Earlier in the week we reported the continuing market trend that has defined the 2020 world of St. Louis real estate: Active, qualified, eager buyers and VERY low inventory. This means, if you’ve considered selling, now is the time!
Homeowners are fetching higher sales prices in less time; many homes in the St. Louis area are receiving multiple, competing offers their first day on the market!
Wanting to reap the benefits of your current market advantage? Getting your home ready to sell likely is not as daunting a task as you might imagine.
Here are 6 projects you could complete in a weekend that will get your home ready to list this Fall:
1. Paint Rooms
This is one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to spruce up the rooms in your home. Getting a fresh coat of paint on walls will instantly brighten them up and make the home look fresh and new. Wake up drab rooms with a splash of color. Or use more neutral colors for a current, updated look. Painting rooms also helps maximize space and makes them appear larger. Painting has one of the biggest returns on your investment of any home improvement project, and can be done in a couple of weekends.
2. Curb Appeal & Outdoor Spaces
Curb appeal and outdoor living space is more important than ever, considering the amount of time we spent under quarantine. St. Louis buyers want to see homes with freshly trimmed bushes, clear walkways, fresh mulch, and well kept lawns. Get rid of dead leaves, branches, and weeds. Put out new plants or consider adding a few flowering potted plants near the entryway.
In the backyard, use a pressure washer to remove leaf stains from patios and walkways, pick up any backyard clutter, gardening tools, etc. and store them out-of-sight. If you don't have much in the way of landscaping, use colorful, potted plants as accents or to define spaces.
Create purposeful, "livable space" by making a cozy seating area. You don't have to break the bank to do this.
Just look at this cozy patio in the Soulard neighborhood. A few thrift store metal chairs with a fresh coat of white spray paint, and a small fire pit have turned this old cobblestone patio into an attractive area to gather. Buyers perception of square footage is immediately expanded well beyond the walls of the home. When buyers see a well-kept yard, it means the home is well kept on the inside as well.
3. Make Small Fixes
As buyers tour your home, if they spot a broken railing or leaky faucet, it gives the impression that everything in the house hasn’t been cared for. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to repair any small projects you’ve been putting off. Replace missing tiles, fix torn screens, touch up holes or cracks in walls. Replace cracked windowpanes and moldings. Make sure every light bulb works. Making repairs like these won’t cost a lot of money yet they will have a huge impact on a buyer’s impression of your home.
4. Brighten Up!
A low-cost but effective way of showcasing your home is making it appear brighter. Buyers prefer bright cheerful homes to those that appear dark and cramped. Keep drapes and shades open to allow more natural light into the home. Awnings on decks should be retracted. Replacing low wattage light bulbs with brighter ones and actually changing some fixtures out completely will open and brighten up a room instantly. You would be amazed how adding a bit of under-cabinet lighting can open up and add space to a kitchen!
The less stuff you have the larger your home will appear. Since getting buyers into the home is half the battle, make sure they don’t lose interest because your house is brimming over with stuff that could easily be placed in a closet or drawer. De-cluttering doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, but it definitely means organizing and removing most of your stuff. Most rooms have too many pieces of furniture. Remove at least one piece to thin the room out and move furniture away from walls. Buyers should be able to freely move around the rooms, not bump into end tables and ottomans. Reduce the amount of books in shelves, and remove vases, statues, or clocks from tables. Don’t forget to de-personalize as well. Buyers like to envision themselves living in the home. This means taking down family photos and removing notes and postcards from the refrigerator.
6. Clean Like You’ve Never Cleaned Before
Cleaning the house before it goes on the market is one of the MOST essential tasks you can do. We recommend you dedicate more than one afternoon to getting the home sparkle. Set aside a few days to clean rooms from top to bottom. The kitchen and bathrooms need to be immaculate. When was the last time you cleaned the windows in your house? Get the Windex out! This is a simple inexpensive way to bring more light into rooms and make even older windows look new again. Wash curtain sheers. Shampoo rugs. Make the beds. Dust shelves. Counters, sinks, tubs, and appliances should sparkle. Clean all switch plates. A bright, spotless house will make your home much more appealing to buyers.