If you are considering selling your house in the near future, here is some guidance on how to prepare your home for market. It’s important to understand what buyers expect in the current market, and the types of things that are necessary to be competitive in your price point. Here are a few universal things you can do to get started:
- Paint. Touch up woodwork and walls, or repaint as needed where rooms may be well-worn or have outdated colors. Dark colors generally don’t go over well with buyers these days so it may be time to get rid of the hunter green and maroon walls. Grays and neutrals are a good choice. (My personal favorite gray is Sherwin Williams color Amazing Gray.)
- Stain touch ups. Stain pens can do wonders to freshen up woodwork in the kitchen and bathrooms, or on the trim work. Areas around faucets where water regularly splatters tend to get worn. Spending an hour walking through and touching up can do wonders.
- Lighting. If your light fixtures are dated such as brass, this is a great opportunity to make a relatively low-cost but high-impact change. Light fixtures are very noticeable in online photos and can set the tone for the style of the home. In addition to the style, replace any burned out light bulbs and for fixtures where the bulbs are visible, make sure all the bulbs match.
- Window treatments. If you have windows that don’t have any blinds or curtains, it may be worth investing in some inexpensive window sheers. For a nominal amount, you can add some softness to the windows and the feel of the room. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to add some color and warmth to the room. This is especially helpful in vacant homes.
- Obvious repairs. As you walk through your house, if you see stains from past water leaks, damage to walls or doors, stains on the carpet, etc., take the time to freshen things up. For water stains on the ceiling, first of all make sure the issue that caused the leak is fixed, but otherwise you can use Kilz or paint to cosmetically improve it. For stubborn carpet/pet stains, if you have matching carpet remnants you can have a carpet specialist cut out and patch in a new piece to match.
After you address some of the obvious items, a walk through with your real estate agent is the best way to get our to-do list together to make sure you are focusing on the things that will bring you the most bang for your buck when you hit the market.