Professional salesmen often say that if you haven’t made a strong impression within the first 30 seconds of a sales pitch, you’ve lost the sale. That may not be the case when selling a house, but it is essential to grab a buyer’s attention right away.
There are many home projects that can get the job done without costing an arm and a leg or requiring major structural renovations that may or may not resonate with home buyers. There’s great potential in simple yet striking improvements that will encourage visitors to see more, especially in a sluggish housing market that has many people looking for a happy medium between their ideal house and an attractive, clean, and well-cared-for property.
An Entrance to Impress
There’s nothing quite like an impressive entryway to give potential buyers a welcome they’ll remember. Think of it as your house’s “handshake.” This is a feature that can make a strong impression without a lot of high-impact upgrades. Make sure there are no weeds and well-trimmed bushes, attractively landscaped with a layer of mulch. Consider repainting the front door — always a key feature — if yours is looking a little dingy, and replace the address numbers with ones made of shiny, reflective material. Don’t forget that the inside entry is as important as what’s on the outside, so keep it picked up and uncluttered. A fresh coat of paint in the hallway will add to the clean and orderly impression you want potential buyers to come away with.
The baseboards in most homes show some wear and tear, especially if you have kids and pets. Knicks, scratches, cracks, and holes tend to accumulate over the years, and you may not even notice them. Refurbished baseboards can make your home look brand new and will give the impression that you’re paying attention to details that a discriminating buyer will definitely notice. Holes, cracks, or dents can easily be patched and concealed using a wood filler. Simply sand it over and refinish or repaint. Baseboards often show a little separation from the wall, which can be fixed with some caulking.
Make Those Cabinets Look Like New
Cabinet doors are one of the most dominant features of any kitchen. Years of cooking, exposure to smoke and grease, and general wear and tear will make any cabinets look worn out and unimpressive. That’s not a good thing because the kitchen is one room where you want to make a strong impression. You can make kitchen cabinets look as good as new with a few simple steps. Remove the hardware and the doors, give the surfaces a good cleaning, then deglaze them and clean again. Then you’re ready to repaint.
The bathroom is another make-or-break room that can really sell a home or make a buyer think twice about bidding on your house. Details matter, and one of the most noticeable is the state of your grout in the shower, bath, or flooring. If it’s stained with dirt and mold, you’ll be at a disadvantage with discriminating buyers. Latex, acrylic, or silicone caulking are typically used in the bathroom. Bear in mind that the gap to be caulked should be no larger than three-eighths of an inch wide.
Before showing your home, it needs to be pristinely clean, decluttered, and smelling good, which makes a thorough deep cleaning a top priority. Before getting started, consider the equipment you’re using. If your mop hasn’t been replaced in the last few years, it’s time to invest in a new one. An old sponge is not only unsanitary, it may be doing more harm than good by spreading grease and dirt over surfaces rather than removing them. If your vacuum cleaner is old, bulky and inefficient, consider upgrading to a quality lightweight, cordless vacuum cleaner, which will improve overall efficiency of the vacuuming job itself. There’s no tripping hazard and it’s easier to store – and use – than a heavier, bulkier model. Just be sure to read reviews to ensure you’re getting the model that fits your needs.
It’s natural to assume that getting a home ready for sale requires a major investment. But most realtors will tell you that you can do a lot of good with some paint, good cleaning tools, and a lot of attention to detail.
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Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.
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