Small Improvements and Preparing Your Home to Sell

As your agent, The Stimmel-Brooks Team will do a pre-sale walk-through and provide you with advice and suggestions before determining together when to list the home and what the initial listing price should be.  If necessary you should always budget enough time and resources for small improvements.  Keep it simple so that you can maintain it easily, especially if it's likely your home will be on the market for a number of weeks. Use a checklist to keep track of what you need to do. The object here is to Boost Your Sale Proceeds!

To get the best possible price for your home, consider the following:

Freshen a Room's Decor

Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable small improvement you can make. If a prominent room in the house is showing signs of wear or is very outdated, consider a coat of paint in a neutral color or new floor coverings.  If you have hardwood floors in the prominent room, consider refurbishing or refinishing the floor.  Replacing outdated light fixtures is also an inexpensive improvement that can update old decor that might have discouraged a potential buyer.

Unless it's absolutely necessary, painting and re-flooring or carpeting the entire house it is too big a project, so again, unless your agent feels it will improve marketability, just concentrate on the prominent room or rooms in the home.

Planted landscape and curb appeal

Make your home look as inviting as possible to the drive-by buyer by tidying up landscaping. 

Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Mow the lawn, trim shrubs, and plant fresh flowers. If the yard is barren you could consider planting some small trees or shrubs, especially in the front parkway. Sweep the patio or deck and decorate with potted plants and flowers.

Consider painting your front door and put on new hardware. Buy a new welcome mat for a fresh new look.

Complete repairs

Before listing your home for sale, make all minor repairs and catch up on maintenance. If you've deferred maintenance, get a professional home inspection. If the inspection reveals problems, make the repairs before listing the home. If you don't, the buyer will probably discount the offer price for more than the cost of repairs or replacement.

Little things make a big difference so make sure outlets work, toilets flush, and windows and doors open and shut smoothly. All heating, air conditioning, and other home systems should work too.

A clean house and garage

Keep it clean!  If nothing else, a clean home is essential and clutter is at a bare minimum.  You might want to consider storing some of your belongings by placing them into clearly labeled boxes and either storing them neatly in the home or in an off-site storage facility.

If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. If enough time has been budgeted for improvements you can consider painting the interior white. Don't invest in shelf or wall organizers unless your agent feels they will significantly improve the marketability of your home.

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