In Albert Lea as in most real estate markets, it is very important to make improvements based on what will sell your house most effectively. Cleaning and new paint are often the most cost-efficient (and relatively easy) ways to make a big visual impact. They will freshen up the look of your home and make the interior appear more spacious. You may also want to make some carefully-considered larger improvements. Then, when you wish you could buy your home all over again, it’s time to put it on the market.
- Clean. Wash windows (inside and out) and power wash exterior of house and garage, driveway, sidewalks, and deck.
- Repair. Fix broken gutters and shutters, re-caulk windows and doors if caulking is cracked or missing.
- Paint. Repaint house and trim if paint is peeling/cracked. Consider repainting if color is faded, outdated or too bold.
- Landscape. Prune hedges and shrubs and fill a few planters with bright, welcoming flowers that are easy to care for.
- De-clutter. To open up the space inside your house, trim back on furniture, household goods, and clothing. Remove personal decorations and other sentimental objects. Put things you can’t part with in storage–rent a separate storage unit if necessary–and hold a garage sale or give extra items to Goodwill. (This will be a great jump start on packing.) Don’t hide your extra stuff in closets and built-in cupboards; people will be looking through these spaces as well.
- Paint. If your walls feature dark or unusual shades of paint, consider repainting them in a light, neutral color. Remove old wallpaper.
- Clean. Polish tub, sinks, and faucets. Bleach stained grout and replace caulking if necessary. Steam clean carpets. If carpet is worn and there is hardwood flooring underneath, consider removing it. Vacuum and dust frequently. Your home should look and smell clean.
Before jumping into larger projects, consider the following:
- What are comparable homes in your local area selling for?
- What are homes in your neighborhood selling for?
- How much of the cost of a remodeling project would you likely recover?
A good rule of thumb may be to budget up to 1-2% of your home’s current value on making improvements. If larger repairs–heating, plumbing, electrical, structural–are necessary, you may end up paying for them regardless, either before the sale or in the form of a lower negotiated selling price.
A few improvements that can speed the sale of a home:
- Central air conditioning added to the heating system
- New, neutral floor coverings in kitchen and bathroom if update needed
- Replace stained toilets
- Replace kitchen appliances if old; buyers also prefer appliances that match.
- Replace countertop if cracked or stained, or if comparable homes tend to have upscale surfaces like granite.
To make your home appear picture-perfect in your online real estate listing, you may want to hire a professional photographer to take photos of your home. This is often prospective buyers’ first impression of your house.