If you are thinking about selling a house, why would it be time to invest in improvements to the house? Read on for the answers.
The data about the weaker home sales market has been in the news for many months. There are a lot more homes for sale, and it is a buyers’ market. But there are two things a homeowner can control: the price the home is offered at, and what the home looks like to the prospective buyer.
The statistic quoted by realtors is that within the first 20 seconds of entering a home, the impression of that home is formed in a person’s mind. With that in mind, ‘the stage needs to be set’ as soon as the front door is opened.
Most of have already learned that clearing of the clutter and de-personalizing is necessary. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you don’t use it on a daily basis, pack it away. Think about this as a great first step towards packing up to move to your new house. Also, clean, clean and clean. Your home must look and smell fresh and clean.
If you have an older house, it doesn’t need to be a disadvantage. Here is a case example about a twenty plus year old home had a lot going for it. However, there were quite a few things that if not addressed, would almost certainly prevent the homeowner from getting their asking price.
- The furniture was old and poorly maintained
- The kitchen and two bathrooms had old style wallpaper (think late 1980s),
- In the common areas and bedrooms of the home, the walls were stark white and dingy,
- The carpeting in the bedrooms was worn and dirty,
- The flagstone in the entry courtyard and side patio was in need of a cleaning.
In summary, the home was in dire need of a visual update!
To address the objective of making a great first impression, a beautiful focal point was created using paint color and inexpensive accessories to greet potential buyers as they walked in the front door. The wall above the fireplace was painted a warm red tone and a colorful, yet soothing piece of artwork was hung on the wall. In addition:
- New furniture sourced from a hotel furnishing liquidation firm was selected for the family room and the old furniture was either donated or sent to a storage unit.
- The wallpaper was removed in the kitchen and bathrooms and the walls were painted a warm welcoming color to complement the new furniture and art work.
- The carpeting in the three bedrooms was beyond help and therefore was replaced.
- The flagstone outside was power washed and sealed.
- Fresh linens were selected for the bedrooms, and new towels and shower curtains for the bathrooms were placed.
Additionally, the lighting was updated in the bathrooms, the closets were significantly emptied, flowers were planted, and new bedding and ambient lighting was added in the bedrooms.
The entire makeover took about two weeks. The realtor wisely held off making the listing active until all of the updates were in place. When the listing went ‘live’ he had a wonderful looking, and welcoming home to show.
The results; two offers within the first 2 weeks of showings!