Determining which improvements are necessary and which are not.

Spending time at home these last several months has given us the opportunity to tackle those home improvement projects. If you are considering listing your property soon, then those projects may not be worth your investment. Everyone wants top price for their property and rightfully so, but you may spend more time and money than necessary. Let’s determine which improvements are necessary and which are not.

Is your kitchen outdated? Do the bathrooms need upgraded? These are parts of the home that buyers want remodeled with newer fixtures and appliances. While that may not be in your budget, there are things you can do to make them more attractive. If you are only able to change a few things, consider new faucets, light fixtures and fresh paint. We always recommend removing personal items including pictures and memorabilia to declutter the home.

We have all heard these four words: declutter, paint, clean, stage. Start by walking through your home, room by room and look at it from a buyer’s perspective. Is there too much furniture in your living room? Less is better. Do you run into the bed when entering the bedroom? Consider placing the bed on a different wall. Maybe you need fresh linens in the bathroom or a new quilt for the bed? These are smaller changes that may fit into your budget and really spruce up your home.

Focus on the area around your front door. The first thing buyers see when they walk up to your house is the entryway, so you need to make sure it gives a positive first impression. Paint that front door, clean off the mailbox, add a new doormat and clear any debris leading to the door. Check your driveway and sidewalks for cracks. Uneven, jagged sidewalks or driveways are an eyesore, a safety risk, and a turn-off for buyers. Buyers looking for a kid-friendly home do not want to deal with tripping hazards.

Neutralize foul odors. Air fresheners, candles, and fresh baked cookies are not what buyers want to smell when they step into a house. To make your house smell clean and new without overpowering buyers’ senses, you can remove pets, shoes, gym bags, and anything that holds onto odors. Lightly spray a lemon-scented air freshener in each room and leave the windows open for at least 30 minutes. On the day of the open house or showing, re-open the windows for 30 minutes to neutralize the smell.

Finally, organize your closets. Let’s face it, serious buyers are going to look everywhere to make sure your home is “the one”. They will be poking into your kitchen drawers, closets, and even under your bed. To avoid embarrassment, organize everything. Fold and hang clothing neatly, leaving extra space to make closets look bigger. Gather medications and hide them in locked boxes. Empty your refrigerator and clean it thoroughly. Remove excess kitchen accessories to enlarge the space. take away refrigerator art, phone chargers, paper towel holders, and small counter-top appliances. There are so many things that go into a home sale, it’s easy to forget home preparation steps that are less obvious, but equally important to sell your home.

Time to spruce up and remember to do good things!

Stephanie Lemley, 2021 MBOR President

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