Your Home As Seen By a Buyer
Experience has showed me that while anyone can sell their home simply by slapping a For Sale sign on the lawn and hoping for the best, if you really want to achieve maximum market value for your home, there’s a lot more to it than that. It starts with you! It can be hard to get perspective on your own home, but try to take a look at it, imagining you are a potential buyer. Would you buy it? What’s your first impression? Does anything need to be cleaned, painted, repaired, or tossed out to make your house as attractive as possible? A small investment in repairs, decor, and organization can add many thousands of dollars to your property value.
You may be thinking, “Why can’t people see past the little imperfections to the gem underneath, my solid house? What does it matter if there’s a fresh coat of paint on everything, don’t people want to know what they’re truly getting?” This is where it’s really important to remember your own experience when you went out looking at homes. Weren’t you turned off by the homes that looked run-down, even if it was just cosmetic? Didn’t you worry that if the owners couldn’t be bothered to fix their screen door, who knows what else they hadn’t fixed? Most buyers think such things. Though cosmetic issues don’t necessarily mean anything deeper, buyers can be irrational when it comes to presentation. First time buyers especially are concerned with making such a big purchase and they want everything to be – or at least, to look – perfect.
Here are some things you should think about the inside of your home:
- Wash walls, ceilings, and trim
- Consider painting with light, neutral colours. Repair cracks and holes in the walls.
- Every room should look as spacious, bright, and warm as possible.
- Tighten loose knobs, towel racks, switch plates, and outlet covers.
- Fix tight doors and windows, squeaky floorboards, and loose stair banisters.
- Clean and repair caulking around tubs and sinks
- Fix leaky faucets; remove water stains.
- Clean and organize the basement and attic. (This is a good time to throw out all the stuff you don’t want to move.)
- Organize your closets. Get rid of the clutter and limit the number of items stored overhead or on the floor.
- Clean out kitchen cabinets, and remove clutter from countertops.
- Clean drapes, blinds, and curtains.
- Shampoo carpets, and polish floors.
- Arrange furniture to make rooms appear as spacious as possible.
The old adage ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ does NOT apply when it comes to home buyers! The outside is the first thing they’re going to see, and if it’s bad, they may not even want to go further. I can tell by the time I get to the front door what I’m going to see inside. If I see a beautiful shining mailbox, immaculate lawn, and gleaming windows, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect when I go inside. First impressions, also known as ’curb appeal’, definitely count for a lot!
Step outside and take a look. Have you…
- Cut and trimmed the shrubs?
- Cut the lawn?
- Removed dead tree limbs and other yard debris?
- Brightened up the garden with fresh shrubs or flowers?
- Gotten rid of the clutter like stray toys and gardening equipment?
- Touched up peeling paint on doors, siding, and trim?
- Repaired and/or painted any fencing?
- Fixed damaged roof shingles and flashing?
- Cleaned your outside windows and fixed torn screens?
- Cleaned your gutters and downspouts?
- Washed the driveway and sidewalk lately, and patched any cracks or holes?
- Cleaned up the garage and shed?
- Made sure outside lights and doorbells work?