In some areas of the country the housing market is starting to pick up. Hooray! If you are like me, you were waiting for this to put your house up for sale. Any realtor will tell you the best time to list is in the spring. Having just gone through this I did a lot of research on do's and don't when selling your home and here are some of the most important things.
1. Don't have bedrooms that have been converted into other uses – gym, closet, etc. People need to be see themselves in your home. Although using a secondary bedroom as a closet sounds wonderful to me (I love shopping!), it may not to a potential buyer who has a couple of kids.
2. Don't have too much landscaping going on. It seems the opposite of what you would originally think, but it makes sense. If potential buyers see an overdeveloped yard (lots of planting, a fountain, koi pond, etc), their thinking lots of maintenance will be in their future. Most people barely have time to mow their lawns these days. So try and scale back any overambitious landscaping projects.
3. Do stage your home. This helps tremendously, especially if the furniture has been removed. While staging can go to extremes, keep it simple. Hand some pretty towels in the bathrooms, put a welcome mat at the front door. Put a nice cookbook out on your counter. Add some candles and holders around your mantel. You'd be surprised what a difference this makes.
4. Do think about tiling your bathroom(s) floor. While I don't necessarily think it is a good idea to only update / upgrade your home for a sale, flooring is something that motivates a buyer. The fact that my rooms were mostly tile or hardwoods were a huge factor in the decision to purchase my home over many others that recent buyers looked at. Tile is rather inexpensive and in many cases you can tile right over existing linoleum. It's a terrific way to brighten up a dreary powder room or bring the look of luxury to a master bath.
5. Do paint your baseboards. This is a trick a painter friend of mine told me. Baseboards collect dust and dirt like crazy. They tend to look dingy even with regular care taken to clean them. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to make your rooms look a lot newer.
I don't think there is a definitive answer to many of the customizations homeowners make. You should feel comfortable in your home and do what you feel looks best for you. And who knows? Maybe potential buyers will fall in love with your style. If you are thinking of putting your house up for sale, I hope you'll consider the options listed here. Best of luck!
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