These Small Home Improvements Will Net Thousands Of Dollars When You Sell Your Home!
OUTSIDE: No one likes overgrowth, so it is important to trim shrubs, pull weeds, and plant flowers. If leaves have fallen, rake them up. And water the grass to get rid of any brown patches. If garden tools or empty planters are in the yard, pick them up and put them away or discard them. Trash makes poor lawn decor. The outsides of the windows should be washed to give visitors the cleanest and clearest possible view of the yard and to allow maximum sunshine into your home. Sweep out the garage and keep it clean and tidy.
LIGHTING: People relocate to Southern California from all over the country to enjoy the sunshine. So make sure to open all drapes and window shades during daylight hours. Let in the maximum amount of light. If there are any burned-out light bulbs, replace them… and the time for selling a home is no time for saving energy, so make sure to use the brightest bulbs. If there are any dark rooms in the house, make sure to turn on the lights before leaving home if you know that there will likely be Realtors or home buyers coming through.
STORAGE: It is critical to store away clothes, jackets, hats, shoes and all personal items that do not contribute to the decor of the home. There are a plenty of storage companies that offer pickup and delivery. Mobile pod storage is a very popular option. After you sell your home the storage company will deliver the pod to your new place of residence. Minimize the number of utensils, cookware, and personal items on kitchen counters. Clean and spacious “cook’s kitchens” are a big selling point for today’s home buyers.
CLOSETS: Don’t just throw things in the closet. Closets should be tidy, as potential Southern California home buyers will be looking in the closet when they visit your home. This is your opportunity to get rid of the clothes that no longer fit, the shoes with holes, and all of the outdated fashion accessories. You can always find these things again at the local thrift shop if you need something minor. A clean and organized closet will show people that you care about your clothes, that you keep a clean house, and you care about the home.
WINDOWS: Windows need to be spotless, and clear of dirt and cobwebs. Check for any cracked panes of glass or torn screens. These items regularly show up on home inspection reports. The cost to replace a pane of glass or torn screen is minimal, so take care of the problem in advance. Make sure that the windows open easily, and grease the runners or adjust the hanging mechanisms as needed for smooth operation. If you have the budget, replacement of old wooden or aluminum framed windows with energy-efficient vinyl windows is generally an investment that pays for itself when the property is sold.
FIXTURES: Bathroom and kitchen fixtures need to be sparkling clean and drip-free. Replacing faucets and shower heads is another quick and inexpensive improvement that will make your home see more new and ready for sale. If you don’t replace the fixtures, at least polish them. Remove and replace any moldy or discolored grout or caulk. Clean and deodorize toilets with a good disinfectant and air freshener.
FLOORS: Clean or wax and polish all flooring as needed. Carpets should be very clean. Older carpets should be replaced. Again, this is a budget item that will pay for itself. Potential home buyers abhor dirty carpets. Many of them will automatically assume that they can obtain a credit from the home seller to replace dirty carpets in a home. Never assume that Southern California home buyers have more money than you, the home seller. Budgets are tight for home buyers, and many will pass on homes that need the flooring replaced. So consider paying to replace the carpets in advance with a nice neutral color.
DOORS: After years of living in a home, the doors tend to become scuffed and dirty, especially around the handles. The front door is one of the the first impressions that potential buyers receive when visit the property. Paint the front door and replace the door handle with new, shiny hardware. All other doors in the house should be free of decals, stickers, tape or posters.
CERAMIC TILE: Today’s home owners really prefer marble countertops, but replacing countertops is an expensive proposition, and not recommended prior to sale in most cases. So instead, make sure that the grout between tiles is clean and white. The hardware store has tools to remove and replace grout if necessary. Often a good soaking with an orange-oil cleaner will lift dirt, and a good scrubbing may bring the grout back to an acceptable condition. Use some serious elbow grease to clean that grout, or hire a good cleaning service to do the job for you.
WALLS: Unless you’ve paid thousands of dollars for an interior designer to choose paint colors or paint feaux finishes, the colors on the walls really should be neutral cream or beige. You may love the purple walls, or green walls, or blue walls, but different colors offend different people. No one is offended by neutral colors… that’s why they call them neutral! Paint as needed. Painting is always a worth-while expense. Also make sure that the walls are free of scratches or gouges. And again, no posters, decals, or cheap personal items should be affixed to doors or walls. Minimize the number of personal items and artwork to give the home a more open look and universal appeal.
ODOR: Open windows to bring in the fresh Southern California air. On hot days turn on the air conditioner if you have one. But keep the shades up. Use only the most mild canned air fresheners. Before a scheduled showing or on Open House days, appeal to the kid in everyone by baking chocolate cookies. If you have pets, particularly cats, please make sure that there are no pet odors… this is critical!