While you may love the bright orange paint in the kitchen and could care less about the lack of greenery in the backyard, prospective buyers may not be able to see your home’s full potential if they can’t imagine their family living in the space.
The good news is that with just a little time and some elbow grease, you can make a few pretty impactful changes in your home that will attract buyers and pique their interest.
Since spring and summer are the major home buying seasons, it’s important not to overlook your home’s curb appeal. When prospective buyers pull up, the exterior of your home and its front yard landscaping will make a lasting first impression.
Connaé Pisani, founder/CEO of National Real Estate Management Group in Grosse Pointe Park, said consider trimming shrubs, putting in new greenery and planting perennials or annuals to brighten up the yard.
Take a good look around the front of the home and think about other ways to boost curb appeal as well. Actions could include removing the peeling paint off the garage door and re-painting, pulling weeds in the cracks of the driveway, power washing the siding, repairing the mailbox or installing a new light bulb in the front porch lamp.
Remember, easy, low-cost actions can often make a big impact big inside and out. A fresh coat of paint is another affordable option that packs a punch with potential buyers, said Pisani. For very little money, you can refresh the look of your home in a day or two by painting.
“Stay with more neutral colors,” she said. “Beige, tan and gray are always good choices.”
Consider other items around the house that prospective buyers will be concerned about so you have answers for them when questions arise.
Checking the warranties on the furnace and hot water tank as these are large expenses buyers will want to know more information about
Review the condition of the roof and make repairs as necessary
Seal areas around the windows to stop drafts
When it comes down to it, most buyers have specific expectations and they will likely hire a home inspector to come in and make a report before purchasing. A home inspection can often reveal items potential buyers may miss, said Pisani, such as lack of insulation behind the walls that can lead to higher energy bills.
“A home inspector will pay attention to the minute details,” she said.
Whichever home improvements you plan to complete before selling, make sure you can recoup the money you are investing, said Pisani. She recommends looking at recent sales in your neighborhood and community so you get an idea of what buyers are willing to pay. That way you don’t make any last-minute home improvements that will take the value of your home into the high end of that range.
Although many Michigan residents have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and may have limited resources and access to the supplies they need to make home improvements, you can make plans so when restrictions lift, you have all the information you need to get started right away.
Do your research now, said Pisani. Look to see if your home gets more sun to the east or west so you know what types of flowers to plant where, take measurements inside your home and capture a few photos so when you start moving forward, you have good information to work with.
You can also clear your mind and get some fresh air by preparing your yard and garden for spring, she said.
If you don’t have funds for remodeling projects, you will be amazed at how much basic decluttering and spring cleaning can spruce up a space. You may even find items packed away that you can use to redecorate.
Plus, spring cleaning can be good for stress relief, Pisani added.
Spaces may seem larger when they are clear of clutter so remove small appliances and canisters from the kitchen countertops, limit the number of family photos on the wall and make sure bathroom vanities are clear of personal products. If your house seems messy, prospective buyers may assume there are items not being properly maintained or there aren’t enough drawers, shelves and closet to handle storage needs.