After years of experience helping clients buy and sell homes we understand every family has a different budget and a busy life. Over the years our job has been helping our clients prepare homes to sell or how new homebuyers can make a home their own. We have put together some simple affordable steps that we share with clients both buying and selling homes. Sometimes a few simple recommendations and steps can go a long way on small budget!
7 Simple Steps To Get Your Home Ready To Sell
When preparing your home for sale you must remember that all homeowners have different style and taste! The goal in preparing your home is to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible! Putting in the time before you hit the market will save you time and money while on the market!
1- Declutter - A less is more interior design approach! After years of living in the same home it is easy to accumulate unnecessary stuff! First step in preparing your home for the market is to go room-by-room and start purging furnishings, junk, boxes… and any other items that are not a necessity to enjoy your home!
2- Handyman Work – Spend a weekend putting together a checklist of simple little items that need to be fixed, adjusted, tightened or replaced! After years of living in your home corky items you have grown used to, may catch a buyer’s attention right away! BEST TIP, replace old light bulbs!
3- Interior Paint and Carpet - Weather only a few rooms or the entire house new paint and carpet can be an easy and often times, one of the most cost effective approaches to preparing your home for sale. Always remember neutral tones give homes a more open spacious feel and appeal to a wider demographic!
4- Exterior Cleaning – Painting the exterior of your home can give it new life but when working with a budget the most cost effective way to prepare the exterior of your home, can be a power wash. Years of storms, sun, dust, and grime buildup can be cleaned up and cleared away by a quick power washing. Use caution when washing damaged areas or chipping paint!
5- Landscaping – Talk to your gardener about sprucing up your yard! Trimming trees, adding some new plants, and replacing bark can bring your front and back yard to life! Potential buyers first impression of your home is what is seen from the street...add some color and contrast to the front façade by replanting the walkway or planting new pots on the porch!
6- Staging – Staging a home does not always need to include expensive furnishing in every room. Rearranging existing furnishing and adding a few simple and cheap items can provide the effect of expensive staging without the cost! Using our less is more approach counters and shelves should not have more then a few items and if properly places a candles, books, plants, and towels can go along way!
7- Showing Your Home – Everyone understands that life continues as normal while selling your home but after all your hard work and energy preparing your home to list for sale, keeping it showing ready is the most important! Make your beds, put cloths away, keep counter tops cleared, and if possible keep your pets outside! It is important for buyers to focus on the features of a home not initial interior condition if cluttered and messy!
7 Things To Do While Making A New Home Your Own
When moving into a new home it’s always nice to put your own family’s touch on it! It may take some time to build up your budget before any major projects but here are some helpful cost effective tips in making your new house your own. Over the years as you spend more time in your home you will have plenty of time for more custom finishes and touches!
1- Change the locks on the exterior doors. As soon as you close escrow and you've gotten the keys to your house, have a locksmith come to the house to change the locks. Let's face it, the previous owners, Realtors, maintenance folks and who knows who else are all likely to have keys to your place. For some peace of mind and as a necessary step in making this house yours, get new locks installed immediately.
2- Get the house cleaned up. While many folks will leave the house clean for you, some won't. Even if they do, you'll want to clean everything for yourself. You can hire a service to do this, something I heartily recommend if time is tight, or you can do it yourself. If you do it yourself, set up an area with all of the supplies and tools you'll need to get the job done: buckets, brooms, mops, a vacuum, cleaners for each type of surface etc. Washing down cabinets, counters and plumbing fixtures and cleaning the carpeting etc. will make you feel good about the house.
3- Paint all the walls and ceilings. This can be really time consuming, so you'll probably want to hire professionals if you can. There's no point in just slapping up a coat of paint if the walls and ceilings are damaged — if they have cracks, holes and other defects. Prepping these surfaces can be a real chore. So unless you have a relative or two who can help, save yourself a lot of time and just hire someone.
Also, if you're short on time and the house is in dire straits and every surface needs painting, consider one neutral color for every room. This will just make it easier and limit the number of decisions you'll have to make now. You can always go back and repaint rooms the colors you want as time permits.
4- Get some organizers. Many older houses suffer from closets that have a simple pole and shelf (if that). Look at where you'll store what and get the closets outfitted to accommodate everything, to make moving in less stressful and your life in the new house more enjoyable.
And don't just look at the closets. Think about where you'll put everything, from winter boots to laundry detergent. A well-placed extra shelf, coat hook etc. will go a long way toward making the house that much easier to live in.
5- Install new switch plates and other devices. Many older houses, especially those that have undergone a series of renovations, will have mismatched outlets, dirty and discolored cover plates, and rusted or damaged air vent covers. I find that replacing all of these so that there's a uniformity and newness to them makes a home feel newer and, understandably, cleaner. While switching out a cover plate takes nothing more than a small screwdriver, we recommend an electrician for replacing light fixtures and outlets!
6- Have the mechanical equipment cleaned and serviced. Do this as soon as you buy the house. Getting the heating and cooling systems cleaned and other routine tasks done is important — as is getting a service contract so if the system stops working in the depths of winter, you will not have to overpay to get a technician to come to your home.
We have a list of many trusted and reputable service provides or local handyman!
7- Install window treatments. Whether you have these custom made or you go for some inexpensive and temporary shades, you'll want to get some something on your windows — both for privacy and that finishing touch.
There will be time later, as you live in the house and get to know it better, to choose a more personalized option.