Drawing on our own experience, and the experience of the many realtors, our designers and trades people, we have put together our top 10 list of the most important do’s and don’ts of getting a house ready to sell.
Many of these only cost elbow grease. The others need not cost much if well thought out.
- First on our list, and the one with the least cost and absolutely highest return, is clean, clean, clean. Cleanliness speaks love and care.
- Paint. Fresh paint can return up to a whopping 300% return on investment according to HGTV and AIC reports – if done well and tastefully. Keep colors neutral. That doesn’t necessarily mean beige.
A visit to a few new developments will give you all the color ideas you need. Avoid trendy oranges, purples, etc.
- De-clutter. It really does makes the house look bigger. All storage areas – cabinets, closets, pantries should be less than full. Give the appearance that there is more than enough room for everything. Storage is one of the top three things buyers look for.
Keep kitchen counters clear. Most kitchens have too little counter space. Don’t cover what little there may be! Part of de-cluttering is de-personalizing. Clear the fridge of the kids artwork and take down the samurai sword collection off the bedroom walls.
- Bathrooms. It is often too expensive or impractical to change bathrooms dramatically. Focus on the finishes. Fresh, neutral paint and bold fixtures can greatly enhance the look without much expense. Almond or green bathtub and tile? They can be re-surfaced inexpensively to a bright fresh white.
- Do all repairs. Leaky faucets, cracks in plaster, mouldings, squeaky doors, etc.
- Lighting. Outdated fixtures catch every buyer’s eye. Replace the brass fixtures with inexpensive contemporary ones. Or they can be easily spray painted in a wide range of modern finishes. Provide as much natural lighting as possible.
- Remove any odors. Signs of pets and cigarette smoke are huge turnoffs and will reduce the number of potential buyers and offers significantly.
- Replace flooring as required. Hard surfaces are preferred over carpets. Cork is gaining popularity in kitchens. Laminates have come a long way, but never put laminate in an upscale home.
If you do lay any new flooring, make sure to keep an extra box or two. Buyers will want to know there are extra boards available.
- Curb appeal. Buyers do a drive by first before deciding if they want to see the inside. Give them a warm welcome. Keep lawns trimmed, plant beds tidy and mulched.
Use cost effective, low maintenance, native plant landscaping to showcase your property. Add a bright touch of color with flower pots in select places. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, with new hardware says “Welcome!”
- There is no such thing as a dumb question. Just dumb mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Asking for advice has saved more money and more marriages than any other known use of the spoken word.
We hope this has been of some help to you and if you live in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia and wish to spruce up your kitchen without the huge costs, give us a call for a refacing quote.