Increasing your home’s value or even the perception of value can be absolutely essential when it’s time to list the home for sale. The Spring real estate market comes early in metro Atlanta as temperatures rise. This can be an ideal time to sell your home.
1. Home Exterior
A home that has the appearance of being well-cared-for and maintained will more quickly catch the eye of a potential buyer. Go to the foot of your driveway and look at the front of your home as buyers would when they first pull in the driveway. Is the paint peeling or faded? Are the shutters coming loose? Are the gutters overflowing?
If you’re handy, most of this can be taken care of in a weekend. If not, hire someone. It will be money well-spent to have a licensed, general handyman tackle a list of items for you over the course of a half or full day.
2. Front Yard
Are weeds popping up and the shrubs overgrown? Do the driveway and sidewalks need to be pressure-washed to get rid of stains and regain a cleaner, light color?
Rent or buy a small pressure washer to tackle these areas. Your home’s exterior might benefit from a pressure wash as well. Buy a few trays of fresh, colorful Spring plants and flowers to put up by the mailbox or the walkway to your front steps.
You have to make your home’s exterior inviting enough to make buyers want to get out of the car to see more. The Cherokee County real estate market may currently be a seller’s market, but you still have to get them interested enough to go inside.
Check out these before and after photos for an example of what we’re talking about. Changes don’t have to be drastic or expensive to give your home better curb appeal.
3. Front Entrance
Because you may not use the front door very often, it’s important to closely check that area. If your front steps have a handrail is it secure? Is the welcome mat faded with age? Does the door unlock easily when putting the key in or does it tend to stick? As you enter the front door, are you accosted by loose shoes and jackets strewn everywhere? Or an overflowing front closet area?
Buyers who can easily gain access through the front door and who are met with an open area, devoid of clutter are going to gain a great first impression of your home’s interior.
A fresh paint job inside, either in most rooms or key rooms like the family room and master bedroom could be worth the investment if the color is looking tired or it’s not a neutral color. Just because you love peach or hunter green, doesn’t mean your buyers will. All they may see is a big, messy job ahead of them and dollar signs to change it. When home buyers see a list of things which need fixed, changed or replaced, it actually starts to deplete your home’s value in their eyes. Don’t give them a reason to come in at 10 percent below asking price.
Dirty carpets or streaked tiles demonstrate to buyers that maybe this house has been a little too lived in for their tastes. Buyers want to come in and be able to visualize themselves living there, not you.
Pay someone to professionally clean your carpets and you will be amazed at how much newer and fresher they look. Wait as long as possible to do this, say just before you list your home. For hardwood flooring, buffing and waxing can do a lot to restore their look. Worst case scenario, consider replacing highly traveled areas of the home or offering a flooring allowance when the home goes on the market. That way, home buyers get to select the colors and styles themselves.
The idea that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes may seem far-fetched to some, but we have seen this to be true many times at Ursula & Associates. Laminate flooring and counter tops are out, especially in properties not considered to be starter homes. Are all cabinet doors affixed well? Does the hardware on the doors and drawers appear dated or well-used? A simple fix of changing this out could do a lot to refresh your kitchen’s look. If the cabinets seem outdated, perhaps it’s time to refinish the doors or replace the cabinet fronts (less expensive than all new cabinetry—known as refacing).
Does the kitchen seem well-organized and neat? If every cabinet, counter and pantry are overflowing, it will give the appearance that the kitchen does not have enough storage space. Just as with the closets in your home, you may need to thin out. We all have gadgets and kitchen appliances that have not been used in months, if not years. Donate, sell or box up these items for temporary storage.
Sometimes small updates like new faucets or sinks can make a big difference. If the tub is beyond all cleaning help, consider getting it refinished or replaced. The cost will not be that substantial and could really work in the favor of your home’s value and appearance. Even small things like new toilet seats—a $15-30 purchase—can go a long way.
White grout must look, well, white. Otherwise, it’s time to replace or use some of specialized grout cleaners on the market. If cleaning is not your thing, in here or elsewhere in the house, pay professionals to come in and do a deep cleaning. It will be much easier to maintain once it’s looking its best and could be well worth the few hundred dollars or so you’ll spend.
If your master or secondary bathrooms look like the photo here, you’re not alone. However, it’s not appealing to buyers and extra measures need to be taken by all family members to do better while your home is listed for sale.
To summarize, you want to live in the home without looking like you’re living there. Think of it like a museum or hotel. These places never look cluttered, seem spacious and are easy to walk around. You may have a huge living room, but if a buyer has to squeeze around footrests, children’s toys, coffee tables and lamps to get into the center of the room to look around, that’s a negative for your home. The result could be costly.
By thinning out most rooms in your house, you will maximize the square footage you have and possibly even make the home appear larger. Those are the impressions that result in full price offers or even bidding wars on your Cherokee County home.
Have questions about what you should do to get your home on the market for the highest price possible? Contact Ursula & Associates today at 678-569-4044.
Ursula & Associates is a residential real estate team specializing in Towne Lake/ Woodstock, Cherokee and East Cobb Counties and are the number 1 home sellers in zip code 30189.
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