With mortgage rates still hovering near all-time lows, houses available for sale at attractive price points are hard to find. Annual home sales have been relatively flat given the decent state of the economy, perhaps impacted by the reduced tax benefits that owning a home provides (i.e. new deductible limits on interest and property taxes.) Regardless, if you are thinking about moving up, or conversely, downsizing from your current nest, we would certainly like to help get you into your next new home.
As such, if you are thinking of selling your home, here are a couple of things you can do to make sure your house stands out from the crowd.
“Marie Kondo” the house!
Takes some tips from the queen of decluttering and organizing, Marie Kondo, and give your house a good once over. First, remove all clutter (including rarely used furniture pieces or exercise equipment, for example), to make your house appear more open and spacious. There are many charities that would appreciate the donations of used items as well. Make sure there are clear pathways and hallways and that everything is picked up and in its proper place which will give the impression that you are well organized and take good care of your home.
Once the clutter is removed and hauled away, give the house a thorough deep cleaning, paying particular attention to kitchens, bathrooms, entryways, windows and porches that are often bathed in sunlight so potential buyers can see the sparkle. First impressions are important, and you want it to be a good one!
Make small DIY repairs that you might have been putting off
Even though they may be minor issues to you, don’t let a running toilet or a leaky faucet sour a buyer’s mood when the fix is relatively easy. Consider freshening up the caulking around tubs, showers and sinks, repair any visible gaps in grout, and replace any cracked or broken windows, damaged screens and burned-out lights so they don’t catch a wandering eye. Next, a fresh coat of paint in a warm, neutral color can go a long way in dressing up a room as will a fresh coat on the baseboards as well.
Show up your neighbors with your “Outside skills”
Some buyers won’t even come into a house to look around if it appears the outside of the house has been neglected, so don’t let this happen to you! Mow your grass and trim your bushes, shrubs and trees, and add fresh mulch to the flower beds. Get rid of any weeds coming up through cracks in your sidewalks or driveway, and treat to clean up any large or unsightly oil or grease stains on the garage floor. Lastly, check doors and window sills for any cracks or leaks that may need re-sealing, and clean out or repair broken gutters and down spouts so water doesn’t collect near these areas.
With a little extra muscle, tackle these and any other simple tasks you identify that can easily be attended to and make your home shine!