One of the most frequently asked questions we get in the Real Estate world is about selling; what are some of the best things you can do to your home before putting your home on the market? We have all watched enough HGTV to know the basics, like de-cluttering, de-personalizing, amping up the curb appeal with some fresh flowers and a new doormat, while these are helpful and necessary- I don’t think this is going to get you much more in the end.
The mutual goal for you and your Realtor is to sell your home quickly and for the most money- which also seems to be a frequently asked questions, “How many days has this home been on the market?” Buyers out there are savvy, they understand that good homes sell quickly and when a house sits on the market they think, “What’s wrong with this one?” It’s can be a frustrating position to be in as a seller, there usually is nothing wrong with homes that have been sitting on the market- there just wasn’t enough right when they first hit the market.
When I meet with a new client for a potential listing, we walk the entire property, discuss any improvements they have done to the home, talk abut the big ticket items- roof, HVAC, plumbing, pool, termites, etc. Every home is so different, but I may end up recommending a new water heater, a roof inspection or landscaping, but what I find most frequently on my list is paint.
Fresh paint, and let’s be specific, fresh white paint, can literally change everything! Don’t get me wrong, I love color as much as I love the internet- but think about the homes that look the best online, fresh, bright, open and airy with white walls! Not only are you brightening the entire space, the smell is also fresh paint…which should be bottled and sold in my opinion. White paint can also look like a hospital, so get some online, interior design help with the white you choose and do some swatches in various locations in your house before you decide.
Painting can be expensive, but it is sometimes the difference between getting an offer and sitting on the market. Get a few bids and really try not to DIY- it’s a huge job and best left to the pros. You may not need to paint every room in your entire home, it all depends on the layout and the most attractive rooms/spaces in your home. I have seen fantastic formal living rooms with dark walls, moody lighting and dramatic decor, gorgeous Spanish haciendas with colorful walls, painted ceilings and tons of art- but for the majority of homes, they look best in person and especially online with clean white walls, minimized decor and a splash of color from a piece of art.
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For the exterior, paint is the key there too. Make sure to take a walk around your home looking at the fascia and trim as well as the walls. Typically, I find it best to have the home power-washed and the trim touched up; just like that you have a squeaky-clean, freshly painted look. If you haven’t painted in 10 years, it may be time to have the home painted. I don’t subscribe to the same white paint here, I think houses look great in a variety of colors. Try not to do the trendy thing that you see the whole neighborhood doing- but keep it simple and pleasing. If your house has been light yellow all its life, then maybe it should be light yellow, just freshened up yellow with white trim and a colorful door. If you need some inspiration, Dunn Edwards has this great Curated Colors section where you can pick your architectural style and get a grouping of colors that might work for you; the below is from their “Mid Century” collection.
Now for the door. Guess what I am going to tell you to do to the door? Paint it? Yes!! But more importantly, make sure to clean it! I can’t tell you how many dirty doors I encounter, not a great first impression. But I will admit, it’s frequently dirty at my house too! Painting and staging did wonders for our subject home showcased in this post- we received an offer after changing the paint, furnishing and getting a professional cleaning.
There are so many other things to do when preparing a home to hit the market, but remember, you only get one chance to be “Brand New.” If you want to meet to discuss your listing or how to prepare your home to hit the market, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.