Get the best bargain when you sell your home

Planning on selling your home in the near future crossed your mind? If so, it is a good idea to assess how your home may appear to a prospective buyer.

It is no secret that a clean, well-maintained and appealing home has a far better chance of selling, at a higher price and more quickly than a home, that could use some work and attention.

Remember that first impression always creates long lasting perceptions. Nothing could be more than the truth when it pertains to real estate.

Certainly, this does not mean you need to embark on a major renovation project in order to sell your home. There would be no assurances you would be able to recover the costs of such a large and expensive project.

Rather, it is far better to take a more conservative approach and consider the possible cosmetic improvements which can be made to produce a general enhancement. Such improvements include refinishing, painting, cleansing, etc. These projects do not require much in the way of resources; however, they can make a significant enhancement to the general appearance of your house.

Before you take on any projects; however, it is essential to keep in mind that you are fixing up your home for the objective of selling it. Avoid personalizing the renovations you make as this can limit your market. A limited market means you generally endure a slower sale and perhaps a lower sales price.

Your objective should be to make the home as clean, attractive, well maintained, and as presentable as possible. Once the house is sold, the new owners can manage their own customizations.

One of the most crucial projects you can undertake when trying to sell your house is improving its “visual charm.”

Therefore, it is a great idea to start sprucing up your home on the exterior and then work your way to the inside of the home. Start by walking around the home and the lawn to get an idea of what needs to be improved. The things you observe can then be used as a list to be sure you are on the right track.

Make your Home Stand Out

In today’s market, most home buyers see numerous homes. It is not unusual for buyers to see at least a dozen homes, so it is essential to make sure that your home is the one that stands out in their minds.

There are great ways; however, to make your home stand out and then there are bad ways. At all costs, you need to avoid the bad ways of making your home stand out. Focus on the good ways instead.

Consider this for a moment. If you saw five houses this week and another five the following week, how much do you really think you would remember about each house? Chances are you would only remember one unique little detail.

Making the effort to add those unique little details that make your home a lot more memorable and boost your chances of selling. Aim for adding something that is different and positive to set your home apart from all of the others prospective buyers will see.

Outside your Home

Remember that the outside of your house is the first thing prospective buyers will notice about it. If the exterior is appealing, prospective buyers will want to see the inside as well. This is why it is essential to begin working on the outside first.

Tidy Up

Begin by working your way around the property, picking up all the waste and refuse you find. After you have finished picking up and throwing away all of the garbage, make another tour of the property and get rid of any mess that might be present. Clutter (Mess) may include:

  • Lawn care tools
  • Kids’ toys
  • Bicycles
  • Tools

Merely getting rid of all of the clutter and refuse can make a significant difference to the exterior appearance of your home.

Trim the Bushes

Bushes and other greenery around your house that has tackled an unkempt look can be viewed as a sign of neglect by prospective buyers.

Make an effort to keep the bushes and shrubs neatly trimmed and shape to provide an overall perception that the entire property has been well-kept and looked after.

For an additional touch, work to keep the bushes in line with all other greenery as well as outdoor decors existing on your property. This creates more of an appealing look from the street level and develops more interest as well.

If your bushes have grown so large that it makes approaching your property difficult, it could well be time to consider taking the bushes out entirely. Remember that bushes that is too large make your home appear smaller and can also create a safety hazard.

A couple of hours should be all it takes to get the job done. This is an inexpensive task that you can handle yourself; however, if you do not have the time or the ability or perhaps the inclination to handle the job consider hiring a professional. The job may cost between $35 and $45 per hour; however, it will be well worth this small investment in the long run when your home is sold.

The Significance of Cleanliness

The significance of cleanliness cannot be emphasized enough. When people look to buy a home, they are generally much more observant and even fussy than they normally are. You never wish to lose a sale just because of something small.

So, it is a good idea to review your home with not just a fine tooth comb but a white glove as well to be sure it is truly spic and span. Pay close attention to areas such as:

  • Cobwebs
  • Dust/ Dirt
  • Trash/ Garbage
  • Grime

Plant Flowers

Flowers, particularly bright flowers can go a long way towards livening up the exterior of your home in an easy and inexpensive fashion. The flowers you plant need not be exotic or expensive. Even inexpensive, low maintenance flowers such as the following work well:

  • Marigolds
  • Petunias
  • Zinnias
  • Sweet asylum
  • Bachelor’s buttons

Your local garden center will be able to help you in picking the best choices for your area. Keep in mind; however, that annuals tend to be less expensive than perennials and they work just great.

Try to blend a few bright shades such as yellow and pink to provide a happy appearance to the home. Plant your flowers in containers on porches, in flowerbeds and under windows to create varying levels of warmth and depth.

Landscaping: Mow the Lawn

A well-manicured lawn is a sign of a property that has been well looked after. When you are trying to sell your home the landscaping of the front as well as the back need to look its very best. Landscaping adds a substantial contribution to the overall resale value of your property. In fact, homes with excellent landscaping tend to sell for 5% higher than homes with inferior landscaping. Homes with poor landscaping can even sell for as much as 10% less. Obviously, this is a significant difference in the overall selling price of your home.

So, how much time and money should you devote to the landscaping of your property while trying to sell?

Keep in mind that even a minimal amount of time and money aids in selling your home as well as getting an increase in the sales price. Each effort you make is worth it.

That said; however, you must not overdo it. Landscaping is not meant to be a selling feature; it is only something that helps in the appearance of your home.

Your lawn must be mowed in a fashion so that it is even and short. Take the time to keep it well weeded and use a weed eater for the edges to provide a superior finished touch.

If you observe any bald or bare spots in your lawn, take extra step to buy a bag of seed and fill the spots in. This can be particularly important if you have pets that dig. After you fill in the dead spots, be sure to water the areas, especially after your pets go outside. Watering the areas dilute the urine and prevent it from burning the grass.

Make sure Porches and Railings are in good condition

Porch railings tend to become shaky and may appear worn with time after exposure to the elements such as sun light, rain etc. This can be a safety hazard along with appearing unattractive. Review your railings to determine whether they need repair. Sometimes, railings may just need a bit of tightening in the bolts. An adjustable wrench can be used to tighten them rather conveniently.

If the railings have been screwed into the brick of your home the sheath may have become worn down or broken. In that case, you need to replace the sheath. This is not expensive or time consuming. It can be executed in under half an hour and you can purchase the materials needed at your neighborhood hardware store. Simply remove the screws and the sheaths. The railing comes down, so place it aside for the moment. Put the new sheath in place and screw the railing back.

Preserve the Shutters

Shutters add a captivating touch to any home. When in good shape they add a comforting, warm touch to any finish. If they are not well preserved; however, they can promptly make a home appear neglected. Fortunately, it does not require a lot of time or skill to fix shutters. With most shutters, a quick sanding and one to two coats of exterior home paint makes your shutters look good as new. Ideally, it is best to remove the shutters before you begin sanding and painting them. First, clean of any dust and then provide a light sanding. Wipe again to remove dust particles from the sanding. Now, you are ready to paint.

You may opt to spray paint or brush paint. Either option provides a great result. Make sure to allow them to dry completely before reattaching them to the home.

Touch-up Painting

Many homes are made of brick with wooden trim. Generally, wooden trim is located on porches and on the ends of the home. As time passes, the wood trim worn out and the paint becomes cracked and dull.

A bit of touch-up paint can give your home a fresh new look. Depending on the quantity of trims you have, it should not take greater than three hours to complete the task.

Sometimes, you may need to sand areas before you can paint them. Sanding helps the new paint to cure far better than applying it directly to old paint, especially if there was a cracked surface. A hand sander works well for this task.

Make sure your House Numbers are Visible

This seems like a trivial matter; nevertheless, it can make a huge difference while selling your home. Prospective buyers must be able to find your home in order to consider buying it.

If your house numbers are carved into the exterior surface, make the effort to ensure they can still be seen from the street. If you find it is difficult to read them, paint the numbers using a crisp clean color so they are easily visible.

If the numbers have been mounted on the house, make sure they are in good condition and match your home. Are they still trendy? If not, replacing them is an easy and inexpensive matter that makes a significant difference in providing your home with a modern-day, upgraded look.

Make the Front Entrance Attractive

The front entrance to the home, including the porch, nearby windows and front door is significantly important. Remember that this is where prospective buyers stops first and be given the opportunity to get a really up close impression of your home. Therefore, you intend to make sure it has remarkable appeal.

having your house numbers clearly visible is important
having your house numbers clearly visible is important

The door needs to be sharp in appearance. If needed, give it a fresh coat of paint. Take the time to be certain that the hardware is polished or freshly painted. Various other ideas on ways you can beautify the entrance include:

  • Painting or replacing the mailbox
  • Installing bright porch lights
  • Providing a new welcome mat

Make sure as well that the doorbell, if you have one, is working.

Exterior Cleaning

Next, take a look at the overall building and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the windows clean?
  • Is the siding clean?
  • Are the gutters clean?
  • Are the corners free from spider webs and vines?
  • Is the walkway clean? Does it have a defined edge?

Inspecting all of these things can easily be done in a little time and make a significant difference in selling your home.

Inside your Home

After the outside of your home has been improved it is time to move to the inside of the home. There are several tasks on the inside, without spending a lot of money or time, which makes a significant difference.

There are two main areas in your home which should be focused on; the bathrooms and the kitchen.


Today, the world of real estate is becoming exceptionally innovative. The concept of organizing a home for sale has, in fact revolutionized the world of real estate. It does not take a huge amount of money; however, in order to generate an effective result. It simply involves enhancing the existing surrounding environments.

Begin by looking through your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer. Pretend you have never seen your home before.

Create Space

Clearing out excess furniture is an excellent way to begin. Pieces of furniture that are too large for the room in which they are placed or that crowd a room needs to be removed. Put them in storage space for your future move, give them away or sell them.

Work on clearing out excess accessories as well including collections. When it comes to opening up a home there is absolutely nothing more effective than getting rid of clutter. This provides your home with a more spacious look rather conveniently.

Surface area

Next on the list is to go through the house and clear all of the horizontal surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms. Do not leave any knick-knacks, magazines or other items. Pack them or get rid of them.

The Significance of Odor

Your home must always smell nice. Unfortunately, over time we tend to become accustomed to smells in our home. To help fight this problem have a non-pet owning, non-smoking friend come by to give your home the sniff test. When it comes time to sell the house; however, there should be no noticeable odors. Work on getting rid of smells such as:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pet Animal odors
  • Stale food smells

Odors make a significant impact on prospective buyers when they first enter a home. Avoid adding artificial fragrances such as using a spray air freshener as more and more people are showing allergic reactions. The most effective way to rid your home of odors is not to cover them up. Rather, eliminate them by:

  • Scrubbing the entire house
  • Replacing old carpet
  • Smoking outdoors
  • Cleaning the air vents

Buyers are just as human as you are

When selling your home it is essential that buyers are just as reluctant as most homeowners to handle large projects. Generally, they want to move into the house they have bought and be happy with it as it is.

If your property needs work, it actually is better to go ahead and take on the projects before prospective buyers start seeing the house. You always want buyers to see all the house has to offer not envision all that needs to be done to it.

Projects may include:

  • Removing old carpeting
  • Replacing old, outdated wallpaper
  • Repainting cracked or peeling paint
  • Replacing cracked, broken or missing tiles

Remember that with each change that a prospective buyer sees they may have to make to a property, the chances of selling the property for the desired price dwindles. Make the effort to handle these projects to mitigate any possible such concerns.

Bathroom Fixtures

Take a long hard look at your bathroom fixtures before you go to work on them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the fixtures cracked, damaged, or dripping?
  • Are they stained or dirty?
  • Are the fixtures obsolete?

If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, then consider taking one of the following courses of action.

  • Replace or repair seals or fixtures for those that are cracked, damaged or dripping
  • Avoid replacing fixtures with expensive options. Rather, pick fixtures that are attractive enough to enhance the bathroom but are not obviously luxurious.
  • Use a quality bathroom cleaner to get rid of any stains, grim or accumulation.

Bathroom Dampness

Dampness is certainly an integral part of any bathroom and it can be a real hassle when it comes to creating a grimy appearance as well as encouraging the growth of mildew.

Take a look around your bathroom and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there any visible water stains on any surfaces?
  • Are any of the finishes damaged by dampness?
  • Is there any mold and mildew growth anywhere?
  • Is any of the paint blistering or peeling?
  • Is any of the grout or caulking cracked, peeling or chipped?
  • Are there any surfaces that are buckled, swollen or rotten?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then assess the following courses of action to deal with these issues.

  • Find out if any of the dampness is originating from pipes leaks, building leaks or high levels of humidity. Fix the cause if possible.
  • Repair or replace parts of the bathroom that are damaged or deteriorating.
  • Get rid of any visible growth of mold and mildew using a quality cleaning product that is designed for that specific purpose.
  • When possible, keep the window open to increase ventilation and release excess humidity.
  • Repair or replace grout and caulking.

Be Realistic

As much as you intend to maximize the selling potential of your home it is essential to be realistic and remember that you do not want to presume that you have not only wasted your time but possible overwhelmed prospective buyers.

decorating your home to to increase property value before selling
decorating your home to to increase property value before selling

If you go too far in your efforts, the house begins to feel artificial. This must be avoided. Your home should feel warm and welcoming. It needs to feel like a home. Buyers must feel as though they could move in right away not as if they are in a museum where the sign says, “Look, do not touch.”

The Significance of a Professional Home Evaluation

Generally, most homebuyers get a professional home evaluation; however, if you make an effort to do this ahead of time you gain the ability to deal with any kind of repairs before your home goes on the market.

Depending on the kind of home, you have and your location, you can usually expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a home evaluation, however, it can be well worth the expense. Ask your real estate agent and he or she should be able to recommend several local assessors.


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