You’ve been trying to sell your home and you
did everything you thought was expected of you. You connected with a real
estate agent, had professional photos taken of your house, and opened your home
to numerous strangers as they paraded around your halls on private tours and
open houses. But after weeks of your home being listed, not a single reasonable
offer has been made. Sound familiar?
Currently, the median
number of days a home sits on the market is 41 days. And, of course,
the longer your home sits on the market the more control homebuyers have when
it comes time for negotiations. So, take your house out of seller’s limbo by
adding perceived value (and actual value) to your home. Here are nine easy home
improvements you can do that will make your house more appealing to potential
home buyers and help sell your home fast.
1. Upgrade Your Mailbox
Upgrading your mailbox might seem like a
rather silly thing to do at first, but if we are talking about making a great
first impression to potential home buyers, the mailbox is often the very first
thing someone sees before pulling in the driveway. It’s also the easiest home
improvement you can do.
It could just be a new mailbox that replaces
the old, weathered one you’ve had for years. And let’s face it, most homeowners
don’t put much thought into what their mailbox looks like, often becoming an
eyesore to your driveway. Or, you could upgrade to a “Next
Generation” mailbox that allows USPS to deliver large packages to
your mailbox instead of your front door. And we all know packages that are
apparently visible to any passerby have a better chance of not being taken.
In fact, with more and more consumer products
being purchased online and delivered to homes, you may even consider upgrading
to a security mailbox that keeps your mail and packages safe from theft
Either way, upgrading your mailbox is a
simple, cost-effective method of bringing perceived value to your home.
2. Paint Your House Inside and
This cannot be emphasized enough, but painting
the inside of your home with a fresh neutral color goes a long way with
potential homebuyers. For example, your kids’ rooms may have very unique colors
that they had insisted upon at one time, but not every potential buyer is going
to enjoy that purple room as much as your kid does. You’ll want to put a fresh
coat of paint on those walls so anyone touring your home can envision
themselves living in your space.
In fact, everything you’re doing to prep your
home for sale is making your home look its very best and allowing potential
homebuyers to envision themselves in every room of your house. You want people
touring your house to think, what if I
bought this house? This room could be my office, nursery, guest bedroom, etc. However,
it becomes hard for potential buyers to envision themselves in a room with
Alternatively, painting the exterior of your
home may be the best solution to getting your home sold faster. If your home’s
color has faded from its former glory, the paint is chipping, or your house has
always been that home on the block the neighborhood kids call the orange house,
you may want to consider getting your home painted a more contemporary color.
Though painting the exterior of your home can be pricey, when done by
professionals, the process has a very quick turnaround time and the result will
be sure to leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.
3. Enhance Your Curb Appeal
It doesn’t matter if you live in Dallas,
TX or Portland, OR, enhancing your curb appeal can
go a long way toward making a great first impression on potential homebuyers.
First, you’ll want to look at your landscaping
in front of and around your house. How does your lawn, trees, and overall
vegetation look? Make sure your lawn is freshly trimmed, all dead debris (like
sticks and leaves) are picked up, and 2 to 3 inches of fresh bark mulch is
placed around your shrubs, trees, and plants.
Do you have hedges that line your property
or some other form of fruit or decorative trees on your property? Having your
hedges trimmed and your trees cut back can make your yard go from something
that resembles an unruly wilderness to a well-maintained and welcoming
Also, if you don’t already have decorative
plants bringing color to your front driveway and entrance, a few
well-positioned potted plants are an inexpensive and inviting sight for
newcomers to your home.
4. Clean, Declutter, and Stage
Nothing turns potential homebuyers away faster
than an unkept and cluttered home. If you’re looking to sell your house
quickly, it might be a good idea to hire professionals to get your house in
order. Decluttering and staging your home is a must if you want to make your
home and all its uniqueness shine its best for potential buyers.
If your closets are overflowing with winter
jackets, or you have too many large pieces of furniture in your living room,
your spaces will not be showcased the way they should be. People touring your
home like to look not just at the larger rooms, but also poke around in
closets, drawers, and other storage areas to make sure their stuff will fit. If
your stuff is in the way, that makes it much harder for buyers to see
themselves in your space.
Furthermore, a deep cleaning is a must before
any open house or home tour takes place. If you have a cat or dog (or both),
you probably don’t smell them anymore. However, people that don’t have pets are
acutely aware of homes that do, simply because it’s a scent they’re not used to.
If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, a professional can help eliminate
odors, stains, and any number of other things you may no longer be aware of and
make your home feel brand new again.
5. Fence in Your Backyard and
Refinish Your Deck
It’s amazing what a refinished deck or new
cedar fence enclosing a backyard can do for a home. Not only is it functional
and aesthetically pleasing, but the return on investment is nothing to shy away
from if you’re looking for an easy project that will help you get your home
In fact, the national average in 2019 for recouping the cost of a wood deck addition on a home is
75.6%. So, although you may take a small hit financially by adding a
wood deck onto your house, you would recoup most of the cost and potentially
sell your home faster because of the added feature.
Likewise, adding a fence to your property can
do wonders for your home in a relatively short period of time. And according to
a 2018 survey by the American Pet Product Association,”67% of U.S.
households own a pet,” meaning over half the people touring your home have a fuzzy little
friend, and a fenced in backyard is a bonus to some homebuyers but a must for
6. Fix Your Light Switches and
Update Your Fixtures
So it’s true, people touring your home will
play with your faucets, open your drawers, and test ALL your light switches. If
you have a light switch that doesn’t work (or an electrical outlet), now is the
time to get it fixed. Light switches that do not work signify to homebuyers
that your house may have electrical issues, when in fact, it may be something
much more simple. Nonetheless, at that point, you’ve already lost that
You’ll also want to replace all your burnt out
light bulbs to make sure every room in your house is bright and inviting.
Furthermore, all your interior lights should be the same color temperature for
consistent lighting throughout your house.
Updating your light fixtures, ceiling fans,
and even your hardware on doors and cabinets is an easy and cost-effective way
of increasing the perceived value of your home. If you already have an
electrician fixing your light switches, they could also replace your dated
brass light fixtures with ones that have a more contemporary feel. Beyond
making your interior appear more modern to homebuyers, you can take this
opportunity to find fixtures that can help brighten your home and make it stand
out among other homes for sale in your area.
7. Upgrade Your Garage Door
Installing a new garage door is one of the
simplest and quickest ways to give your home a much-needed facelift and impress
potential homebuyers. New garage doors recoup nearly all the money invested
into them, and, in some areas like the west coast, a new garage door actually
recoups more than its initial investment at 123.8% on average. Meaning your
new garage door could actually put money back in your pocket.
There are several styles and designs to choose
from, just make sure that you go with a style that fits the look of your house.
Especially if you’ve recently painted your home a more contemporary color, a
new garage door can be that easy home improvement that pushes home lookers into
8. Get a New Front Door
Give others entryway envy by upgrading your
front door and transforming the character of your home. Over the years, front
doors see a lot of abuse and begin to look worn and tired. Luckily, a new front
door is quick to replace and a very cost-effective way of making your entryway
unique and aesthetically pleasing to anyone stepping up onto your doormat.
Solid wood doors are always a classic style
for homes not to go out of style anytime soon. They’re solid and typically last
much longer than alternative materials like fiberglass. Additionally, front
doors with inlaid glass can also give your entryway more natural light for the
interior of your home. Either way, a new door is a quick and easy way to
9. Update Your Kitchen Appliances
for a Fresh Look
If you’re looking to sell your home quickly,
updating your kitchen with modern and timeless stainless steel appliances is a
great way to go. Though this can be costly, new appliances really appeal to
first-time homebuyers, and as a result, you could see more competitive offers.
Furthermore, there is a good possibility your appliances probably need to be updated
anyway. Typically, larger appliances like fridges and stoves should be replaced
every 10 years, while smaller appliances it’s recommended to be replaced every
5 years. Nonetheless, updated appliances are a safe bet if you’re looking to
sell your home fast.
published on Redfin