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Selling your home fast is all about making a good first impression on potential buyers. But how do you go about catching their interest in those crucial first few minutes, without spending a tonne of cash in the process. After all, very few home improvements will pay you back with interest, and most will come in at a loss compared to the value they add to your home.
But don’t worry; there are lots of ways you can make your home more attractive without spending thousands. You can give your home curb appeal and impress viewers with just a few simple, low cost tricks and a little hard work around your home.
Unless you are a dedicated DIY enthusiast, then chance are there are a whole bunch of jobs that need doing inside and outside your home. The stuff you know you should get around to, but you’ve just learned to live with, or simply don’t see. These are the little jobs that can make a big difference.
Useful Ways to Help Your Home Sell
Here is the top ten list of ways to make your home sell fast, from property expert, Kelvin Elliot, Director at Yes Homebuyers:
Most buyers will make up their mind about a property within the first few minutes, sometimes even sooner, so make sure their first experience is a good one. Add a crisp white picket fence with a good quality gate to create that dream home image from the start.
If you already have a fence and gate, make sure they are in good repair and freshly painted, and make sure that the gate opens smoothly without creaking or sticking in the frame. If your buyers struggle to get in, they will often assume that similar maintenance issues are present throughout your home
Spruce up the exterior
A coat of paint on the windows and cladding can work wonders when it comes to making your home look attractive and well maintained. A few hundred on paint could add thousands to the perceived value of your home.
Hire a pressure washer for a day and you can blast away years of accumulated dirt and detritus from your porch and pathways, making them look fresh and new. Clear away the cobwebs, blast out the moss and you will reveal the true colours of your flagstones and brickwork.
Make sure you take an afternoon to check all your guttering too, clearing out leaves, sealing leaks and clipping everything back into place to create solid, well cared for look.
Tidy the garden
Your front yard, is the calling card for your home. Many potential buyers will do a drive-by before they even book a viewing, so this is your big chance to impress them.
Cut your lawn regularly and make sure you take the time to cut crisp edges around any flower beds, borders or trees. Adding bark or mulch around your planting not only makes beds and bushes more attractive, it also keeps down the weeds.
A splash of color will really make your garden stand out, so make sure you choose plants and shrubs that are in bloom when your home is on the market.
Clean and repair the roof
Most people will think to tidy their yard when they put their house on the market, but the roof is often forgotten. Take a walk across the street and have a good look at your roof to see what a potential buyer would think of it.
Are there any loose or missing tiles or shingles?
Is the roof covered in moss and lichen?
It is unlikely that you need to replace your roof altogether, but it is well worth investing in repairs to bring it up to scratch, as well as professional cleaning to clear away growth without damaging the roof. The good news is that if you do need to replace your roof, this is one investment that will pay dividends, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimating that a new roof will increase the value of your home by 109% of the cost of the work.
Dress to impress
Dressing your home is very much like dressing yourself for a sophisticated event. While you don’t want to go overboard with vivid colors that make it stand out too much, you can lift your look a little with some subtle finishing touches and well chosen accessories.
A bright bold front door will make an impact and show character, and decorative glass work in a wooden or modern PVC door will have a similar effect.
You should also invest in some stylish house numbers or a nameplate for your home. This has the dual benefit of adding style to your home while also helping potential buyers to identify your property quickly and easily. After all, if they struggle to find you, they will often just move on to the next property on their list.
Refresh the kitchen / bathroom
You’ve probably been promising yourself a new kitchen or bathroom for years, and it can be frustrating to finally get around to it just for someone else to enjoy.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand that these two rooms are far and away the most important to viewers. You could go for a complete replacement, but according to the NAR you’ll only get 57% of your investment back on a kitchen and as little as 50% back on a bathroom, so it is simply not worth it.
It is much better value to refurbish these rooms to look fresh by re-grouting the tiles, replacing things like the faucets, door and drawer handles. Kitchen units can easily be refreshed by repainting or replacing the doors, or by fitting new worktops.
Fix and finish
For the rest of your home, it’s time to fix or finish all those little jobs you’ve been putting off for so long.
Even the smallest, most inconsequential fault can stick in the mind of a potential buyer and plant a seed of doubt about the rest of your home. So fill those dents in the wall, touch up that paintwork and replace those cracked light switches and power outlets. Go around your home with a critical eye and make a list of anything that needs doing and do it.
A couple of weekends work and a trip or two to the DIY store can make a world of difference to how buyers see your home.
Tone it down
Unless your home is particularly shabby, you probably don’t need to redecorate from top to bottom in order to sell your home, but you do need to look carefully at any rooms where you have expressed yourself a little too freely. Buyers want a blank canvas that they can work with, not your unique tastes and quirks. Tone down the personality of your home to help them see themselves living there, but be careful not to overdo it to the point where it feels lifeless.
Too much clutter not only emphasises that this is your home not theirs, but it also shrinks your rooms and makes your home feel small and cramped. Hopefully you are going to be moving soon, so it’s not wasted work to clear out some of your furniture, ornaments, books, CDs and DVDs.
Pack these off into the garage, or even invest in local storage to avoid moving the problem from one part of your home to another. Remember to leave enough homely touches to give your home a stylish look that potential buyers can see as their own.
Insulate the attic
While you are clearing out, don’t forget the attic. It is so easy to accumulate boxes and boxes of stuff that is out of sight and out of mind up there, but to show your home at its full potential, buyers need to be able to see the space you have available for their own boxes of stuff.
While you are up there, it is well worth adding insulation. This is an easy DIY job that will impress buyers and improve your home’s energy rating, giving you an extra selling point over similar properties that could just swing the deal in your favor.
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers, and you will soon see, and be able to quickly sort out, any potential issues that might put them off. With just a small investment and a little effort, you can make your home much more attractive and much more likely to sell. So open your eyes, make your list, and get set to sell!