• Any seasoned real estate agent should be able to tell you how fast it will take to sell your home (if not, it may be time to get a new one), but the truth of the matter is, the length of time depends on the price, location, and current state of the market. Another factor that should not be overlooked is the condition of your home, which is why it’s crucial that you give your property a little TLC before taking any photos, listing your property, and scheduling an open house. Here are some of the top projects that will help you sell your home quickly while increasing its value.

    Update Anything That’s Dated

    You’re not going to win over any potential buyers if your home looks like the set of an ‘80s sitcom, so you’ve got to update anything that looks dated. This includes lighting fixtures, hardware, cabinetry, paint, and flooring. Most people prefer hardwood floors — even in the kitchen — but the bedroom is divided between those who want hardwood and those who prefer carpeting. Keep in mind that if you have hardwood floors under the carpet, it can be less expensive to refinish them than it would be to replace the carpeting. If this is not the case, definitely update the carpet if it looks tired and worn. If your furniture sticks out like a sore thumb after all of these efforts, consider removing it and renting pieces from a professional stager.

    Remove Wallpaper

    Potential buyers are turned off by wallpaper for a couple of reasons. First, it’s really taste-specific — not everyone is into mallard ducks or delicate florals. Second, it can be a sign of work or maintenance once it starts peeling and/or becomes stained with age. There are several different methods of removing wallpaper, but it really depends on what type of paper you have. The easiest is the strippable style. If you have the traditional version, then it will take a little more elbow grease to remove.

    Once that project is complete and the surface is clean, give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Colors that appeal to buyers include earth tones (think shades of brown, green, orange, and some reds), neutrals like cream, gray, and soothing shades of blue. Whatever colors you choose, make sure they match your home, including any wood trim and/or molding.

    Clean Up Your Yard

    At the very least, make sure your lawn is mowed, the weeds are pulled, and the bushes and trees are pruned. However, if you really want to up your curb appeal, put in a little extra effort with projects such as power washing the siding, walkways, and driveway; cleaning up your porch and adding a few decorative pots with flowers; cleaning the exterior windows; repainting the front door; replacing the lighting fixtures and mailbox; and updating address numbers. Many potential buyers also look to see if a home has a patio, so consider adding one that appropriately matches the size of your yard.

    Make sure you do a thorough deep cleaning of your home before the showings begin. And, remember, your cleaning days aren’t over until your home is sold: once your home hits the market, daily cleaning is necessary to keep carpets and floors (and any other high traffic areas) tidy. Cut down on the time it takes to clean your carpets and floors by upgrading your vacuum if you’ve had the same model for years. If you do upgrade, you may consider a cordless model – not only does it prevent any tripping hazards, it’s lighter, makes the task less time consuming, is easier to store, and is easier to zip from room-to-room and floor-to-floor. Read up on the best models available to make sure you’re getting the one that’s right for you.

    Remember that potential buyers look at everything, so don’t neglect little things such as furniture and carpet stains; dusty fan blades, blinds, and air conditioner; a dull kitchen sink; grimy grout; oily dust in the kitchen; a dirty oven; dingy appliances; a dirty toilet; and odors of any kind. If you pay attention to the small details and make sure your home looks up-to-date and spotless, you’ll have potential buyers knocking on your door in no time.

    Author

    Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

    Photo Credit: Pixabay

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