Selling your house is all about maximizing profit….right? Getting the most from your current home to use for your next purchase is the ideal situation. This quick guide pin points simple, inexpensive changes you can make to your home to maximize your profits. Written by someone who shows homes to buyers in the market to purchase their next home, I hear a lot of “I love this house but I wish it had ______” or “I would be willing to pay the list price or more if I didn’t have to do _________ when I move in”. A lot of times those changes are small, inexpensive updates that could be done over a weekend, but the idea of having to change those things after moving in are unattractive. What if you worked backwards and provided those buyers with small updates they don’t realize make all the difference?
This guide doesn’t ask you to tear down walls, buy new cabinets or rewire your current home, because lets face it.. no one wants to invest tons of money into a home they won’t be living in, in less than a month! Follow me as I point out the top 5 critiques a buyer gives a home based on first impression! I hope these tips & tricks help you if you are planning to sell or thinking of selling but worried about the appearance of your current home!
This may seem like a no-brainer. And paint can get expensive, so pick the areas that the buyers will be spending the most time in. When it comes to picking a color palette you know neutral is always best. Not everyone loves your lime green accent wall as much as you do! Remember, you are not going to be living here, so it must be aesthetically appealing to your buyers!
Gray is the trend at the moment, and I foresee it sticking around for awhile. If a lighter gray works with the rest of your décor go for it! If every inch of your house is more in the brown family, I will suggest a few other neutrals that will be appealing to buyers! REMEMBER: Unless you or someone you know are professional painters, it may be worth paying a company to come out. There is nothing more cringe-worthy to a buyer than seeing a home advertised with new interior paint, that looks like their 5 year old child painted along the ceiling line & knowing they are just going to have to repaint once they move in! (that’s a cost they are calculating in their head)
Gray’s can often result in a blue tone after being applied. I have personally used these paints below & know that is not the case for these. If you are sticking with a beige or light brown you want to make sure it does not have a pink undertone, these below have a warmer feel!
**I always recommend to my sellers they use a semi-gloss paint! Flat paint will show every fingerprint during showings, and gloss will show every paint stroke/touch up! Semi-gloss is a happy medium!**
If your home still has the original plastic chandelier lighting (very popular in the 90's and early 2000's) or are currently on their last leg, or my ultimate favorite.. covered in dust, I have good news for you! Light fixtures are amongst the most inexpensive fixes that completely change the aesthetic of a room! Depending on the theme/style of your home you will want to pick a general metal/type for each floor. Frosted glass is often a popular choice in newer homes, and as these make it so you only need to dust once a year (EW) it dulls the light it gives off and trust me, buyers LOVE light! You will be amazed at what a simple change in light fixtures can do for a room! If your rooms are wired for a ceiling fan, KEEP THEM! I have countless buyers that comment on whether or not there are ceiling fans in the bedrooms, so if you have the ability to do so, do it!
When it comes to exterior lighting, remember the front of the home is the first thing your buyers are seeing as they walk in! If your lighting is current and in good shape be sure to make sure they have working lightbulbs in them as well as no cobwebs or dirt! If they need to be replaced be sure to pick the finish that best compliments the color of your garage doors and front door! I have included a few ideas below!
Hardware is another little detail sellers often neglect & don't realize that it can change the entire look of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets! It's not cost effective to completely replace all of your cabinets if they are in good shape, however simply replacing the hardware can make all the difference! Be sure that your hardware compliments the light fixtures of the rooms. If you have oil rubbed bronzed light fixtures in your kitchen, continue that pattern with your cabinet hardware! In your bathrooms be sure they match your light fixtures, towel racks and toilet paper roll holders! Little details like this create an esthetically appeasing space! For kitchens with lots and lots of cabinets (lucky duck) I have included a few sets of drawer pulls that is more cost effective then buying them seperately!
FURNITURE & STAGING
No, I'm not telling you to hire a stager if you want to list your home. It can get expensive quickly & what are you suppose to do with your current furniture? Let's use a few tips stagers use to maximize space & create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.
First, take a look at the shape & size of your room, let's begin with the master. If you have a king bed, reduce the extra furniture along with it. Keep your side tables, but remove your oversized dresser & any other space taking furniture. Be sure to leave a clear path to the bathroom, closet, etc. Buyers will instantly begin planning out their current furniture in your space, and you want to give them as clean of a palette as possible, while still giving them ideas of what it could look like if this became their home.
Less is more, this is with both furniture & knick knacks. My rule of thumb with sellers is that counters & fridges are completely clear while console tables, coffee tables & end tables can have a max of 3 items total!
MYTH: all personal pictures need to be removed. You may have heard to take down every personal photo when listing your home. I respectfully disagree. Now, this is a personal choice. If you do so for privacy that is one thing. (please remember those buyers will probably Facebook stalk you anyway, ha!) However removing every picture is counterproductive to making your home feel "homey". They want to see that you in fact are real people, with enriching lives & this home was a big part of that! Also, removing every picture from the wall will leave nails, holes, etc. Unless you plan to take the time to patch every single one, leave them be! Keem the pictures to a 5 maximum, but don't remove them completely!
My final reminder to you sellers out there, first impressions are EVERYTHING. When a buyer walks into a home, they get a clear indication of the homeowner & how they took care of the home that could quite possibly become their's one day. The crumbs on the table, or crayon drawings on the walls are a clear indication of a "home liver" not a "home owner". Freshly cleaned kitchens & bathrooms, with a pristine, serviced outdoor HVAC system gives the perception of a "home owner" not a "home liver". Get my drift? We have to play with perceptions, even though they may not be accurate! What may be a $59 light fixture to you could be $5,000 in purchase price to a buyer, strictly based on the fact they don't have to change it when the move in!