I’m working on two houses now to get them spiffed up and ready to sell.
The main goal I’m trying to keep in mind, is how I want these houses to appear cared for by their owners. If the house looks like people just moved their stuff out and locked the door behind them, then it really feels like the owner just didn’t care that much about the house.
And that makes a buyer wonder…...what are the little secrets of the house that the buyer is not sharing? If it doesn’t look like it has been loved and cared for, it might give a buyer pause.
That’s what I’m trying to keep top of mind as I’m moving forward with recommendations and the to do list for these properties. Obviously, sellers want to keep the expenses low, but if it pays off with the speed with which you can sell the house and how much can sell for, then it is worth it.
One of these properties was empty and the other, my mother-in-law’s, has been through the downsizing process and only a few furniture pieces remain to help stage the property. I’ll have more on staging in a later post.
3 Tips For Getting A House Ready To Sell
Tip #1 - Update or remove dated, unnecessary features and furnishings.
If you have some kind of feature in the house that is very dated or tired looking and not that necessary to the overall structure, like built-ins or decorative lighting, then update or remove them if you can.
In this property, there was dated cabinetry in the master bedroom. The cabinet was built for an old box style tv and the wood finish was uneven and faded.
It could have been painted to blend in more but I felt like that would have been spending money to disguise something that someone else would not consider appealing or an asset anyway. We elected to have it removed and the wall patched and painted.
A new owner could put a nice piece of furniture there and the freshly painted white walls will provide a clean envelope for the new buyer. We’re doing more remodeling in the kitchen and wanted to save the money for that space to make a bigger impact there.
Better to have nothing there than something dated that is not an asset to the room.
One of the least expensive changes you can make that can impact a room is to delete some furniture for home staging.
In my mother-in-law’s house, we removed some window treatments and got rid of some older style furniture like a big tv armoire and a large wood desk with overhead unit. The window treatments were rather personalized and a few furniture pieces looked a bit dated and overpowering.
Tip #2 - Get A Professional Cleaning
Have a professional group of housekeepers in to do a big once-over on everything.
We had some in for my mother-in-law's house and they cleaned the ceiling fans, wiped down all doors and trim, cleaned the windows, inside the cabinets, bathrooms, appliances, etc. All was spic and span and sparkling when done. :-)
After they came, we steam cleaned the carpet. Even if your carpet doesn’t look dirty, it is. Dust just settles down into the fibers and a good cleaning really brightens it up. It shows your buyers you cared about your house.
Tip #3 - Paint, Paint, Paint!
Oh, please, paint the walls in a light neutral color. It makes everything look so fresh!
Tidy up all of the paint when you get ready to sell. Nothing says I-didn’t-take-care-of-my-house-when-I-lived-there to a potential buyer faster than walls with marks on them or trim that needs touch up.
Bright or dated colors also need to be neutralized so buyers won’t focus on the color instead of the overall property. We painted in both of these houses and it looks so fresh and appealing! All nail holes were patched and it looks really pristine.
The mauve shower curtain was removed in this house and the sponge painted mauve walls were painted over and neutralized for resale.
We also painted inside the pantry and master closet too. No one wants to hang their clothes or put their food in a space that looks used and worn by someone else.
This house, below, had a rather pink color undertone on the walls throughout. It gave off a dated look overall.
It’s being painted a creamy white to match the baseboards now. All the nail holes in the walls will be filled and the whole house will look so much fresher and up to date.
Ask yourself this question when thinking about getting a house ready for sell.
What would I want if I was looking to buy this house?
I would want to know that it had been loved, appreciated and well cared for by the previous owner. That would give me more confidence in a possible purchase.
And, good news! My mother-in-law’s house has a contract on it this week with an offer received the day after it went it on the market! :-)
I’ll be sharing more about the second property when it is complete and ready to go. We’re doing some kitchen remodeling that will make a great update! Working with Knepper Enterprises on this one, same contractor that worked on my house. :-)