Remember that most buyers cut their teeth at the new-home models, the ones with $200,000 in upgrades, and then come to see your house. Anything you can do to make your house look like a model is a step in the right direction.
Invest some sweat equity:
1. Power wash, or at least hose down, everything visible from the front of the house. The street, sidewalk, walkway up to door, siding/stucco, eaves, windows & screens, roof, etc. Anything in the line of sight.
2. Spruce up the yard. Fertilize, mow, and water the grass – sprinkle grass seed in the bare spots. Add mulch and flowers to the flower beds. Trim the trees.
3. Once inside, make it easy for the buyers to picture them living there. Remove the majority of family pictures, trophies, medals, gun displays, deer horns, anything that makes them think about you, instead of them.
4. Do clutter patrol. Remove or hide everything not tied down.
5. Take old, ugly furniture out to the garage (or sell it).
6. Kitchen and baths – clean grout, mirrors, faucets, etc. Display fresh towels and flowers. Eliminate ‘mold-like’ substances.
7. Clean out the garage.
8. Wash the windows.
9. Get rid of pet odor, and the pets if you can.
1. Paint inside and out if you haven’t painted in the last three years, or have a lot of kids.
2. Install new carpet, and don’t go cheap. This is probably the most effective money spent, because it not only looks good, but it smells ‘clean’.
3. Install new faucets, towel bars, and toilets – or at least toilet seats – in the bathrooms.
4. Add a new thermostat and light switches/dimmers & switchplates.
5. Update the exterior with new lighting and doorknobs.
6. Rent a storage unit and clear out big furniture, and all junk.
7. Install a new roof. Does wonders for the curb appeal.
I am against the ‘carpet allowance’. Get your money’s worth – install the new carpet and impress the buyer with the fresh, clean look and smell. You’re trying to sell your house for top dollar, make it look like it. Don’t worry about picking the wrong color, buyers will live with beige. Spend at least $30 per yard too. Call Ken at Phillips Carpet, (760) 757-5033.
The market is tough. If you don’t want to bother with clean-up and repairs, then don’t expect top dollar. The buyers add up what they think it will take to get the house in shape AND THEN DOUBLE IT, for their time and trouble.
Or they won’t offer at all. The vast majority of buyers don’t want to fix a thing, and are looking for any reason the stay on the fence.
I’m happy to stop by and give you my thoughts on what to do to your house to get it ready – it’s part of my job! Call (760) 434-5000.