When it comes to buying or selling a home, there are many factors that affect the perceived value of that home. The most commonly heard opinion on this coming from the mouths of Realtors is “Location, location, location!” It can be frustrating to a homeowner because there’s nothing you can do about the location of your home. It sits where it sits. But there are simple things every homeowner can do to improve the market value of their home, no matter where it’s located.
My mantra is always, “Declutter, declutter, declutter!” Even a spacious home can be made to look smaller when it’s packed with belongings. Clutter can also be distracting to potential buyers as they tour your home. You want home shoppers to remember your home for its special features—not how much clothing was crammed into your closet or how cluttered the countertops were.
You’ll find the “declutter” theme running through many of my DIY staging tips. I hope you will consider implementing these home staging tips as you prepare your home for market:
First Impressions Are Key!
From the moment potential buyers come to tour your home, their first impression of the home will be the outside. So be sure that first impression is a good one.
Tidy up the landscaping out front; add new mulch and pops of color with potted flowers at the front porch. It’s always a good idea to give the front door a fresh coat of paint before hitting the market. At a minimum, wipe down the front door to remove dust and dirt.
A new welcome mat and clean porch lights can make a huge difference as well. And don’t forget the mailbox: make sure it’s standing straight and give it a paint touch up if needed. Take before and after photos— you’ll be able to appreciate how much your curb appeal has improved with just a little effort.
Improve The Functionality Of Your Daily Entrance
Many of us only use our front door when welcoming guests. It’s the daily routine of coming in through the garage that may need rethinking. If you are fortunate enough to have a Mud Room in your home, accentuate the positive!
Clear out the off-season wearables. Stash the winter coats/boots/gloves away in the basement or ask a family member if they can store a few things for you until you move. No separate Mud Room? Consider creating a mini Mud Room in the laundry area or another designated space near the entry with a bench and wall hooks.
Remove Closet Clutter, It Can Be Costly
You don’t want a potential buyer to think there’s not enough storage space in your home. If the closets can barely contain your clothes and gear, it could actually keep a qualified buyer from considering your home.
It can be overwhelming to think about cleaning out all of your closets, especially if you are a ‘collector’ or have a hard time letting go of things. Most people have heard of Marie Kondo, who has become an internet and Netflix sensation for her home organization methods. She’s famous for getting homeowners to ask themselves if each item actually “sparks joy” in their life. If not, she tells them they need to let the item go.
Try to think of this time period while you are preparing your home for sale as a window of opportunity! Instead of just boxing up everything, I encourage clients to thoughtfully consider how many times they actually wore that item they’re about to pack and move to a new home. Of course there are a few special pieces you need to keep that you don’t wear very often, but most of the items that left your closet only a few times last winter season are prime candidates to move out permanently. Think about that jacket you only wore twice last winter and imagine what a blessing it would be if it could serve as someone’s daily coat next year. Donating rarely worn items is definitely a win-win.
Light & Bright Kitchens Are In Demand
Kitchens are considered the most important room in the home for the majority of today’s home buyers. If your home is fairly new or the kitchen has been recently updated, that will give you an advantage over the market competition.
If you are considering remodeling your kitchen before selling you should consult with a licensed real estate professional. A complete kitchen remodel can be very expensive, and you need to be careful how you invest your remodeling dollars. Your real estate agent should be able to show you a comparative market analysis giving you guidance on what kind of a return you can expect on your investment for varying levels of kitchen upgrades.
On a smaller DIY scale, a fresh coat of paint, new hardware on the cabinet doors, updated light fixtures, a tidy pantry, and clutter-free countertops will go a long way in giving your kitchen a fresh new look.
Buyers are attracted to homes that are flooded with natural light. Removing heavy, dark window treatments can have an instant positive effect on your home. Updating fixtures will also present a fresher face to potential buyers. If you are handy and can change plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, door hardware yourself, these DIY updates can make a big impact for a minimal investment.
Update Your Home’s Décor
If you’ve lived in your home for more than a few years, some of the décor could be a bit dated. Color schemes change with time and even neutral colors can look out of style. Painting the main living areas of your home is an easy DIY project that gives big results for a small monetary investment.
Large or overstuffed furniture can make the rooms in your home feel smaller than they actually are so consider moving unnecessary furnishings out before you put your home on the market. While you may appreciate the sentimental value in that large cedar chest in your master bedroom, a potential buyer may see a crowded room with furniture along every wall. While those big cushy recliners are your favorite seats in the house, a potential buyer may focus on the tight pathway to the door leading out to the back deck. Home buyers will often assume a crowded house has a lack of proper storage space.
With guidance from a qualified real estate professional and a little elbow grease, you can increase your home’s market value and attract more potential buyers.
If you’re considering selling your home, contact Sandy Brown for a no-obligation consultation. She holds a degree in Interior Design, is a licensed Realtor in Missouri, and specializes in residential real estate.