There are many houses on the market at any given time in certain areas. Previously-owned homes are competing with new homes. New homes come with buyer incentives usually offered by a builder that most homeowners cannot offer. Buyers may have dozens of homes to consider, if your home is in one of these areas.
Make Your Home Stand Out
Use this list of specific repairs and key updates and your home will be competitive in this market.
- Repair exterior elements. Nothing turns off buyers faster than what they notice first, such as cracked sidewalks, loose gutters, peeling paint or curled shingles. Use a few of your weekends to get things done or hire a contractor.
- Freshen up the basement. It has to be dry and odor-free. If you have had leaks or flooding, arrange for a waterproofing company to take a look. Most contractors offer a life-time warranty on the repairs.
- Freshen up the interior. A new coat of paint goes a long way. But remember to do a good job. Make sure walls are prepared before you paint. A poor paint job can be worse than old ugly walls.
- Look at the floors. If your bedroom carpet has a path worn in it, consider replacing it. The floors with loose grouting should be touched up or re-grouted. Worn wood floors should be re-sanded. Old vinyl should be replaced.
- Pay attention how your home feels. Make sure doors don’t stick, doorknobs are installed tightly and kitchen drawers glide easily. All windows should open, and every light switch should work. Remove any burned out bulbs. Railings on porches and staircases should feel sturdy when you try to wiggle them.
- Spruce up the bathroom. It should be spotless: no mildew, mold or gunk. If the caulk line around the tub looks flaky, repair it. Buy a new shower curtain if old one has mildew. Make sure the pipes under the sinks aren’t dripping and the faucets work like new.
- Do away with the clutter. Rent a storage locker if necessary and organize your garage and closets. Look at your home from an outsider’s point of view. Limiting your personal items will help perspective buyers envision their own valuables in your place. Your personal art, although priceless to you, may in fact be a strike against your home.
- Clean, clean, clean. Give your house a thorough top to bottom cleaning. If that is too much for you, hire a cleaning crew to scrub your home down, baseboards, windows, etc. Pull back curtains, drapes and let in the natural light.
This may sound like a lot of work, but this may make your home sell before the others around it—and at a better price—then you will get moving to your new home!