Author: Corey Boldt
You’ve made a big decision to move and purchase a new home . . . and now you have to get ready to list and sell it. This is an exciting new chapter, but it’s not without stress.
In a recent Zillow.com survey:
- 36% of sellers reported that selling their home within the desired time frame is what worried them most.
- 36% said selling their home within the desired price range was their biggest concern.
- 30% are worried most about determining what improvements, if any, to make to help sell the home.
While you can’t eliminate all of the headaches or angst that comes with selling a house, there are some practical and affordable ways to get your house ready so that it (1) sells faster, (2) sells at a higher price, and (3) sells without making costly, unnecessary improvements and repairs.
Here are 5 tips to improving the look and feel and increasing the value of your house — without breaking the bank.
The ugly truth is, a cluttered home can (subconsciously) create feelings of anxiousness, unrest and stress. In fact, a study done by the University of New Mexico showed that “clutter compromises an individual’s perception of a home, and ultimately feelings of satisfaction with life.” This same study found that clutter actually interferes with a person’s ability to enjoy and derive pleasure from an environment.
Given that a home is one of the important environments in a person’s life, it’s crucial that the space we create when selling a home engenders feelings of comfort, organization, simplicity and freedom. When you’re selling a house, you’re selling a vision of what it will be like — and feel like — for a prospective buyer if they move in. Creating positive associations to your house is a critical component of remaining at the top of the house-hunting list for interested buyers.
There are some simple ways that you can get started decluttering your home and creating an inviting space that buyers will enjoy. The trick is to tackle things in small doses on a regular cadence.
Check out these Decluttering Pro Tips: 5 Simple Steps to Decluttering Your Home (Without Feeling Overwhelmed)
Show your closets some love
Closets are prized spaces in a home. Don’t fool yourself — closing the door won’t stop potential buyers from checking out what’s inside. The way a closet looks and how it’s organized impacts a buyer’s perception of the cleanliness of an entire house. A clean, organized closet gives the perception that the you take pride in your home and are thorough in your upkeep of it.
In the end, you want potential buyers to be able to visualize their own items in your closet spaces, and to like the picture you’ve helped them create in their mind. Too often, sellers use closets as as places to hide clutter. This is a common — and costly — mistake! Closets can enhance the overall appeal of your home, create the impression of additional space, and actually increase the value of your house. This is particularly true for high-profile closets like the one in a master bedroom.
Small or awkwardly shaped closets? Don’t worry. You don’t need to invest a lot of money in remodeling to create more space. There are several easy ways that you can make your closet look clean, modern and spacious, without breaking the bank.
Check out these Organizing Pro Tips: 5 (Inexpensive) Ways to Create Show-stopping Closets
Identify areas that need repair
It’s inevitable that your home will need some repairing before you list it. The dilemma lies is knowing which repairs are mission-critical versus nice-to-have — which ones will increase the value of your home versus drain your bank account with no return.
Before making any repairs you need to weigh the pros and cons for your particular home, your personal financial situation, and the market in which you’re selling. Sellers often make costly mistakes, investing heavily in repairs that aren’t critical and won’t necessarily help their house sell faster or for more money.
This is where a good agent is invaluable. Knowing which repairs are non-negotiable and will yield the highest return is dependent on a variety of factors, such as the condition of competing homes for sale, whether the market is hot or cold, and the likelihood of a buyer to pay extra for something. It is strongly recommended that you work with your agent before starting any repair projects, however, there are a few ways that you can start to tackle the do-I or don’t-I repair dilemma.
Check out these Repair Pro Tips: How to Tackle Home Repairs Before You Sell
Touch up the paint
In all the hustle and bustle of getting your house ready to sell, small, but significant, details can often be forgotten. Smudges, stains and imperfections on walls and ceilings are some of the most often neglected items on a seller’s list of to-do’s.
It’s understandable why: the longer you live in a place, the easier and more likely it is that you’ll overlook blemishes you’ve gotten used to seeing every day. The buyer, however, will notice. And it will impact their impression of the value of your home.
Touching up cosmetic problem areas with paint is a simple and extremely effective way to improve the appeal of your home’s interior. There may be cases where large painting projects and more costly investments are needed, but if you’re not repairing major damages, touch up paint goes a long way in preparing your house to sell.
Check out these Painting Pro Tips: Why You Should Pay Attention to Paint
Stage your home
Have you ever browsed images of home interiors online or in magazines and found yourself thinking, “I wish my house looked like that”? It’s probably because you’re looking at images of rooms that are staged. Staging is the process of filling a home with items that make it more appealing to buyers. It also involves strategically placing or displaying items to make a space more attractive. This includes furniture, lighting and lighting fixtures, accessories, artwork, window and floor coverings, to name a few.
Staging has several advantages:
- A buyer can better visualize how they can use the space and how their own furnishings will fit into the new house.
- Listing photos look more appealing. There is nothing worse that bad real estate photos.
- A house looks magazine-worthy, while still feeling lived in and inviting.
- It creates a great (and lasting) first impression when buyers walk through your front door at a showing.
- Oddly shaped or small rooms can be made to look useful and larger than they are.
Staging is a strategic art form that pays off both in photos and in person. It’s worth considering staging your home if you’re looking to sell, and recommended you consult an expert with staging experience to help.
About the author
Corey Boldt is the owner and heart of the Double Boldt Real Estate team. As a lifelong resident of Wauwatosa, Corey couldn’t imagine raising her family in any other community, and nothing feels more at home to her than working with the people directly in and surrounding this area. With 15 years of experience in sales management and 5 years of experience in residential real estate, Corey has the business background needed for negotiating contracts and the realty expertise wanted to find your dream home. Corey works with you through every step of the process—buying, selling, staging—to deliver consistent results and help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a home.