In the days of HGTV, everyone’s an expert. And those experts will soon be scouring your home for anything they can use as a bargaining chip to knock down the price.
“We’re in the kind of market where people are busy, and they don’t want to be faced with anything that needs to be done right off the bat,” says Nikki Bowman, broker and owner at The Realty World Nikki Bowman team. “If they walk in and it’s move-in ready, you’re going to get a higher offer and a quicker offer.”
Before you put that house on the market, here’s your checklist.
DON’T: Do big upgrades. “People will spend $3,000 on a screened porch and they should have spent $3,000 on painting the house,” says Jessica Rowan, a broker with Realty World. “Or, they’ll drop 20 grand on granite countertops and the light fixtures are from the 1970s.”
DO: Invest in a small space with high impact. If you have linoleum on the floor in a small bathroom, try tiling it. That little room will make a big difference to a buyer.
DO: Get rid of any rotten wood or outdoor water damage. It’s common to have rotten boards on a porch or threshold, but buyers think this points to a larger problem that will take thousands and thousands of dollars to fix. Replace them, and make them match the existing wood as much as possible.
DON’T: Neglect those dust bunnies. It seems like a small detail, but if a buyer sees grime or dust, this not only adds to a task list they are compiling in their head — it could also make them think that you neglected other areas of the home.
DO: Get a professional paint job. If a buyer walks in and sees any marks on the walls they think “oh, it needs to be painted, and start counting up dollar signs,” Nikki says. Painting is not that expensive and it adds a polish to your home that’s probably much needed.
DO: Tidy up your landscaping. Just putting new mulch in the flower beds can add a ton of fresh contrast, helping your home pop.
DO: Look up. Light fixtures are not easy for everyone to replace, so outdated lighting makes a ton of difference to buyers. And if you need a new roof, go ahead and replace it. Everyone thinks roofs cost $10,000 — the price is usually half that.
DO: Look down. Having wood and carpet in the same house is OK. Having two different types of wood in your home is not. Butting laminate up to real hardwood is just plain silly.
DO: Make sure your septic tank, if you have one, is in order. No one wants to deal with that shit. Literally.
DON’T: Forget why you bought the home in the first place. Location and neighborhood were and will always be the most important factors in home buying. At this point, you shouldn’t be trying to re-do your home to get a high price — you’re selling, not flipping.
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Looking to buy or sell a home? Contact The Realty World Nikki Bowman team, or just browse listings here: https://www.realtyworldofmoore.com/