Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tips and Tricks to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Many of us are beginning to see the first signs of spring, and I have been talking about those things that you can do during the winter months to get your home ready to sell in the spring.
I covered de-cluttering and cleaning out closets, and I also talked about addressing the list of “honey do” items that all homeowners have.  Now that spring will soon be upon us you really need to move into high gear if you want to hit the market with the spring tide of homes.   IF you still need to freshen up your home this is now the time to paint any rooms that may need to be painted and to tackle the outside items.   

A recent article on realtor.com focused on 10 items that a home owner needs to address.  I’ll paraphrase those items here now – many of them I have already addressed, but it’s good to go over them again.

Paint colors that just don’t blend in (with the neighborhood):
The color of your home is one of the first things a buyer will notice. If it’s a very different color from the neighborhood, you should paint it something more innocuous.  If you like color, this doesn’t mean that you cannot add a splash of color to the front door, or with colorful plantings.
The same goes for the interior. If your living room is bright orange, paint over it. Choose a neutral color so buyers can project their own ideas onto it.

A front door that’s not inviting:
The front door is one of the next things a buyer will notice. If the door is flimsy, cheap, or outdated, it’ll discourage the buyer before it’s even opened. Spring for a new one—it’s the most reliable update you can perform to recoup your cost.  If the door is in good condition, but needs a paint job – give it a splash of color, and while at it make sure that the doorknob and locks work effortlessly.  If it’s hard to get the door open buyers wonder what is doesn’t work.

A busted doorbell:
While you’re at it, don’t forget the doorbell! Having one that works with a friendly, crisp chime is a sign that your house has been well taken care of.

Tattered window and door screens:
Buyers will notice screens that look more like Swiss cheese than insect shields. You don’t necessarily have to spring for a whole new set— screens can be re-screened or patched, this is an easy handyman job.

Depressing landscaping:
As potential buyers drive up to your home, they notice everything—the trees, the grass, the rock pathway, and the plants out front.   If your lawn is home to a half-dead tree, yellowing grass, unkempt shrubs, and a pathway swallowed by weeds, you might get more lowball offers than you anticipated.
Keep the plants trimmed and the grass freshly cut. Make sure the walkway is clear and fallen branches are removed from the lawn. A fresh layer of mulch will brighten up the outside, too.

An unpleasant smell of … something:
Nothing can turn a buyer off faster than the stench of faded cigarettes or poorly trained pets. Of course, it’s hard for us to smell our homes after we’ve lived in them for a while, so ask a diplomatic friend to sniff your place. If it stinks, start cleaning.
Eerie dripping sounds:
If potential buyers hear a dripping faucet or running toilet when touring the house, they might start questioning the building’s integrity or the seller’s level of care. These are quick DIY fixes that can tell a buyer that you care about the home.

Bad lighting:
Replace harsh lights with bulbs that have a softer glow. Clean out light fixtures to get rid of dirt or dead bugs that can mute the lighting.  You want your house to sparkle and lighting makes a difference.

Squeaky hinges:
Doors that groan when they open are an easy fix. Grab a lubricant (such as white lithium grease, but in a pinch you can use cooking oil) and grease the hinges to stop the squeak.  You can also adjust the hinges at this time to insure that open doors stay open and don’t swing closed unassisted. 

An outdated kitchen:
Completely renovating a kitchen can get real expensive, real fast. Again, keep it simple by cleaning out cabinets and drawers, and as old fashioned as it seems putting down shelf paper      is a clean fix.  Adding a fresh coat of paint, if necessary, and while it’s advised to keep neutral      colors throughout the house a splash of color in a kitchen is very inviting so try something like a like pale yellow or a sage green.  Switch out old cabinet knobs and handles for something fresher.

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