By Lauren Nemeschansky M. S., Realtor & Accredited Home Staging Professional.
RE/MAX of Santa Clarita, direct phone or text (661)310-8215
For a complimentary copy of my new easy to follow 60 page book “Home Staging Fast & Easy” a $29.00 value, download it at www.HomeSearchSantaClarita.com/Home-Staging-Book/
Learn to increase your home’s value and psychological appeal to potential buyers. All contact information is confidential and will not be shared with anyone else (the book give-away is a limited time offer).
There are all types of improvements that could be made to a home before listing it with a Realtor and putting it on the market, many take lots of time or can be expensive. Most importantly, a seller should know which improvements are best to increase the home’s valuation and bring higher offers. Don’t get overwhelmed especially if you are short on time or money. Here is a list of ways to increase your homes value that are either free or do not cost much at all. These top 10 tips should cost less than $25 if you do them yourself. Just follow this handy list;
1. The most important and least expensive improvement a home seller can make to his or her home before putting it up for sale is to “de-clutter” and open up air space.
We don’t see our own home through the eyes of a stranger, what we see as “memories” and “treasures” the potential buyers see as “clutter.” Most people like an “open” feel when buying a house. The more open it is, the better they like it and that increases the value in their eyes and puts more cash in your pocket. Throw away whatever you are not taking with you when you move and box up and storage the rest of the “non-essentials” stacked neatly in your garage or in an inexpensive storage facility. Throw away old magazines and paperback books, or donate them to the library. Pack away all the trinkets, bowls, photos and baskets that you don’t need right now sitting around the house just making “clutter.” Part of the goal of doing a “de-clutter” aside from giving the house a more “organized” and “streamlined” look is to “depersonalize” it so the buyers can visualize their own trinkets and photos in the house.
2. The second most important and least expensive improvement a seller can make to a home is a good cleaning, this would be a “spring cleaning” that would include the windows, kitchen appliances, cabinets, etc. It could include a good “hosing down” of the outside of the house either with a power sprayer hose or alternatively a normal garden hose with a strong spray attachment. This will make the outside of the house and sidewalk and driveway sparkle and improve curb appeal.
3. Remove extra pieces of furniture and accessories so that the room appears “larger” and more “spacious.”
You might feel that the room looks “too sparse” but realize the buyer is buying your home rather than your furniture or accessories. The buyer will never notice that you removed items. Think about how model homes are furnished with very little furniture and accessories. Builders pay “big bucks” to decorators so learn from the builders and do the same. Certain pieces can be moved to other rooms of the house that are less filled with furniture so that the rooms have more balance and flow or moved to a friend’s house or inexpensive storage facility.
4. Clean out and pack up clothing from your closet so it appears “roomier” to the buyer
Remove and pack away clothes and shoes from your closets that you will not need for the next few months. Sell off or donate what you won’t take with you and box up and storage the rest in your garage, a family member’s garage or a storage facility. We want the closets to look as neat and large as possible.
5.Clean out your kitchen cabinets and pantry.
Discard or pack away food items that you will not be eating over the next several months. The goal here is to show any buyer that you have “plenty of cabinet space.”
6. Paint or spot paint old or dirty paint to spruce it up and make it look fresh, brighter and new. If repainting consider light, neutral and psychologically positive colors
If you have some very dark colored walls, it may be helpful to paint them a light neutral color that reflects light and makes the room appear larger. However, one darker accent wall can make a room look larger and create a “focal point.” Consider using neutral colors taken from nature that tend to promote a “positive” and “soothing” emotion. At the very least spot paint the fingerprints and any chips or scratches. While the kid’s “growth chart” or scribble marks and stickers on the doors may be cute to you, they wont impress a buyer so remove and paint over them. Painting is one of the least expensive and most cost effective improvements that any home owner or home seller can do. Paint it yourself if you have the time and are the handy sort. There are many great online videos that will teach you to paint and most paint departments will walk you through the job. If you need to hire someone then be sure to interview several professional handymen and painters and get estimates. Painting by a professional does not cost much compared to the increased profit and shorter time on the market that a well needed but inexpensive paint job will provide.
7. Trim and remove overgrown trees and shrubs from the front of your home and/or add some annuals or evergreens if needed for balance to improve “curb appeal.”
The first thing a buyer sees when they pull up in front of your home is the front yard, the buyers make an impression of your home based on those first few minutes BEFORE they step through your door. Don’t worry about the garden looking too sparse, studies have shown that in terms of landscaping “less is best” so trim and pull out to your hearts desire so your house can be seen in its best light. If you notice that the yard has some “bald spots” then add some annuals or pebbles. If it is “out of balance, “with too many trees and shrubs on one side and not enough on the other then a few small evergreens and annual flowers is a quick fix for those types of problems.
8. Clean the carpets and use a deodorizer, especially if you have pets. Psychological studies show that many people “buy with their noses.” I have seen this happen. A buyer walks through the door and immediately comments “this house smells nice.” When that happens I usually end up writing an offer for that home. Be very careful to not “over scent” the house. Choose natural light scents such as citrus, linen or vanilla because otherwise some buyers may have allergies to stronger floral scents and leave before they even see the entire house. Regarding pet and cooking odors, there is a saying in real estate, “if you can smell it then you wont sell it!” True words.
9. Paint the front door if it needs freshening up along with the front trim
The front door is the first thing that a buyer sees and touches when arriving at your home. A first impression is important. A shabby looking front door in need of a paint job sets the buyer’s expectations low so they will be “looking for shabby” throughout the house. An attractive front door with fresh paint, or stained wood, shows the buyer pride of ownership. The trim especially on the ground floor of the house near the front entranceway should also be spot painted or repainted to show the house is clean, fresh and well kept up. In my experience a fresh painted door and trim along with a good power washing can often take the place of an exterior paint job in giving a very similar effect.
10. Bring “natural elements” into your home to give it a serene and cheerful feel
These elements should be carefully placed around the home.
Most important is to put out a bowl of fresh fruit and or a vase with flowers in your kitchen area. I prefer using fruit that last and have a nice clean scent such as lemons or oranges, nothing artificial please! Tree branches and or garden flowers can be used as floral arrangements giving a nice “seasonal” look to the home and cost nothing to provide. I sometimes mix a very inexpensive bouquet of “supermarket flowers” with my garden flowers and leaves for an outstanding and easy arrangement.
Want to learn more than just the very basics? Order my new book “Home Staging Fast & Easy”
Free for a limited time only, a $29 value? Download at my website www.HomeSearchSantaClarita.com /home-staging-book/
Your name and contact information is kept confidential and NEVER shared!
Included in my book “Home Staging Fast & Easy ”
-Learn how to increase your home’s value “fast and easy” without spending lots of money.
– Learn to avoid the mistakes that cost home sellers thousands of dollars!
– Learn how to find the “focal points” of each room to increase your home’s value!
– Learn techniques that psychologically cause a buyer to “desire” your home!
And much more…
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