Our real estate market has been heating up as our Spring Market takes hold.
Sales have been on the rebound in most of our Northwest Suburban communities, however there are still large inventories of homes competing for our buyers.
Here are some ways that you can position your home for a successful sale for the highest price.
Stand at the street and take a critical look at what we call your “Curb Appeal”. Think of the brand new homes that your potential home buyers may see and think of ways that you can make your home equal.
- As homes age, your landscaping shows it’s age first. The bushes that are overgrown into the windows, or have dead areas should be replaced with new materials. Trees should be trimmed back from the house. The landscaped planting beds surrounding the home should have freshly cut edges and filled with attractive mulch. Do all you can to “reenergize” your lawn with careful fertilization, weed control and watering. Buyers are attracted to homes with thoughtful landscaping. It is said that as much as 10% of a home’s value should be in the yard and landscaping.
- Soffit, Fascia, Window trim and doors should have a fresh coat of paint. Replace any rotted wood and don’t forget caulking. Buyers will avoid a home that looks like it may be becoming a maintenance nightmare. Ignoring bad paint or rotten trim will come back to haunt a home seller when the home inspector files a report. You can fix these deficiencies at a lower cost than what a buyer will demand for them to remedy.
You would like the buyer prospect to say WOW. Making a buying decision is highly emotional. Almost all homes can be enhanced by serious “de-cluttering”. We all tend to surround ourselves with furniture, pictures and items that give us happiness and comfort. If you want a quicker sale for the highest price, the home needs to look clean, open, de-cluttered and freshly painted.
Professional home stagers will remove wall paper, repaint in neutral colors, remove family photo displays, remove most items from countertops and remove or rearrange furniture to create a more “open” look. All of these suggestions can be achieved without hiring a home stager and can be done on a very small budget.
Carpeting should be professionally cleaned or replaced if it is worn or dated.
Make sure you have adequate lighting in the home – maximum wattage bulbs in fixtures and please avoid using the harsh energy efficient florescent bulbs while your home is being marketed. You can go back to energy efficient bulbs after your home is sold. If you are not replacing your glass fixtures, remove and clean them to remove any built up residue.
- Kitchens are one of the most important rooms. Granite or other solid surface counter tops can help your home look far better than the competition. Yes, a bit expensive, but there are many great deals out there if you shop around. Stainless Steel is still highly popular and will complement your new counter tops. Can you afford new cabinets? – 42 inch Maple or Cherry finishes are still the most popular.
- Bathrooms should be updated with more popular choices of tile, sink and fixtures. Remodeled or not, bathrooms must be freshly painted, void of any bad grouting or mildew and have to be impeccably clean! Bleach the grout, remove and replace old caulk and clean all the crevices where the floors and walls meet near the toilet and sink.
- Ceiling fixtures in the foyer, halls, bathrooms and kitchens can be replaced and updated quite inexpensively these days. The big box stores always have great sales on inexpensive ceiling fixtures. This small investment can do wonders for many homes.
Incorporating as many of these ideas as you can achieve into your efforts to sell your home will pay excellent dividends. A home can be Tuned-up on any size budget and your real estate professional can play a valuable role in consulting with you to maximize the “Bang for your Bucks”.
Larry Rowan – Broker/Trainer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
140 S. Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL