Whether you’re a real estate agent or you’re trying the “for sell by owner” approach, selling property requires knowing what buyers want even when it’s not obvious. You know about curb appeal, that more bedrooms equal a higher final price and that a good school district is a must for young couples. However, there might be some updates you can make that are easier and more affordable than you think. Look beyond aesthetics.
There are some things you have no control over, such as the hoarder that moved in across the street last year and it looks like there’s a garage sale 24/7. There are other things you can control, so focus on those. You might be surprised what buyers notice and what they’re seeking out. Here are a few instant upgrade options:
1. A secure, burglar-resistant home
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You may or may not be bringing the security system with you when you move, but burglar deterrents of any sort are a plus. This can include well maintained, prickly shrubs planted near windows, great exterior lighting, or window bars that look lovely and can open in an emergency (such as a house fire). Safety always comes first, so make sure you highlight these features.
2. Additional storage space
Whether you’ve installed extra storage shelves above the garage door or invested in a studio in the backyard, there’s no such thing as too much storage. Even if you “only” have basic storage options such as a basement, clear it out so buyers can see the potential. The point is to help them envision living there, not feel like they’re voyeurs in someone else’s life.
You might love the burnt orange walls of the guest bedroom, but that’s definitely an acquired taste. Unless your walls are already light, neutral and look recently painted, this is one of the best investments you can make. The home should be a blank canvas and look brand new, plus lighter colors naturally brighten rooms and make them look larger. If you do want to keep some decorations, stick with mirrors which expand the size of the room and are timeless.
4. Clean tile and grout
You might be used to it and it’s normal for grout to get dingy. Whether consciously or not, property buyers are judging the cleanliness and lightness of the house based on this. Either take care of it with some elbow grease or let a pro do it.