In the Greater Charleston housing market, where your home is facing tough competition for a buyer’s attention, every extra effort you take is worth it, and crucial to the timely selling of your home. There are several things that you can do, at low cost, to give your home the edge that it needs. First things first, whether you love it or hate it–CLEAN it! Make it sparkle, shine, and smell as fresh as springtime! Your home may look decent enough to you day to day, but to a stranger in it who is visualizing themselves as the new owners, every smudge on the wall or cobweb in the windowpanes brings them back to the reality that someone else is not only living there, but using it and dirtying it up. As we all know, our dirt is fine, but someone elses’s dirt is downright offensive!
To make your house competitive, every little bit counts. Wash those baseboards, the walls, the floors, the chair legs. Make sure there is not visible (or smellable) trace of Fido. Have your carpets cleaned! Repaint, where necessary (remember that neutral colors are much more appealing to buyers, in general–it would behoove you greatly to repaint your daughter’s fushia and chartreuse bedroom a calming taupe). Powerwash the exterior, clean the gutters, make the kitchen shine, clean the oven, dust the light fixtures . . . think of those cleaning checkoff lists your dorm mom used to give you at the end of the semester. That’s a great place to start.
Next on the list: declutter! A little well-placed decore is inviting, but too much is a distraction and a reminder to shoppers that they are in someone else’s house. Keep family photos to an attractive minimum–enough to be cozy, but not so much that people sense you are marking your territory. Hopefully you are moving soon anways, so box up much of the personal items or knick-knacks. Continue to declutter your yards– curb appeal is a very real thing. Trim back those bushes, plant a few perrenials!
While all of this may sounds labor intensive, think about what it’s worth to you. A quicker sell, a higher price, the ability for you to move on to the next phase of your life. It’s hard to put a value on all of those things together, especially when the primary cost of the improvements are 99% manpower, rather than money. When it comes to money though, a little put into your home can reap dividends in the market. Did you know that good landscaping, according to Money Magazine, can add 5-11% increase in value to your home? And until your home does sell, guess who gets to enjoy a beautiful yard? One more excellent tip that will pay you back: replacing out-of-date lighting fixtures and rusty sink faucets with new, current ones. Again, a purchase that will most likely save you money and time in the end.
Selling your home is a big deal–put a little hard work in up front to make the rest flow smoothly and to save time listing your home. And remember, we’re here to help make your home stand out against competition! We’d be happy to give you some helpful, more specific suggestions for your home, tips that we have seen make a world of difference in getting homes sold. Good Luck! ~Sara Bunton Powell
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