As we count down to a New Year (Good-bye 2013…), MSN Real Estate has been busy thinking about home sales. Home prices even made the news last evening (CBS News: San Francisco Real-Estate Boom: Taller Buildings, Steeper Prices). So it is a topic on many minds, as people either look to get into housing, change residence, or relocate.
Whether you live — or wish to live — in an area of plentiful housing, or an area experiencing a severe housing crunch, these tips will definitely help.
1. Make your home comparable to a “model home”
- PACK personal belongings
- TIDY clutter – including in the closets
- TONE DOWN your color palette: neutralize paint colors
a personal view: my mother has NEVER forgotten the personal photos (all of the homeowner) that littered a property we viewed together. She recalled the owner’s narcissism more than the house! I, on the other hand, still joke about the homeowner whose stuffed bears and rabbits peeked out of every spare corner; the house’s already petite size SHRANK before my eyes.
2. Freshen up …
- Your Front Door’s paint & hardware. A “sparkling” door knob (and door knocker, if you have one) can make a bold First-Impression
- Cheap & Easy: Replace & Update those time-worn plastic switch plates with something a bit unusual
a personal view: I changed out many when I first moved into my home; my favorite: an Art-Deco-inspired metal pair for the living room. Makes me happy every time I shut the lights off!
3. Let there be LIGHT
- Add higher-wattage light bulbs (note the limit on each lamp!), or if possible, add more lamps
- Old lamps? Dusty, rusty ceiling fan? Swap them out!
- Clean windows, inside and out
- Utilize “lighter” window treatments
4. Little Updates can mean a LOT
- Renew tub & tile grout
- Replace old faucets
- Replace old toilet seats
- clean – clean – clean the bath and kitchen until SPARKLING clean
5. REVEAL that Curb Appeal
- weed – seed – plant color
a personal view: a friend, selling her house before she retired from teaching, did the ONE thing she’d been dying to do all the years she lived in her home: she took up the wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room and had wood floors installed. I’ve never been back into the house, but, after it sold, the living room’s large picture window got swapped out for a standard window, and the front porch got enclosed for more living space. Gotta wonder: what happened to that flooring the departing owner loved so much?
In short, don’t take the opportunity of sprucing up your home just to put it on the market! Mke the effort for yourself. All of the above are great tips for any home, big or small, old or new, house or apartment.