Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Selling your home is a major life decision! If you’re unsure what the next step is, you’re not alone. Most people need some guidance through the process of getting their home ready to sell. Don’t rush to get yours on the market without considering some important steps that should be taken to make sure your home is at its best when perspective buyers pull into the driveway.

The first and most beneficial thing you can do is to “visit” your home. Look at everything you see from the eyes of a visitor, from the driveway to the basement and from the landscaping to the roof. You’ll start to notice little things that you haven’t before-weeds in the cracks of the sidewalk, the front door that needs a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint, or the basement storage area that needs organization. Take a notebook and start making a list of these little things you can fix...things that will make a big difference to a potential buyer.

The amount and kind of work that you should do depends largely on the price you intend to ask, the time you have to sell, and the current condition of the house. If your house is in good condition and you're pressed for time, do the small, relatively inexpensive things that can make a big cosmetic difference.  

  • Nothing makes walls look cleaner than fresh paint. While you’re at it, consider that last year’s trendy colors may not appeal to everyone. A neutral palette allows buyers to easily imagine their own furnishings and décor fitting right in.
  • Re-grout your kitchen and bathroom tiles so buyers aren’t distracted by cracks or stains.  
  • Have your carpets cleaned, and make sure hard floor surfaces are sparkling clean. Put new carpet or other flooring in high traffic areas that show wear.
  • Remove excessive personal items, like photographs and collectibles. You want potential buyers to picture their own photos and belongings in those spaces.
  • Address any odor concerns. Ask someone who doesn’t live with you to do a smell test. You may not be able to smell Fido or Kitty, but someone without pets will notice right away.

As far as major projects are concerned, avoid making improvements that don’t have universal appeal. For instance, most buyers will appreciate newly tiled bathroom floors or brand new professional roofing, but not all buyers will be swayed by an expensive swimming pool in the back yard. Make sure that the investment in time and money you make for any project will be recouped in the sale of your house.

Remember the importance of curb appeal! If your home seems charming and welcoming from the street, that makes a great first impression. Interested buyers should feel drawn to come inside and see more of the house. Start with these easy tasks.

  • Tidy up your landscaping. Keep the lawn mowed and the sidewalks neatly edged. Make sure trees and bushes are trimmed. Pull any stray weeds invading your flowerbeds, and put down fresh mulch. Place planters or hanging baskets of flowers on the porch, or freshen up existing ones. Don’t forget to keep them watered.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Consider new hardware if your old doorknob shows a lot of wear.
  • Give the outside of your home a good scrub. Clean the windows, sweep and wash the driveway and sidewalks, and make sure any porch or patio furniture is clean and in good repair.
  • Finally, make sure your house numbers are visible, your mailbox is in excellent condition, and that all the outside lights are working properly. You want interested buyers to find your home easily!

Looking for more selling tips? Check out the RE/MAX video below.