1. Fix your landscaping
“The first impression people have online or from the curb is the outside of your house,” April Straus, principal broker at Bobby + April, said. To start, she recommended adding flowers in pots: “A house that has pretty potted plants out front always looks more loved than a house with empty sticks in front.” In addition, cut the grass, trim the shrubs and add mulch if needed. “You want to stand outside your house and look at it like it’s not your house,” Straus said. “Fix all the things you notice that you might normally step over every day.”
2. Paint your front door
“It takes about 30 minutes and can add a whole new appeal,” Straus said. She suggested choosing a modern color and added, “Just make sure you check your shutter colors to be sure they don’t clash.” Wondering what color to paint your door? Check out Bobby + April’s front door color quiz.
3. Update your interior painting
“Painting in general is a good way to zhoosh everything up,” Bobby + April realtor Kendal Thompson said. Check the paint on your trim and windows and update anything that looks old or has chips. “For walls, try to choose a neutral color if you’re painting to sell, but never white or cream because they look old,” Straus said. She added that muted grays and greens are popular modern, neutral tones. Some shades she recommended include Cashmere Gray, Gray Bunny and November Rain, all by Benjamin Moore. In addition, if you have wallpaper and can remove it, do it.
4. Replace old fixtures
In particular, Straus said brass almost always seems dated, so if you have it, remove it. Replace brass light fixtures with chandeliers that are more modern in both shape and finish. These can be fairly inexpensive from a home improvement store or outlet. “In any room where the light fixtures, faucets and drawer pulls don’t match, change them,” Straus said. “A lot of people replace their kitchen faucet with a brushed nickel one, but leave the cabinet pulls and hinges.”
5. Depersonalize and de-clutter
Remove anything that might distract potential buyers from the fact that they’re shopping for a home. “People will look at your record collection with 2,000 albums and a cool turntable and totally forget that they’re shopping for a home,” Straus said. “Also take down any strange art that people could find offensive – or anything else that might stand out as strange – and replace it with generic wall art. People will remember and talk about the weird stuff that’s in your house, not that they were there to buy it.” Remember, what’s important is that the buyer is able to picture his or her family in your home.
Overall, it’s about taking a fresh look at your house as if you were a potential buyer instead of someone who lives there. “Make any small repairs you’ve been putting off,” Straus said. “Anything little, like a drawer that doesn’t shut properly or a cabinet that’s damaged, might make people think your house hasn’t been well-maintained, even if you’ve kept up with the important things like the roof.” As Bobby + April realtor Rhonda Lee put it, “Do your to-do list.”
And of course, once you think you might be ready for that “For Sale” sign, give Bobby + April a call.
They’ll help you with your prep list, ensure everything is in order and do everything they can to make the selling process fast and easy.