Do Not Overlook These 8 Things When Selling Your Home
Want to sell your house? If you’re hoping to sell high in today’s market, don’t overlook these 8 important things. Knowing what homebuyers want –– and will pay for –– is the first step to creating a bidding war for your house.
Today’s homebuyers want open spaces, high-tech upgrades, and everything in its place. Increase your home’s value by doing the upgrades would-be buyers don’t want to do themselves.
Fawn Over the Lawn
Curb appeal isn’t just a buzz phrase used by real estate agents. Landscaping can increase a home’s value because a manicured lawn and trimmed shrubbery are the first things buyers see before entering the house. High grass and weedy sod indicate a neglected yard, which can also mean a neglected house. But a well-maintained lawn says the rest of the home is in good shape, too. Mow, edge, water, and weed the grass as needed.
Brighten up flower beds with Baltimore’s native plants, such as eastern columbine, black-eyed Susan, and alumroot. Moss phlox and golden groundsel will color the beds. Holly bushes draw bees, birds, and butterflies.
Prep the Perimeter
Look at the outside of the house. Do doors, window frames, and railings look splintered and shabby? If the perimeter of the house seems run down, you can bet that buyers will notice.
- Spruce up wood trimming with paint or varnish
- Paint or stain shutters, window ledges, decks, railings, and street poles
- Shine up door handles, porch light fixtures, flag holders, and door knockers
- Replace broken house numbers with ones that are larger and easy to read from the street
- Replace the broken or wobbly mailbox
While you’re at it, power wash the driveway to remove dirt and grime. Are you a Baltimore Orioles fan? How about the Ravens? Add a team flag or simple lawn ornament to spark conversations with sports-minded buyers
Four simple words: fix up the backyard. Buyers want backyards with attractive hardscaping like built-in barbecues, fire pits, pergolas, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, and maybe even an in-ground pool. Privacy fencing is a plus, especially for people with pets and small children. Before doing any major work on the backyard, determine what kind of Return On Investment a hardscaping project will bring.
When it comes to selling your house, don’t overlook one of the most important steps of the process –– staging. Staging refers to presenting a home’s best features in a way that brings the highest possible sales price. The idea is to set up rooms so that buyers can envision themselves in the space. This means minimizing clutter and personal items to make it look more appealing to future owners.
Buyers can be picky and most likely, they’ve already seen pictures of your house. When walking through the front door, they want to see if the home’s condition is as good as it was made out to be on the listing.
Bathrooms are the most used rooms in the house, but new owners don’t want to inherit your germs. Clean up grimy floors and shower doors. Replace worn-out and cracked toilet seats. Tear out and replace old, moldy tile or ripped linoleum, and upgrade fixtures with LED lighting. “Ultimate pristine” may not be possible with an older bathroom, but make it sanitary and refreshed, at the least.
Open spaces are in; closed kitchens are out. People want more room to socialize, watch television, hang out, work, and whatever else. Eating? Yes, that too. But tearing out walls isn’t practical. The next best thing is to install energy-efficient appliances, new countertops, flooring, and modern cabinetry. Clear out all your kitchen clutter to make the space look bigger.
It started with the pandemic, but the trend continues –– about a third of workers who can work from home choose to do so. Home offices are a must-have for many buyers. If the house doesn’t have a dedicated office space, you can create an “office” with bookcases, room dividers, and a small desk.
Smart gadgets and cell phones have taken over, and today’s homebuyers want the modern conveniences that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has to offer. Wiring the house for AI gives would-be buyers a look at all the possibilities, like app-controlled smart locks, thermostats, doorbells, lights, and window shades. Consult a technology expert to bring your house up to date.
Selling a house is more than a business transaction –– you are creating a dream for a new homeowner. Do you remember the day when you first entered your home? Pass that joy onto the new owner (for the highest price possible).
Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband live on 5 acres with a vast lawn, three gardens, a farm pond, many trees, and a lot of yard work! The best parts of the year are summer and fall when home-grown veggies are on the dinner table.