of it back. Updating your home to sell is supposed to help maximize profits, but if you spend too much than it might not be worth it. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality of products, but look for coupons, seasonal sales and promotional codes from the best retailers.
4. Leave it empty – While a home should never be too cluttered when you’re trying to sell, leaving it empty can also cause issues. Having furniture in bedrooms helps potential buyers better envision what a room will look like once they move their things in. It’s important to create the “blank canvas” feel, without going too far and making the home appear stark.
5. Get attached all over again – Once you’ve updated your home for selling it can be hard to walk away, but it’s important to remember why you chose to list in the first place. Similarly, many sellers get caught up in what they think their home should be worth based on what they paid or their emotional attachments, but a real estate agent will help understand the true value of home in the current market.
Candice Cerro Candice Cerro is passionate about never paying full price for anything and wants to help as many people as possible achieve the same goal. When she's not not searching for the best deals online, she can found running in half marathons, reading, and spending time with her family.