For many homeowners, there’s nothing more exciting than selling their home and moving into a new place. Whether they’re moving because they need more space or they’re moving for job-related reasons or they’ve just decided it’s time for an upgrade, homeowners moving into new homes have plenty of reasons to be excited.
But what do you do with your old home? You may think it’s easy to sell your home when the time comes, but in many cases it’s easier said than done. If you think a buyer is just going to take your home as-is, think again. You need to think like a buyer and really take time to clean your house inside and out. It’s easy to focus on the big things, but don’t forget the little things either. Think like a buyer, think about what they might be looking for and put together a home improvement plan with that in mind.
So if it’s time to sell your home, start your home improvement plan by focusing on the outside of your home. Everything from the landscaping to the driveway to the gutters needs to be examined, cleaned and fixed if necessary.
Fences And Gutters
If your gutters are sagging and your wooden gates look worn, fix them. You can clean your gutters of any obstructions and make sure soil it’s completely washed out around the downspouts. You should also reinforce any sagging in your gutter system. If you notice your fences or gates look a little dull, brighten them with a power washing.
If you’re getting your home ready for selling, there’s nothing that says your home improvement plan needs to include planting trees or starting a backyard garden. But when it comes to landscaping, you should make sure any flowerbeds have fresh mulch, prune any shrubs that are overgrown and trim your grass. Some basic maintenance will go a long way in making your home look appealing.
You may take the driveway for granted, but it’s one of the first things any prospective buyer sees when they drive up, so it shouldn’t be overlooked on your home improvement checklist. You can clean up a driveway very easily by using weed killer to clean out pavement cracks and you can keep the area around the driveway clean with a weed wacker or an edger.
The Front Door
This is another easily overlooked part of the home improvement plan for selling your home, but don’t forget it. After all, before any buyer steps foot into your home, they’re going to go through the front door. You can really make it sparkle by tightening doorknobs, oiling hinges and even checking the condition of your doorbell. You can also freshen up the door with a new coat of paint. If you really want to catch a buyer’s eye, pick up a new doormat and add a potted plant next to the door to really give a sense of comfort.
Now that you’ve taken steps to improve the exterior of your home, it’s time to focus on the interior and there’s likely a lot of home improvement projects for you to tackle. Again, make sure that no task or space in your home gets overlooked, no matter how big or how small. If you forget something, there’s a good chance a buyer is going to notice.
To a lot of homeowners, the bathroom is the most important rooms in the house. Studies have found that people, in fact, spent almost two hours of time a week in the bathroom. As such, it’s necessary to make your bathrooms sparkle and shine. That means clearing your counter tops, fixing leaks with your toilet or your faucet and caulking areas that are damaged or worn. If you’re not good with plumbing, you can hire full service plumbing services to take a look at your bathroom plumbing (and the plumbing for the rest of your house for that matter).
Garages And Basements
In your home and in a lot of homes, these are likely places with a lot of clutter. If this describes your basement or your garage, take time to go through your stuff and figure out what you need or don’t need. Remember that whatever you decide to keep will have to move with you to your new place. If you haven’t used tools or sports equipment in years, it might be best to donate them or find someone who can use them. Bottom line: less clutter makes for easier cleanup.
The kitchen can be one of the most warm and inviting spots in any house, so it’s essential to remove any clutter. If you’ve got junk magnets in your home—things like counter tops, tabletops, and shelves—you need to declutter those areas to create a pleasing environment. Cleaning doesn’t have to be terribly taxing or time-consuming and if anything it will make you think about what’s really worth keeping.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep the sink functioning correctly (again, call plumbers if you need help) and make sure you do any necessary drain cleaning. What else should you do? Clean the refrigerator, wipe down the doors of any cabinets and make sure the oven is clean. If you’re trying to entice a potential buyer into purchasing your home, you need to make the kitchen look as warm and inviting as it should be.
The Living Room
Tidying up may also mean, stepping back and taking a look at the setup of your home. Does your home give off comfortable vibes? Would prospective buyers be impressed by the layout of your home? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you might want to consider rearranging some things. Moving the furniture is a good place to start. You can move furniture away from the walls and create a more intimate space that invites people in. If nothing else, rearranging the furniture allows you to fresh up a room, particularly if it’s had the same layout for several years.
If you’re selling your home, you could spend thousands to repair any window issues you have. Or, if you’re pretty handy with home improvement projects, you can make some easy window repairs and window glass repairs yourself.
Maybe your window sashes rattle in the wind; maybe your fiberglass windows sliders aren’t working as properly as they should; maybe your windows are just old and dated. What the issues are with your windows, it can get expensive to replace them—think anywhere from $300-$500 per window.
If you’ve got fiberglass windows, for example, they should last about 20 years, but many times the gaskets that have supposed to seal the window sashes don’t last as long as the window. You can easily fix holes or rips in the sashes with sealant and you can replace gaskets by contacting a window manufacturer.
You should also double-check your windows to make sure are sealed properly to prevent air leakage. Doing this can help any homeowner save on their energy bills, but it’s also another feather in your cap that you can point out to a potential buyer.
When it comes to HVAC systems and selling your home, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You can help yourself however with a few easy-to-do steps.
One thing you’ll definitely want to do is to schedule a full inspection and cleaning of your current system. These are recommended every six months anyway, but if you’re selling your home, you absolutely need to do this. The last thing you want to find out is that your furnace is on its last legs or your air conditioner is busted. If you’re selling your home and trying to do home improvement repairs here and there, you don’t want to have to spend money on costly HVAC financing.
Even if you’ve got a brand new HVAC system that’s recently installed, you shouldn’t expect a 100% return on investment. But don’t let this scare you off of selling your home. It’s not necessarily going to add to the asking price for your home, but you’ll be able to offer another strong selling point and plenty of comfort.
If you do discover that your current HVAC system is a little dated and you’re trying to sell your home, you can always negotiate a price break with a potential buyer which will help them cover the cost of purchasing a new system and having it installed.
Dealing With The Pool
If you live in a warm-weather area and you’ve got a pool, it can be the ultimate selling point to any prospective buyer. After all, who doesn’t love jumping into their own backyard pool on a hot summer day or to cool off in the evening? A pool can actually increase the value of a home, but it shouldn’t be the prime selling point for showing off your home.
If you are selling your home, you can take a lot of easy home improvement steps to really make your pool stand out. An easy way to start is to make necessary aesthetic changes, which means doing any necessary landscaping around the pool, cleaning up the grout and the deck and making sure the pool itself is clean.
Before you try and sell your home, you should contact local pool repair services to come and do an inspection. They’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment of the condition of your pool and let you know of any repairs that need to be made. If there are any repairs that need to be made, make sure to document them so a potential buyer knows exactly what’s been done to a pool and when.
As you check off tasks on your home improvement list, including working on your pool, be sure to look for any cracks or leaks or even rust spots. These can be telltale signs that your pool has some serious issues and they need to be addressed immediately.
As you go about your home improvement projects, you may be tempted to put in all new stuff. While this can make your home look absolutely pristine, it may not resonate with a potential buyer in the way that you’re hoping. In fact, quick fixes might be the smarter way to go.
The fact of the matter is whether you put in new kitchen cabinets or a new HVAC system or even have new asphalt put down in the driveway, you’ve never going to get a full return-on-investment. Even if you have a smart home—and as of 2020, an estimated 45 million smart home devices will be running in U.S. households—there’s a lot more than a new coat of paint or rearranging the furniture can do to sway a buyer than outfitting a home with all the latest and greatest tech or brand new appliances. The last thing you want is to buy new appliances under a loan program — let’s say a washer and dryer for example — and have potential buyers completely ignore it. All you’ll be left with is a big bill for something you won’t be around to enjoy.
Selling your home can be exciting as you think about moving into a new place. But getting your old home ready for selling doesn’t have to be some impossible chore. By taking it seriously and making sure that nothing gets overlooked, you can make your home—no matter how old it is—look brand new and look as comfortable and inviting as the day you bought it. If that means adding a new coat of paint to the front door or cleaning up the kitchen or making repairs to the pool or even having professionals come out and fix your plumbing, you can really turn your home into a must-see place that any prospective homebuyer would be happy to live in.