Whenever we meet with Homeowners who are thinking of selling, we usually give them some homework before putting their property on the market. Reason why is because there are always little things that can be done in order to show the home in it’s best light. We don’t typically recommend expensive renovations but we do make very affordable suggestions that make all the difference when we start showing. The difference in the offers you’ll get if you make these small repairs can be anywhere from $10,000, $20,000, even more depending on the neighborhood. Suffice to say that these small investments have a very good return on investment, especially if you are selling a long time Family home that has a lot of wear and tear. With that said, below is a list of the most common repairs, improvements, and homework that we give to our new Seller clients before hitting the market:
1. Take up Carpets
If you know Queens then you know that most people like wood floors. Being that most homes were built a long time ago, chances are that your house has wood floors as well. So, if you have carpeting in your home or apartment, take it up. You don’t even need to refinish the floors, just showcase the wood and it will show much much better.
2. Cracks on Walls
A lot of the homes we sell in Queens have settlement cracks throughout the home. This is nothing to be alarmed about, and it is actually very common, however, for a first time home buyer, this can look scary and lead them into thinking something is wrong (or will be) with the house. You can eliminate this concern by simply touching up these small areas.
3. Fresh Coat of Paint
This is an old adage, and you probably have already heard the benefits of throwing a fresh coat of paint on your home. We as Queens Realtors, have seen this first hand, and we can say without a doubt that homes with a fresh coat of neautral color paint can go a really long way! It’s not that expensive so the return is definitely there, and best of all, it makes the home show much much better than it would with old worn out paint. Even if the property needs work, a fresh coat of paint will make it look less daunting for potential buyers.
Before you list or sell your home, you definitely want to make sure all of your light bulbs are working, and more importantly, make sure you have enough lighting all throughout the house. We sell a lot of properties that are very dark & dim when we see them for the first time. This may be okay when you’re living there, but truth is that buyers like bright homes. What we typically do is tell our clients to replace non-working light bulbs and buy cheap lamps for areas of the home that need more lighting. This make all the difference once we start showing, and it actually makes the property look even bigger!
5. Sand & Paint Old Damage Areas
When we tour homes (specifically older ones) we tend to see spots on walls and ceilings where it is obvious that some damage has occurred. These spots have usually been repaired, however, when a buyer sees it they will not take your word for it. Buyers will make a big deal about things like this, and their inspector will most likely not be any help. So, what we typically advise our clients is to bring in a handyman who will shave the area down and repaint it so that it is not noticeable. You can have one handyman go through and take care of all old damage areas and once complete, the walls and ceilings will look much more turnkey which leaves a buyer worry more about cosmetic repairs.
6. De-Clutter, De-Clutter, De-Clutter
If you’re selling an older home (which is usually the case), chances are that you or your tenants have accumulated lots of stuff over the years. As a result, the house is probably cluttered and does not portray the actual amount of living space that is offered in your property. We almost always tell our clients to throw out unnecessary items, start boxing things up for the move, and hire a clean out company to get rid of larger items that don’t add to the house’s appeal. This one is so important, and we see again and again that it works to get better offers much quicker. The truth is that we live in New York City and as a result, space is a premium. A good job of de-cluttering can showcase another 100-200 sq ft, and in Queens, that is HUGE. Sometimes we give our clients homework, and we come back for the photo session, it looks like a completely different house! Always results in more buyers and higher offers…
For help, tips, or recommendations in getting your property prepared for the big sale, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We have a great list of trusted vendors from Handymen, Clean-out Companies, Painters, etc…
Blog & Site courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.