Curb appeal. We hear that saying quite a bit, but what does it have to do with real estate and selling your home. After years of taking buyers around visiting many different types of real estate properties and homes, it means more than the front stoop. It is a method of drawing visitors into your home, feeling comfortable, and having them imagine their own belongings in the place.
If you are selling your home, the most important thing that you should have on your mind is how to make your place more marketable. Let’s start with the outdoor curb appeal. It should be clean. Meaning the grass cut, without weeds, trimmed bushes and flowers deadheaded. The paint should be fresh and the windows clean and spider webs wiped away. The walkway should be free from clutter and if the mailbox and knocker are really worn, replace them. Make sure that the doorknob works well. This would be a good time to give the front door a coat of fresh paint.
If the outside of the home is to draw the visitors in, then the inside is to keep them there. If you want your visitors walking through your house imagining where they are going to put their furniture and what paint colour they are going to use, then you should have minimal personal effects displayed. Put your photos and your knick knacks away in boxes. You’re moving anyway, so it’ll put you ahead of the game. Even though you love the “look” of your home, you won’t appeal to everyone, so it’s best to make it as neutral as possible.
Paint it neutral
If the walls are painted many different colours or very “coloured”, tone it down. This way it creates a blank palate for the buyers. Beiges, Tans, Whites…are all great colours to use.
Repair and clean
Make sure your house is spotless and repair all defective parts. Hire a cleaner for the day of your open house and get a handy man to tighten door handles, replace light bulbs and repair leaky faucets and replace torn screens. Clean windows, mirrors, chrome and molding. Detail your home like you would a car.
What about the big jobs?
What can I do to attract higher bids? Even though each house is individual, there are a couple of things your can do that don’t cost a lot that make a big difference. If you are not sure about where to start, hiring an interior designer or a home stager is well worth the money. They can give you ideas that will fit within your budget and make a big impact. Here are some other ideas.
- If you’re hardwood is badly worn, sand it and re-varnish it for a brand new look
- If your kitchen is dated, paint it a nice high gloss white or cream colour. Yes, you can even paint Melamine
- Replace old worn out tiles with new
- Steam clean your furniture and carpets
- Landscape if there isn’t anything. Some bright flower pots might make all the difference
- Resurface driveway
- Add new fixtures and faucets
- Replace counter tops and/or backsplash
- Update handles
- Paint wood paneling
- Refinish decks and clean up concrete that is broken and scarred