Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - by Jay Bell, president, Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga
Anyone who’s ever sold a home knows it can be a very complex process. Your home will likely need to be updated or renovated before it can go on the market, and you probably don’t have an unlimited budget with which to work. These tips will help prepare your home to sell quickly and for the best price.
Update the Exterior
The first thing a potential buyer will judge is the exterior of your home.
It’s well worth spending a little to make it look as good as possible. Start by assessing the landscaping. Remove any dead or dying plants, and make sure you have solid ground coverage using rocks, mulch, or pine straw.
At the very least, a fresh coat of paint should be applied before putting the house on the market. You’ll also want to inspect the roof, siding, and other exterior elements that may need repair or cleaning. You don’t want any superficial stucco cracks or wood rot keeping buyers away.
Check the Air Conditioning
If you have a central air conditioning unit in your home, make sure it’s working properly. It should start easily and produce an even amount of cool air throughout the house.
Ideally, you’ve had it inspected annually by an HVAC specialist. Even if you haven’t, inspecting the system and making repairs prior to selling your home should be considered mandatory. It may also be a good idea to check the furnace and clean the ducts before you start showing the home to buyers. That way, if they ask, you can assure them in good conscience that everything is in tip-top shape.
Make Sure the Floors Are Adequate
Whether your home has wood floors or carpet, make sure they are in good condition. Remove any visible indentations and put down new carpet in areas where it’s frayed or dirty. If you decide to replace your carpet, make sure it’s the same style and color throughout a given space.
Neutral colors are usually best when it comes to showing and selling a house, so think about choosing a light tan, even if it’s not your favorite. Woods floors are a huge perk for many home buyers, so consider removing carpet and refinishing your wood floors, if your home has them.
Check the Plumbing and Electrical Systems
Smart buyers aren’t going to put an offer on a home that has poor water pressure or dangerous electrical wiring. If the fixes to either system are minor, you can try and handle them yourself. However, these things can often be more complicated than they look, so it might be a good idea to call in a professional to make sure that the job is done safely.
Beautify Your Bathroom
Small updates to your bathroom can have a huge impact on how a buyer sees the whole house, and they’ve been proven to have a great return on investment. Take an hour or two to redo the caulk around the sink and tub so there’s a clean, unbroken line free of grime.
Replace any chipped tiles and give the whole floor a good steam clean. Switch out the toilet seat for a brand new one, and buy a neutral shower curtain and liner to make sure everything looks as clean and fresh as possible. You’ll be surprised how much better your bathroom looks after these little tweaks.
Selling your home can be a great way to help you downsize or move up to your dream home. But if the process isn’t done right, it could reduce your home’s sale price or result in a long market stay. If you take the time to follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to putting your home in a great position to sell.