I’ve seen many homes that would sell more quickly and for more money if only the seller spent a little time and money preparing it. I seldom walk out of a home with a buyer who doesn’t have complaints about at least one item that could have been a simple fix to make the home more appealing.
These are the top 10 items that buyers complain about and how to address them:
- De-clutter. All extra items should be packed in boxes and stored in the garage. Remove furniture that is unnecessary or too big for the room. Remember, you are moving, so start packing and get those items out of sight. This will make the rooms look larger.
- De-personalize. You want to make prospective buyers feel like they can see themselves living in the home. It’s important to remove all pictures of your family, or any personal items.
- Paint / touch-up. After living in your home for years, the walls will look worn and your colors may be too bright for the buyers. It is very cost-effective to have a fresh coat of paint in the main rooms. Also, make it a neutral color to appeal to the majority of buyers.
- Repair small items. Fix or tighten items that could make the buyer doubt the home was maintained. Make sure all door knobs and locks work. Fix or change faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Tighten door hinges and handles and make sure all light bulbs work.
- Clean and sparkle. Have a professional cleaner come in, and pay extra attention to the bathrooms and the kitchen. Also, have the floors professionally cleaned. You will be surprised how much better it will look, and the buyers may think it is only a few years old.
- Fix that shower. I get the most complaints from buyers about how dirty, gritty and used the showers look. Clean the tile and mildew with a professional product. Also, touch-up the grout and caulk all of the seams. This will help seal the shower and make it look newer. And don’t forget to put in a new shower head. It’s only $50 and will make all the difference.
- Lighting. Change those dated light fixtures. Put a fan in the bedrooms and a nice chandelier in the dining room. Small upgrades go a long way to adding value. Also, change out missing or burned-out bulbs, as this will help brighten the room and make it look more spacious.
- Open those window coverings. Make sure to open all drapes, blinds, shutters, etc. to let the light in and see outside the home. It makes the rooms look and feel bigger. Also, have the windows cleaned inside and out.
- Landscape / curb appeal. Make sure you can see the home by trimming trees and bushes, and make the home look alive by putting in fresh plants and flowers. Also, trim the lawn and add more water a few weeks before listing the home. This will make the vegetation look green and inviting.
- Professional walk-through.If you’re selling your home, it is always a good idea to have a real estate agent go through the home to help and advise you on your home’s specific needs. I include specific items on this list at no extra charge.