If you are thinking of selling your home, it can be tempting to tell yourself that it will make no difference whether or not you fix it up prior to marketing it – after all, it’s a seller’s market, right? This is a costly mistake to make, and it’s far from the truth.
Often, cluttered, tired homes sell for far less than they could with just a little touch up. Homes with a few inexpensive fix ups can a fantstic return on investment. I’ll name a few today.
Recently I saw the little cabinet handle photographed here. I remember it from my childhood and if I had to guess, would say it was from the late 1960s to early 1970s. I’m pretty sure we had the same exact hardware on my parents’ first Saratoga house (a lovely, big, George Day tract home sitting on an acre near West Valley college). I’ve seen these same pulls in Almaden and all over Silicon Valley.
But home buyers in the San Jose area don’t want these relics from 50 years ago. They want something sleek. And they don’t want to have to install it themselves after they move in if it can be helped. Seeing loads of little projects can feel overwhelming. “It’s too much work”, I’ll hear them say – and that’s before even looking at the disclosures or the inspection reports! When they think “Silicon Valley real estate”, they want to see something attractive and in today’s styles.
There are many small things that home sellers can do to make a home visually appealling and to give buyers confidence that the home is move-in ready. In addition to decluttering (it cannot be stressed enough how important this is), providing pre-sale inspections and a complete disclosure package that’s been filled out very thoroughly, there are some simple, fairly inexpensive things that will bring a strong return for your expense and hard work:
- Fresh paint (get rid of wallpaper in most cases) is almost always needed in every room and at least on the trim outside. Think neutral shades.
- New carpeting in a neutral shade.
- If you have hardwood, refinish it or at least get it buffed and cleaned – home buyers love hardwood floors and will pay a premium for them (but don’t install if you do not already have them).
- Make sure that the entire home is clean, including the windows and the window tracks, the fireplace, the outside spaces, garage, etc.
- If the cabinets in the bathrooms and kitchen do not look good, consider painting or refacing them, and add new, contemporary looking pulls.
- If the countertops are old and tired, see about installing slab granite or something more contemporary looking.
- Got old light fixtures? replace them – the new ones do not have to be expensive, but they lights should not be thirty or more years old
- Curb appeal matters: buyers do sometimes see a house from the street and decide not to go in. Don’t let that happen to you!
- The front door, mailbox, and front porch areas need to be clean and inviting – it helps to have colorful flowers near the door, if possible.
Every property will have slightly different needs, but these are the basics. Staging is a must if the home is vacant!
Want to sell your Silicon Valley home? Please call or email me and we can set up a time to talk (no obligation, of course).
Please also read:
Preparing Your Silicon Valley Home to Sell and Return on Investment
Digging deeper with disclosures (4 minute video of me talking – a discussion about researching red flags and avoiding problems later)