With the current buyer’s market in NYC, sellers will be facing some fierce competition to get their home sold. Fortunately, it’s the start of a new year, a time when a lot of new buyers enter the market. But if you’re going to attract the right buyer (and the right price), you’ll need to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Hiring a good real estate agent can certainly help, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to get your home in tip-top shape so buyers can connect with it immediately. After all, first impressions count for everything in this industry, and if a full-fledged remodeling project isn’t an option, you’ll need to find more low-key ways to brighten up your home. So, here’s a few DIY tricks you can use to boost your homes appeal immediately.
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1. Clean It Up and Keep It Clean
Every time a buyer walks into your home, the first thing they’ll note is whether or not it’s clean. Regardless of whether or not you think your current standards of cleanliness are adequate, you’ll need to take things into overdrive over the next few weeks or months. Dirty homes put buyers off immediately, regardless of whether it’s in a great location or very spacious. Depending on how bad things are, you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company. Once you’ve got it clean, keep it that way. It might mean a few hours of work before every viewing, but it’s well worth it. Sellers who don’t have a large house prepping budget are well-advised to spend what they can on a deep clean.
2. Fix the Little Things
The longer you stay in your home, the more you tend to overlook the little things that don’t work. Inoperable electric sockets, a stuck door, a cracked tile in your bathroom, all of these things can be enough to make a buyer have second thoughts. Go through your entire home and make a list of all the little things that a buyer might notice. Better yet, have a friend or relative do it for you, you’d be surprised how many things a fresh pair of eyes can find. Once you have your list, set to work doing what repairs you can. One of the biggest parts of a home transaction is the home inspection. It is where a lot of sales fall through or get renegotiated. By repairing the little things now, you’re staying one step ahead of the competition.
If you’re still living in your home while trying to sell it, then it’s understandable if you feel a bit peeved about having to clear away all your items every time someone comes knocking. But it’s an essential and necessary step if you ever hope to sell. Buyers need to be able to visualize how they can use space, and it’s a bit hard to do that if all they can see is your personal effects. Family photos, sports trophies, or ancient coin collections might look nice for regular visitors, but for a buyer, they can be a needless distraction. What you’re trying to sell is the home, not the lifestyle that goes with it.
Start by packing away as much of your personal effects as possible. It may be worth renting a storage unit if you have a lot of stuff. Storing stuff in the attic, crawlspace, or basement might not work because buyers will still want to see space in all areas of the home. Once you’ve cleared everything away, your home will look a lot more spacious and cleaner.
4. Go for Neutral Paint
Having your paint scheme is great for personalizing a home, but it’s not what you want when you’re trying to sell. Just as a cluttered home makes it hard for buyers to visualize using a space, so do bright colors. You also don’t want to go for all white, which can make your home feel like a hospital. Instead, go for neutral colors like beige and light earth tones. It will make it more appealing to a broader number of buyers.
5. Update Your Lighting and Fixtures
You don’t need to do a full interior renovation to give your home a new look. Merely making an update to your lighting and fixtures can work wonders for a tired old space. For instance, if a room is too tall and the light can’t reach the top, it will look smaller than it is. Updating the lighting so that it reaches every corner will create the opposite impression. Buyers today want to see homes that look contemporary with lots of light, natural or otherwise. Update what you can, and it’s sure to make your home look more modern and spacious. Yes, this will use up a lot more electricity. But all that extra light can make the difference when you’ve got a buyer that’s sitting on the fence.
6. Give Your Kitchen and Bathroom a Mini-Facelift
The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms in every home sale. How they look and feel can make or break a home sale. But renovating them calls for a big-budget, too big for a lot of sellers. Fortunately, it’s still possible to achieve a lot with a simple facelift. If your cabinet doors and drawers look a bit old and weathered, try updating them with new handles and faces. You could also try a new paint scheme or varnish for any wooden areas. For the bathroom, try to update old fixtures, shower curtains, and towels to give it a fresher look.
7. Handle Pet Issues
Pets are wonderful to have around the house, but they can cause problems when you’re trying to sell. Granted, some buyers will love cats and dogs, but others won’t be so thrilled. Since your job as a seller is to appeal to the most buyers possible, it’s better to address all pet-related issues before you attempt to sell. If you’re receiving any buyers, all pet odors should be eliminated, and your pets dropped off at either a neighbor’s place or at a pet daycare center.
8. Listen to Your Buyer’s Agent
If you’ve taken the time to select the right listing agent carefully, then they should have a good understanding of the current market and what most buyers are seeking. Ask your listing agent if there has been any feedback from buyer’s agents, they have to say about how your home. They have vast experience in what to look for in a home and guide buyers towards making an offer. If they make any suggestions that you have doubts about (like home staging or a price cut), then ask your listing agent to explain their reasoning. They should be able to explain it clearly, and logically, that makes sense within the current market. Real estate always sells faster and easier when both the seller and the buyer’s agent are on the same page.
The above tips are just a few of the simple ways you can maximize your chances of selling your home fast and at a great price. If you add up the total cost of all the above fixes, then it should only come to a few hundred dollars and a few weeks’ works. Small changes can reap big rewards, so don’t discount what these simple steps can achieve. If it’s anywhere within your budget, you should consider professional home staging or even some minor renovations that will help boost the home’s value. The point is, invest what you can, and you should see a good return on that investment.