Selling your home might not turn out to be a one-click process. Your used home is a product that will have to compete in the marketplace against other second-hand properties as well as new, fully furnished houses and condos. If you want to sell quickly, you might be tempted to resort to a bargain price. But it’s possible to sell fast at a good price if you renovate your home to impress buyers.
After all, few people want to buy a run-down home, except of course for a bargain-hunter who seeks a desperate seller to squeeze. If you try to offer a home that’s full of grime, peeling paint and damage from termites, you won’t be able to find as many buyers as if it were in good shape.
Take a close look
Over the years, you might have become blind to the many flaws in your home that will immediately be noticed by a prospective buyer. You need to see not only which parts need to be repaired but also which parts can be improved.
Here are some general tips and guidelines:
Painted surfaces can make a big impression on the buyer’s mind, so look for cracks, peeling, fading and stains both inside and out. A new paint job will work wonders, especially for the exterior. Small paint problems inside can sometimes simply be touched up. If repainting, stick to light colors, which help each room to look more spacious and inviting.
If the old paint is in good condition, you’ll only need to clean the surface before repainting. But if it is cracking or peeling, it must be removed. Otherwise the new paint job will soon begin to deteriorate.
Repainting takes money. But you should certainly do it, since deteriorated paint may force you to reduce the selling price by a sum more than twice the cost of repainting. (And these pointers on paint also apply to floor coverings.)
Kitchen and bathrooms
Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the one that probably accumulates the most wear, tear and grime. Cooking often splatters grease on walls, floors and ceiling. Odor might also be a problem. Look for leaky or clogged plumbing and repair it hastily. Clean up stains, especially around the dish sink.
Bathrooms also matter a lot. Keep them clean and decorate in a cheerful, tidy way. Repaint, put in some houseplants and use an air freshener. Leaky faucets and dampness should be fixed to prevent mildew and odors.
Water and electrical systems
A buyer will usually turn on faucets and light switches to check the wiring and plumbing. So these basic systems need to be examined. Don’t leave old electric appliances on site. You might think of them as a bonus adding to the home’s appeal, but a buyer is likely to view it as waste to get rid of. That can drag down a price offer.
The bottom line is that you should put your home into good condition if you want to attract buyers easily at a good price. You’ll have to bear these renovation costs if you want good results in the market. Keep in mind the opportunity cost if your home fails to sell in a timely manner. If you suspect you might want to sell your home within the next five years, you could even get the renovation process going now by repairing or replacing old and damaged features one by one. You’ll enjoy a better home today, and be ready to make a quick, successful sale when the time comes.