Think about this, in the real estate market, your house is never the only home for sale. So you need to put your best foot forward if you want to make the most money possible. There are a lot of suggestions out there telling you what to fix, but we’ve compiled the top 5 absolute must fixes that you should make before you move to sell a house.
1. To Sell a House, Paint Ceilings & Walls
You might think that painting the ceiling is a waste of time when you sell a house, but buyers spend more time than you think looking up. Eyes scan your ceilings for signs of roof leaks or other damage and can, therefore, pick up on stains from grease and smoke.
Likewise, old scarred and marred paint makes a house feel old, while a fresh coat makes a home feel new again. Stay away from bold or trendy colors. instead, reach for neutrals like light browns and grays, which allows the buyer to envision his or her stuff in the home.
Also, think about removing faux-finishes like wallpaper, which is typically dated. A wet sponge and a scraper can make quick work of removing the decoration. Wood paneling can also be a turnoff. Try painting wood paneling white to give it that farmhouse feel which is extremely popular, yet the white keeps to the neutral category. This way you can turn a potential dud into a selling feature.
2. Tend to the Garage Door
Curb appeal is so important when selling a home. It’s your house’s chance to make a first impression. Don’t let a sad and droopy garage door represent the quality of your home. Sometimes you don’t even have to replace the entire garage door, you can simply replace the panel if one is dented or broken. Your local garage guy may even be able to salvage one for you if you give him a week or two notice.
3. Eliminate Leaks and Signs of Leaks
If you want top dollar when you sell a house you must fix any leaks or signs of leaks. Let’s say you had a roof leak a year ago that did some damage to the drywall in your master bedroom. You fixed it and it’s been fine, but now you’re selling. Leaving remnants of the damage alerts potential buyers that the roof once had a problem here, which is a big turnoff to most people. Was it fixed correctly? Will it leak again? Will there be leaks in other places? When buyers are uncomfortable, guess what, they don’t buy!
4. Install GFCI Protected Outlets
When you sell a house that was built before 1971 you may want to consider installing a few GFCI outlets or hiring an electrician to do so. A GFCI receptacle is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person. While homes built before 1971 are not required to have GFCI outlets, the home inspector will note on the inspection report that they are absent from your home. This can be scary for many homeowners. For the DIYer, $13 can eliminate a line item on the inspection report that may impede the process of selling your home.
5. Replace Stained Carpet
“Hi, I’m gross.” That’s what your stained carpet is telling potential home buyers. Nobody wants to live in someone else’s mess, so you may want to think about replacing that carpet. As a bonus, new carpet smell lingers in the house awhile, which makes everything else feel new as well. For approximately $250 per 10×10 room, you can get a mid grade carpet and pad. That’s not a bad investment if it means you selling your house tomorrow or dropping the price a month from now.
You don’t want to list your home only to have buyer after buyer reject your house because you refused to take the wallpaper down or don’t want to spend the money to change the carpet. And you don’t want to spend weeks negotiating on the listing price when the inspector says the house is unsafe because of the lack of GFCIs or the garage door that is falling off the hinges. It seems daunting and sometimes time-consuming to spend a few hundred dollars fixing up the house you’re moving out of, but it will be worth it when you have a bidding war on your hands three days after listing it. In the immortal words of Nike – Just Do It. If you’re not sure where to start, what to replace, what to leave, our expert agents can guide you. Contacts us today to speak with one of our award-winning real estate agents.