The color of your home is one of the first things a buyer will notice. If it’s a very different color from your neighborhood or general area, you should paint it something more innocuous. Most buyers don’t want to live in the only pink house in town.
The same goes for the interior. If your living room is bright orange, the children’s rooms are fluorescent pink, green, or blue, paint over it. Choose a neutral color so buyers can project their own ideas onto it.
The front door is one of the first things a buyer will notice while the Realtor is retrieving the key from the lock box. If the door is outdated, shows faded paint, and has weathered hardware, it’ll discourage the buyer before it’s even opened.
Spring for a new door if necessary – it’s the most reliable update you can perform. If that’s not in the budget, at least give it a fresh coat of paint and replace weathered hardware (like the door locks, door handles, kick boards, etc.).
While you’re at it, don’t forget the doorbell. Replace a broken push button and make sure it rings with a friendly, crisp chime. This is a sign that your house has been well taken care of. They are available for less than $40 at most major stores.
Buyers will notice screens that look more like the squirrels had a field day than insect shields. You don’t necessarily have to spring for a whole new set – just grab some screen repair patches (they’re cheap) and fill in the tears.
As potential buyers drive up to your home, they notice the trees, the grass, the weeds, the patches, the rock pathway, and the plants out front. And it matters. If your lawn is home to a half-dead tree, yellowing grass, shrubs that need trimming, and a pathway swallowed by weeds, you might get more lowball offers than you anticipated.
Keep the plants trimmed and the grass freshly cut. Make sure the walkway is clear and fallen branches are removed from the lawn. A fresh layer of mulch or pine needles, along with planted flowers of the season, will brighten up the outside.
Nothing can turn a buyer off faster than the smell of faded cigarettes or poorly trained pets. Of course, it’s hard for us to smell our homes after we’ve lived in them for a while, so ask a diplomatic friend to sniff your place. If it stinks, start with calling a good carpet cleaning company. Make sure they give attention to the wet vacuuming. Carpets should be barely damp when done.
If potential buyers hear a dripping faucet or running toilet when touring the house, they might start questioning the building’s integrity or the seller’s level of care. These are quick DIY fixes that shouldn’t go ignored.
Replace harsh lights with bulbs that have a softer glow. Clean out light fixtures to get rid of dirt or dead bugs that can mute the lighting (not to mention look gross). Replace 30W and 45W bulbs with 60W light bulbs.
Doors that squeak and groan when they open are for horror movies, not homes for sale. Grab a lubricant (such as WD40, but, in a pinch, you can use cooking oil) and grease the hinges to stop the squeak.
Completely renovating a kitchen can get real expensive, real fast. Keep it simple by adding a fresh coat of paint. Although we did say you should keep paint colors neutral, here’s where you can try something more inviting—like pale yellow, a color we associate with light and joy. Switch out old cabinet knobs and handles for something up to date. Stop by a builder’s model home on check for the latest trends.