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Sprucing Up Your Home to Get It Ready to Sell

Dec 5, 2007
When getting your home ready to sell, you could invest in all kinds of services and upgrades but it is tough to know what really will pay off. These are some guidelines to help you know start thinking like a buyer and see what will help sell your home. In the end, each real estate market and neighborhood is different, so consult with a real estate agent as to what is best for your situation.

Curb appeal is definitely at the top of the list to tend too. Don't underestimate the importance of curb appeal when selling a home. Most buyers will drive by and check out a list of homes. You want your home to make it on that list so you can get them in the door.

If you cannot attract buyers to get in the home, you have no chance to sell. Keep the yard trimmed and cleaned up. If you don't have the time yourself or have already moved out of town, hire a professional to come by every 2 weeks. The $100 or so a month to have someone polish the outside of your place is worth it. Once things get overgrown and die, the home looks completely neglected and run-down, even if the inside is spectacular.

Spend some time planting some flowers and/or mulching. Fresh mulch spruces up the outside and is a relatively quick, low cost, and incredibly effective at making the home look inviting. If you can swing it, planting flowers adds that extra touch that makes the home look well-cared for. Of course, you will need to keep after the flowers, water them, and make sure they don't die. If you don't have the time to do this or the money to pay someone else to keep up with the gardening, then don't do it. No flowers are better than dead flowers.

Another option is to put some fake arrangements on the front step. There are some decent fake trees and with a nice ceramic pot, you can dress up your front porch. Of course, if you have barely any room on the front porch then opt for keeping it less crowded. You do not want buyer's walking in and getting crowded uncomfortably into the front door.

Another idea I heard from a colleague that I thought was a great is to set up a scene on the front porch. If you do have a porch that allows for some space to work with, you could set up a rocking chair or some modern patio furniture, depending on the style of your home to create that inviting feeling.

Power washing your home is a good way to get it looking ready for its new owner as well. It is relatively inexpensive and if you have the DIY motivation, you could rent a power-washer from a hardware store and try yourself, just be careful to not blast your home too much because you could damage it.

When cleaning it up, pay attention to the sidewalks and the areas near the foundation that may have dirtied over the years from rain. Also, clean up those decks. Also, clean up those decks. Many decks look like they are on the verge of falling apart but really just need to be cleaned. There are special deck-cleaning solvents that help bring your decks back to life to look almost new.

The next level would be painting. Painting can get pricey but can really do wonders. It is amazing how many buyers I look with will notice all the scuffs and nicks in paint. When furniture is in a house, it distracts from all the every-day scraps it may have, but an empty home has nothing to look at but itself, so they get scrutinized much more. Painting also cleans up the place. I had a house professional cleaned recently, and although it was spotless, it still felt dirty because the paint needed to be freshened up.

The outside paint is important as well, especially if the home has siding. If you have a home with siding and bordered windows, consider multiple colors that frame the windows and door and make it pop. Usually, painting with one color is much cheaper but you get more bang for your buck when giving your home some contrasting colors.
About the Author
Ki is an Austin Realtor who enjoys helping clients looking for properties in the central Austin real estate market. If you are looking for a home in Austin his website is a good place to start and offers a search of the Austin MLS.
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