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By Amanda Hargrove
With the competitive spring market fast approaching, now is the time for you to make sure your home stand out from the pack. While some homeowners may benefit from investing in full-on renovations before coming to market, for most, a few strategic, quick fixes can deliver the extra wow factor it takes to win buyer interest.
Time is of the essence in any market, but especially now. Last year, homes spent an average of just 25 days on the market to go from listing to contract, down from 30 days in 2019. Of course, a range of elements determines how long a particular property might sit on the market, from local market demand to pricing.
By making simple updates now, you can beat the rush, while ramping up value.
A refreshing home can add value. But you may be overwhelmed by the idea of DIY improvements. Boost your confidence with a few simple steps to elevate your home’s marketability now.
Simple enhancements to first-impression elements go a long way, from repainting the mailbox and front door, to replacing an outdated door handle, knocker or doorbell. Make sure grass and hedges are trimmed and free of dead leaves, and bring in fresh mulch or sod if appropriate. A few well-placed planters or potted flowers help prospective buyers feel they’re entering an inviting, attractive home.
Buyers need to visualize themselves in the space, so clean and reduce clutter. Get a fresh coat of paint on the walls, using neutral colors, and go for the less-is-more aesthetic in every room. Closets and garages must also pass the test, so you may choose to take some belongings to storage and implement organization systems.
Great natural and artificial light can be a selling point. Sellers should clean or replace window treatments, consider installing higher-wattage light bulbs, and potentially replace dated lighting fixtures. Other simple fixes include trimming vegetation that may be blocking light from the outside, changing or cleaning lampshades, and replacing light-switch plates.
With a few basic upgrades, even a tired kitchen will make a positive impression. Homeowners can replace faucets, swap out drawer pulls, and update cabinets—whether by repainting the faces or going further and replacing the fronts.
Hardwood floors and quality laminates can also be a selling point—when they look the part. In some cases, it may be wise to refinish the floors, but often a hardy screen and recoat will suffice. For carpeted areas, homeowners should at least steam clean, and go further and invest in new carpeting in high-traffic areas with aging signs.
Discolored, old, and/or uneven caulking can detract from any bathroom. Fortunately, as HGTV says, “If you can pipe a child’s name on a birthday cake, you can re-caulk a tub.” We aso replace old shower doors or curtains, buy new toilet seats, and upgrade showerheads.
Simple fixes like these can make an outsized impression on buyers by cultivating an environment where they can imagine themselves living well. When bigger fixes seem in order, however, choose those that will support bigger returns, such as replacing the garage door.
Check out these other mortgage articles:
Mortgage 101: Preapproved vs. prequalified
Mortgage rate refinance: when you should do it and how it works
Navigating mortgage options for first-time homebuyers
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