Deep clean those carpets. As a Realtor I always tell my clients that they need to have to house organized and clean before we list the home. One thing that gets over looked is the carpets. Often I will find the house dusted, decluttered and things in their place, but the carpets got no love! A good deep cleaning of the carpets can bring life back into most carpets. This allows the perspective buyers to feel good about walking through your home.
A new coat of paint. Your child’s favorite color might be purple but to the average buyer it will be an eye sore. When preparing your house to be sold, you want to think “this isn’t for me it’s for the buyers”. With that in mind we want to paint the rooms in nice neutral tones that will please the largest demographic.
Update those lights and switches. Now that you given your home a fresh updated paint job, don’t leave those outdated light switch covers on. On the ceiling you should have nice new lights to compliment the new look of your home. I can’t say how many times I will enter a listed home with new grey paint and an old tan colored switch cover that turns on a tiffany’s style light fixture from the 60’s. For light fixtures you don’t have to break the bank. Stores like Home depot often sell value packs of flush mounts with nickel finish.
Pressure wash the outside. You will be amazed what an afternoon outside of your house with a pressure washer will do to your homes look. If your fence is greenish in color, give it a wash. If your concrete paver/walkway is different shades of age, give it a wash. The shed, the pool, the siding, the deck….. This list can go on forever. Whatever you have outside that has been weathered, give it a wash.
Add some green! If your selling your home in the spring/summer put out some potted plants or hanging baskets, and some flowers to the front yard near the doorway or in the backyard near the walkway. If you are selling your home in the cold season, bring the green inside with some plants and flowers. Flowers and plants always make people feel at home and more relaxed.
Hardwood floors. As we try to appeal to the most buyers, Hardwood flooring is on the top of the list for upgrades that everyone likes. At one time this upgrade was quite expensive but with all the new species of wood being used the price has come down significantly. I get asked all the time “should we do hardwood everywhere?” My answer tends to be NO. First off the list of where to put hardwood down, is the Kitchen. I know some builders in the past have sold homes with hardwood in the kitchen, but if it is real hardwood it will not mix well with a pot of boiling pasta falling off the stove onto the nice hardwood floor. In my houses I always have a tile foyer and hardwood throughout the main floor other than the kitchen which also will be in tile.
New doors. Front doors, garage doors or bedroom doors. You can really take a house to the next level with some upgrades to the doors. Your front door does not have to be a $6,000 door, but a nice new metal door with a ½ light or ¾ light window and most importantly do not leave it the primer white that it comes with, give it a fresh coat of paint. If you need to replace the garage doors you can normally get them from stores like Home Depot for less than $2,000 (seen them for $50 before and those were insulated). If all your rooms have flush doors, you might want to consider putting some 2 panel doors up instead.
Kitchen & Bathrooms. Don’t go too crazy here. If you have real wood cabinets that are old, sand them down ad oil based primer and paint them white. If the cabinets are a lost cause you can normally find cabinet companies out there where you can get a kitchen full of cabinets for less than $2,500 (www.urbankitchenandbath.ca). After your cabinets are refinished you can add a new counter, if your house’s market value is around $350,000 and up I would recommend granite. If your home will sell for less than $350,000 put a nice dark slate style laminate counter in. I always recommend to people to do the same in the bathroom, this creates a flow to the house and this is something buyers like to see when they walk through the home, it shows you didn’t leave anything out when upgrading.