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Getting your house ready for sale is more than just hiring a real estate agent and sitting around waiting for offers.
First, you need to determine the value of your home and develop a marketing strategy. Then it’s time to improve the property to increase the initial selling price. Home improvement projects don’t have to be expensive. Even the smallest one will bring a good return on investment.
The first thing potential buyers see on their house-hunting journey is the exterior, that includes the landscaping. Unkempt properties stick out like a sore thumb, especially if there’s a “For Sale” sign out front. Assess the condition of your lawn. Is it full of weeds and crabgrass? Mowing, weeding, edging, and fertilizing the grass are all essential when it comes to increasing your property value. Native plants will enhance your home’s landscape. They’re easy to maintain and good for the environment. Trim all bushes, shrubs, and trees. Use a string trimmer to edge around the walkway, then line the walkway with containers of colorful flowers.
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Tasks to look for
Curb appeal doesn’t stop at the curb. Depending on the condition of the house, you may want to:
- Repair broken steps and fences.
- Paint or stain doors, trim, railings, shutters, and the garage door.
- Paint the electrical box (to match the color of the exterior).
- Add new hardware to the front door.
- Replace torn screens.
- Powerwash the driveway, walkways, and fence to remove dirt and grime.
- Remove and replace any damaged siding.
- Replace the house address numbers and update the mailbox.
- Light up the landscaping and walkways.
If you never got around to doing it before, now is the time to build a deck in the backyard. A deck (or patio) extends your living area and gives you more room for entertaining. Adding luxurious hanging egg chairs to your deck or patio makes the area great for lounging and adds a lot of appeal. Be careful. Too much patio furniture can make the backyard look cluttered and smaller. Not enough, and your patio won’t look as useful.
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A pergola or awning adds considerable value to your home by providing shade and protecting you and the furniture from the elements. Make the pergola pop by adding greenery such as climbing vines around the exterior.
An outdoor fireplace or fire pit extends the usefulness of your patio or deck. You can enjoy the warmth and light in all seasons and late into the night.
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Light It Up
After putting so much work into the landscaping, show it off! Solar lighting adds to the ambiance of both the front and back yard. Lighting also allows you to enjoy your patio in the evening and adds a safety feature, especially along pathways and steps. Solar lanterns are perfect for the pergola, and they won’t increase your electric bill. Try rope lights around the flower beds. Motion sensors on the front lights give you added protection and alert you when someone’s at the door. Lining the walkway with lighted plants also creates a clear pathway to your door. A well-lit entryway makes your home more inviting. Clean off all cobwebs and install a modern light fixture.
Take a look at our guide on Ultimate Outdoor Lighting Ideas To Brighten Up Your Space!
Simple touches such as new (neutral color) paint, carpet, light fixtures, and ceiling fans are a given. Today’s homebuyer also looks for energy efficiency. Don’t be surprised when they ask to see your monthly electric bill. Solid windows with good seals, insulation, furnace, and air conditioning, water-wise plumbing, and clean, energy-efficient appliances all increase property value. Caulk and add seals to older windows and doors as well as drafty areas near external walls.
Kitchen and Bath
An updated kitchen and bathrooms will modernize your home faster than new carpeting or a paint job. Formal, separate dining and living rooms are no longer “in” with the younger crowd. A large kitchen and “great room” to cook, eat, entertain, watch TV, and just hang out is more practical and up to date. If you can, tear down a wall or two, but that’s not always practical. Instead, upgrade the kitchen with new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. If the refrigerator, stove or dishwasher is more than 10 or 15 years old, it’s time for a new one!
Bathrooms are also ready for a facelift — they are the most-used rooms in the house. New fixtures, faucets, and lights may seem like a waste of money but they add considerable value and appeal to your home. Clean showers and bathtubs are essential, so if tiles are falling down or the faucets are rusted and moldy, that’s the place to start.
Look at these 17 Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas for the Perfect Makeover
Many older houses do not have the capability of instant Wi-Fi or home automation, but it’s a must-have for today’s homeowners. If the house isn’t wired for smart technology, the property isn’t as valuable. Today’s homebuyers depend on their cellphones, tablets, and computer screens. Consult a technology specialist about wiring your home for fiber optic, cable or mobile capabilities, and consider installing a “power-up” station to recharge computerized components. On that same subject, designate a room to use as a home office. Homeowners today need a space to play games, pay bills, and interact on social media.
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A ring doorbell is also a nice touch. It allows you to use your smartphone to see who’s at the door and to answer it remotely. An added bonus? It discourages porch pirates who may have an eye on any packages you have delivered.
The value of your home isn’t just about money, it’s about how functional it is and how well you can stage it. Location, location, location is only part of the selling point. Today’s buyer is more concerned with layout, landscaping, and the liveability of a home. The more you fix up the place, the better your bottom line will be.
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