What Improvements Help Sell a House? Spring Cleaning!

The summer selling season will be here before we know it. Is your house ready for the market?

Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to get a home show worthy. There are certain low-cost chores that translate to quicker sale times and better offers. Roll up your sleeves and break out the broom; it’s time to spring clean your way to a home sale!

Take the Clean-Up Outdoors

Two words: curb appeal. It’s near impossible to get buyers inside if the outside is a complete mess. According to HGTV experts, nice curb appeal can also add as much as 10% to the home’s value.

After a long winter every yard can use a little TLC. The lawn is a great place to start. Simply raking and mowing the grass has a huge return. Next, give the trees and shrubs a good trimming.

From there you can start on extra projects that continue to improve the curb appeal:

  • Power wash the driveway and walkways.
  • Add or refresh mulch in plant beds.
  • Plant colorful perennials.
  • Fix low spots and drainage issues that create puddles.
  • Clean out any and all water features.

If the exterior paint is worse for wear you may want to consider investing a little bit more to boost the curb appeal. At the very least, a fresh coat of paint on the trim can do wonders.

Spruce Up the Front Entry

Continue the cleap-up all the way to the front door. The entryway is a person’s first interaction with a home, and as such, it helps create the first impression before the person gets inside. For anyone who’s putting a home on the market, the entryway is a pivotal selling point.

In addition to general cleaning, add the following to your spring cleaning list:

  • Touch up the paint on the front door.
  • Replace worn out door knockers, locks, and handles.
  • Add or replace the weatherstripping around the door.
  • Clean the front windows inside and out.
  • Roll out a fresh welcome mat or clean the one you have.
  • Plant colorful flowers up the walkway and/or add a planter by the door.

The goal is to make the front entry as inviting as possible by making updates that draw people in rather than turn them away.

Clear Out the Clutter

The #1 rule of staging a home is to clear out the clutter - all of it inside and outside of the home. Clutter can kill a home sale. It gives the impression that the home isn’t well kept and makes the space look smaller. If there’s clutter everywhere that’s all buyers will see.

Clutter typically falls into one of three categories:

  1. Toss/donate it
  2. Organize it
  3. Store it

How you classify clutter during the spring cleaning is up to you. What’s really important is that it gets cleaned up and out of sight.

Deep Clean the Fine Details

If you’re like most homeowners you regularly sweep, vacuum, clean off the countertops and scrub the bath fixtures (or you have a home maintenance robot to take care of the regular cleaning). But how often do you do a deep clean that hits every surface?

Buyers that are serious about a home are scrutinizing every detail. They’re going to notice the little things that are easy for everyone else to overlook like the:

  • Light switches
  • Outlet plate covers
  • Fan blades
  • Door knobs
  • Window trim
  • Window/Sliding door tracks
  • Baseboards
  • Faucets
  • Handles
  • Showerheads
  • Ceiling line

This type of interior detailing is what’s known in the real estate industry as a make ready cleaning. It’s not cheap, but if you’re short on time it’s worth it to hire professional cleaners to handle the job.

Clean Out Appliances . . . Even If They Don’t Convey

Don’t think that prospective buyers won’t open up the fridge or microwave and take a look inside, because they will. If you fail to clean out the inside of your appliances buyers might see it as a red flag that on the surface things look good, but when you dig in things are less than perfect.

Not sure which to-dos to put on your spring cleaning list? Ask your real estate agent. They’re a local expert that knows what buyers are looking for and how to make a home comparable to other properties in the neighborhood.

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