Learn the Top 5 DIY Home Improvements that Add Value in the video. Then scroll down for 88 more tips!
88 Ways to Make Your Austin Home Sell Faster and for More Money
Designed to Sell: Preparing Your Home to Meet the Market
Suggestions and ideas to improve your home’s appearance that will help it sell faster and for more money.
The way we sell real estate and the way we live in a home are very different. Decorating is personal; Staging is merchandising – and it is no longer optional. If you desire to sell your home for top dollar, and in your time frame, you need to consider three things:
- Check your personal emotions about your home
- Place yourself in the mind of potential buyers. Look at your home the way they would, and give them a compelling reason to choose your home. Buyers comparison shop, and your home will be measured against every home on the market. Buyers are looking for value.
- When selling your home, we must sell to potential buyers and Realtors as well. Why? Simply because Realtors sell homes…not ads. 89% of all homes sold are through Realtors working with motivated, financially capable buyers looking for value.
Look at Your Home Through the Eyes of a Buyer
There are several things you can do to improve your home’s overall appearance and enhance the buyer’s perception of your home’s condition. First, learn to look at your home through a buyer’s eyes.
Low or No Cost Home Improvements
Here are some of the things you should look at when evaluating your home. Most of the suggestions are no-cost or low-cost improvements which we have found to be most beneficial and cost effective. Remember, it’s potential buyers we want to impress and we may never get a second chance to make a great first impression.
- Open the drapery, curtains and pull up the shades, even during the day.
- Create a positive, bright, cheery mood. Turn on all of the lights, day or night.
- Install higher wattage light bulbs to show home brightly – in its best light.
- Remove all the clutter from every room to visually enlarge them. Start packing, you’re moving.
- Create the illusion of spaciousness.
- If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
- Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
- Have a “family emergency” game plan to get the home in order quickly, if necessary.
- Air out your home at least one-half hour before showing, if possible.
- Lightly spray room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air before buyer arrives.
- Microwave a small dish of vanilla 20 minutes before the showing and place it in an out of the way place in the kitchen.
- Create a master bedroom suite effect in your decorating.
- Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
- Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
- Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean and clean smelling.
- Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
- Recaulk if caulking is not sparkling white.
- Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings.
- Set the scene by setting the table! Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table.
- The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean and tidy.
- Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
- Highlight the eating area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
- Shampoo all carpets and rugs and vacuum them daily.
- If the carpet does not clean up well. Replace it!
- Improve the traffic flow through every room and create the feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick knacks, hobby items, children’s items, etc.
- However, try to avoid creating a “sterile” looking environment.
- Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stove tops, walls, etc.
- Clean rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the summer.
- If you have numerous family photo’s put them away until your home is under contract. Perspective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren’t aware of your family photo memories.
- Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one. Start packing.
- Rent a storage space for these items or have a yard sale.
- Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put them in storage.
- Fix the front door and the door bell! Paint it if it shows wear and tear.
- Invest in a new door mat.
- Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. works wonderfully.
- Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using accents, mirrors, rugs, etc, and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
- Regardless of the season, tackle spring cleaning.
- Wash all windows, inside and outside. Sparkle and shine!
- Curtains should be fresh, clean and attractive.
- Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers to brighten home.
- Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
- Straighten, tidy and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Create the feeling of spacious closets. Put all unnecessary items in storage and under beds.
- Remove posters and adhesives from walls and doors, and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
- Depersonalize teenagers rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament .
- Clean and paint the basement walls and floors.
- Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use 2 or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls.
- All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger.
- Repair or replace all doors, also make sure to check the closet doors, and/or windows and screens so they open with ease.
- Repair or replace all banisters and hand rails.
- Repair or replace all broken tiles on walls, floors, or in shower/tub stalls.
- Repair or replace loose or dangling wallpaper.
- If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damage it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer’s report.
- Replace all toilet bowels if you can’t get them spotlessly clean.
- Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
- Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains from basins.
- Water and prune all plants especially around windows.
- Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and outside.
- Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight.
- Remove any excess electrical extension cords and exposed wiring.
- Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc.
- Close all other closet doors and closets.
- Make the most of your attic’s potential.
- Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out, and decorating if possible.
- Add visual appeal to stairways, especially in unfinished stairways to basement.
- Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times.
- Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc. from the yard.
- Trees and scrubs should be pruned and trimmed.
- Lawns and gardens should be weeded at all times.
- Use flowering plants to dress up yard, walkways and patio.
- All hoses and garden equipment should be kept neatly out of sight.
- Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
- Firewood should be neatly stacked or kept out of sight.
- Fences should be evaluated with a critical eye. Repair or replace if necessary.
- Paint and repair mail box or replace it if necessary.
- Make all those minor repairs to exterior.
- Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
- Paint all entrance doors.
- Shades and awnings should be in good, workable condition. Replace if color has faded. Remove wind socks.
- Create an outside living/dinging area with furniture and plants.
- Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
- Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lightening systems.
- Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home in the winter months.
- Display your photos in the house during the winter season.
- Clean and shine all accessories (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail boxes, address numbers).
- Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
- All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If roof leaks fix it and repaint interior blemishes.
- Make sure garage door opens easily. Safety features operative. Fix and paint garage door if necessary.
- An investment in professional painting can really make the difference between “turning on” the buyer and sending up a “red flag” about the condition of your home.
More Austin Home Seller Resources
Ready to Sell Your Austin Home Faster and For More Money?
If you’re looking for a Realtor who will market your home, not our brand, with a proven record of success, call us at (512) 827-8323 or fill out our Seller Survey to schedule a no obligation consultation. In the meantime, check out our Austin Home Sellers page for all of our resources and tips for home sellers.