By L R Lindsay
Spending money on your house before you sell it may sound counter intuitive; like buying your spouse a face lift and then filing for divorce. The difference is that with homes for sale, a little time and effort can pay off in a big way.
You may have heard that “it takes money to make money”, but it needn’t take a lot when preparing your house for buyers. Your realtor will explain that a tweak here and a touch-up there make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. That means that in addition to selling faster, it’s likely to fetch a higher price. Of course, not all tweaks are created equal. So think strategically, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and let the bidding war begin.
Vote Off the Island
Okay, giving people less for their money didn’t work with Target, but it can help you hit the bulls-eye in regard to homes for sale. The buzzwords these days are “space” and “flow”. Buyers are attracted to open areas and room to move, so consider removing an island kitchen or knocking down a wall (just make sure it’s a non-structural wall!). An experienced realtor can advise you on the best moves to make, and you’ll be amazed at how a few inexpensive changes can give you a more open home for that next open house.
A Light for Sore Eyes
To stand out against other homes for sale, it pays to let buyers see your house in a different light; literally. Whether it’s as involved as a major skylight project or as simple as installing a dimmer switch, adding more light to your surroundings will put more dollars in your pocket at closing time.
The impact of light on mood is so pronounced that it has its own disorder (SAD). So even if you just open the windows and install some higher wattage bulbs, you’ll find that the happier you make buyers with your home’s ambience, the happier they’ll make you with their offers.
Put Your Best Front Forward
Imagine doing hours of preparation for a job interview and then showing up in a ripped t-shirt and cutoff jeans. Unless you’re applying to be a grunge fashion model, your prospects are dim. And if first impressions are important for selling yourself, why would they be less so in selling your home?
You have about seven seconds to either make or break the sale when buyers arrive at homes for sale, so make every second count. It doesn’t mean you have to replace the siding and re-pave the front walk. Just ensure that the doorbell is working, the front door itself is in good shape and, ideally, there is an awning or portico to add visual interest and provide shelter from the sun or rain.
Don’t Let Upgrades Get You Down
It’s common knowledge that bathroom renovations are high on the list of upgrades that boost the value of homes for sale, but they can also be time-consuming and expensive. Instead, focus on little touches like removing rust stains, updating cabinet pulls and doorknobs or replacing faucets. This is one room where you can increase your sale price without taking a bath on high renovation bills.
In giving your home a pre-sale makeover, there are any number of improvements that will better your bargaining position. For best results, try to see things from the buyer’s perspective and make the changes that resonate most with you. And if your ex insists that you kick in for their new look, buy them a ski mask.