How much fixing up is enough?

Ruler Many soon-to-be-sellers ask us how much time, effort and money they should put into fix-ups. In general, there is no hard and fast rule. It can depend on what type of buyer you are trying to appeal to. If your target buyer is a “fixer-upper” buyer, then obviously your cash outlay may be considerably lower than for a “move-in condition” buyer.

The Three Phases Of Fix-ups

  • Fixing-up falls into three categories:
  • The basics. Requires a minimum cash outlay, typically requiring more elbow grease than money. Includes: Mow the lawn. Trim the bushes. Edge. Clean closets, storage areas, garage. Wash windows. Scour the kitchen and bath.
  • Middle of the road. The basics plus cosmetic repainting of dingy rooms, repairing broken fixtures, replacing worn carpet, etc.
  • Big guns. At this level, major refurbishments come into play, like installing a new roof, updating kitchen cabinets, replacing old systems and appliances.

Give us a call and we’ll sit down with you to make a list of needed fix-ups, so you can determine exactly what’s right for your personal situation.

How can I jump-start my home sale with a stunning entrance?

Flower Box “Love at first sight” happens with houses, too. Often, buyers start making a decision about whether to buy or pass by after their first look at the home for sale. You send a positive message to prospective buyers when your home looks ready for their visit. Here’s what can make your home look warm and welcoming:

  • Sparkle Make sure the front door is freshly painted and the hardware and nearby light fixtures are clean and shiny.
  • Smile Put out some seasonal flowers or a wreath to brighten up the front entrance.
  • Safety Repair anything cracked or broken like steps, walkway or the driveway.
  • Serenity Create a sense of well being by trimming the lawn and bushes, storing yard tools or toys, and maintaining a neat, attractive front yard.

Why should I replace and update now when I’ll be moving out soon?

  • Because you'll increase both the value and the marketability of your home.
  • Because many of these repairs would be required by the buyer or the buyer's home inspector anyway. Now is a better time to fix up than the last minute when you've got the sale of your home hanging in the balance.
  • You've now got the luxury of time and can seek out the best professionals to help with your projects.

Do buyers like a furnished house better?

Chair If you have a choice, it is usually better to sell your home while it is still furnished. That way, prospective buyers can more easily imagine how it will look when they move in, even though their furnishings will be different. Generally homes that are furnished sell more quickly and for a higher price than vacant homes.

If you have to move out before you sell your home, consider leaving some furniture behind to help give the house a lived-in feel.

Call or e-mail us for advice on how to decide which fix-up ideas will do the most to help you make the sale.

Is it better to replace the carpet or offer a carpeting allowance to buyers?

Carpet Replacing the carpet to help the house sell faster is a favorite with real estate agents. And there’s a good reason. Taking a shortcut by offering a carpeting allowance doesn’t have the visual impression – or sales impact – of new carpet. Here are some guidelines to be sure the new carpet has the maximum effect:

  • Select neutral colors. The color should be neutral or a dull color tone to help the room look bigger. When carpeting several adjoining rooms, the same carpet should be used, if possible – again to make the house seem larger and more unified.
  • Select high quality pad. The pad under the carpet is important, and not a place to cut corners. A good pad is dense and resilient, and gives an expensive feel to almost any carpet. Pads come in a variety of materials including rubber, foam, felt, and jute.
  • Select fiber carefully. Choose a fiber that suits the area where the carpet will be installed. Carpets are made of a variety of man-made and natural fibers, and often are comprised of popular combinations of fibers. Nylon is durable and resilient, and suitable for high-traffic areas. Olefin is economical and stain-resistant, good for active families. Polyester is soft and elegant, and appropriate for a higher-style area. Wool is a warm natural fiber, luxurious and expensive.
  • Select loop to match use. The type of loop should depend on the use. A sheared loop like plush works in more formal areas; a continuous loop, such as Berber, is suitable for children's play areas.

What’s a cheap and easy way to make your home more attractive to buyers?

Turn on all your lights, both inside and out, when showing your home to possible buyers. Open curtains, drapes and blinds. Light not only helps prospects see your rooms better, light helps buyers see your home as warm and inviting.

We have a lot of ideas that will help you sell your house. Call or e-mail us today.