Most sellers mistakenly think that a home’s value is mainly determined by similar homes that have sold in the neighborhood. While that is certainly part of it, what really determines your home’s value is simply what a potential buyer is willing to pay for it. Home buying can be an emotional decision, and if you can get a buyer to fall in love with your property, they may be willing to make a higher offer.
Start on the Outside
First Impressions are crucial in the home buying process. Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see, allowing them to form opinions about what they might expect inside when they tour your home. In order to get the highest offers from buyers, you will need to up your ‘curb appeal.’ Make sure your house will wow any visitors from the moment they drive by.
Paint the Exterior
A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to give your home a newer appearance. Pick a color that’s considered classic and elegant, something that will appear both modern and timeless. Don’t pick anything bright or trendy, as you must appeal to a variety of buyers’ tastes and preferences.
Maintain the Siding
The elements can cause your home’s siding to appear dull and dirty over time. The average life expectancy of siding on a home is 60 to 100 years, but if you live in a harsh climate, extreme weather conditions can decrease the life of the siding. Pressure wash to clean your siding, removing stains, spider webs and dirt that have accumulated.
Refresh Garage Doors
New garage doors can give the home an instant update. If yours are in relatively good condition, a new coat of paint is all that they may need to look new. However, if your garage doors are aging and showing some wear and tear, consider replacing them. New garage doors are more energy efficient and better insulated than older models and this will add value for buyers.
Don’t Forget the Details
It pays to update the small details of your home’s exterior and help it to stand out in the neighborhood. Especially if there are several homes in the area on the market at the same time, attention to the details will help your home appear to be better maintained. Buyers may think it’s a better value for the money.
New Door Fixtures
Find new door fixtures that complement your home’s style. Updated fixtures can modernize an older house and make a slightly outdated house look more on-trend. When buyers walk through the front door, a new knob and kick plate will be noticed right away.
Adding house numbers to the exterior of your home, or driveway, will help potential buyers easily find your home. Not only does this look nice, but it also makes the process of visiting your home more pleasant and less stressful. Anything you can do to make the experience more enjoyable will help increase the offer a buyer will make. If you don’t want to add numbers to the house itself, make sure that your mailbox is in good condition and easily seen.
Paint Trim and Shutters
When you paint the exterior of your home, don’t forget the trim. Pick a complimentary color that creates an elegant look. If you have trouble choosing, ask the staff at your local design center for help. While you’re at it, consider adding shutters or other embellishments. They can help add charm and personality to the home.
Take Care of the Lawn
Well-landscaped homes sell for an average of 5.5% to12.7% more than other similar homes. Studies show that taking care of the yard may add as much as 28% to your home’s overall value. Researchers at Virginia Tech have found that landscape design can increase your home’s value by 42%, choosing the right plant size can increase it by 32% and a diversity of plants can increase it by 22%. These stats make an argument for hiring a landscape architect to advise you if you want to earn top dollar.
Adding a nice border along your driveway or walkway with brick, stone or another hardscape element adds charm to an otherwise plain driveway. Paved driveways and walkways with grass growing between them is a popular look and may give the impression of a more intentional design, rather than a plain yard.
Ideal Green Space
Create a picturesque landscape by adding drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in warm, dry climates like lavender, sage and wisteria. Landscaping incorporated with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch will cut down on cost, time and water usage. This can be a major selling point for buyers!
Trees and Shrubs
The most visually appealing lawns feature a variety of textures. Achieve this by planting a few different types of trees and shrubs that vary in height and flowering seasons. This will help boost your home’s curb appeal year-round.
Create an Inviting Feeling
Home staging doesn’t only apply to the interior. Appeal to the emotions of potential buyers by staging the outside of your home to look warm and inviting. You want visitors to feel comfortable from the time they step out of the car. If they can picture themselves in your home, your chances of a sale increase dramatically.
Dress the Porch
The porch should be considered an outdoor extension of your home. If you have a front porch, make it welcoming by including colorful potted plants, and adding seating and design touches like a loveseat, rug and a small table.
Keep Blooms Coming
Make your lawn appealing year round by planting flowers that bloom at different times of the year. Perennials, for example, flower for most of the year. A variety of types and sizes of plants will keep things interesting, no matter what the season. The last thing you want buyers to see is a yard that needs attention.
Boost Online Curb Appeal
The first step in getting a buyer to tour your home is to hook them during an online search. The better the impression your home gives online, the more likely it is that buyers will want to come visit. Once you’ve made improvements to the exterior of your home, get it ready for its close-up and put some thought into your online listing.
Whether you opt to work with a professional or do it yourself, staging should attempt to show your home in its best light and allow buyers to picture themselves living there. Remove any overly personal items and photographs from your home and declutter as much as possible. Give buyers breathing room to picture themselves and their possessions in the space. The most important part of staging is lighting, so give some thought to how you can maximize the feeling of warmth and sunlight throughout your home.
Do not skimp in this area, or you may have a great home that no one comes to look at. Hire a professional photographer to take great photos of your home, and be sure to work with someone who has real estate experience and knows how to make your home look its best.
Videos are becoming a popular way to allow buyers a sneak peek into your home before they tour it. This can be a major factor in getting more potential buyers to come look at your listing, and volume is the surest way to get the highest offer. Demand is an important factor in determining the price you will get in an offer. At Karen Cannon, Realtors, we offer 3D Virtual Tours with all of our listings because we think it’s a crucial part of making sure our sellers get the most exposure.
Often, sellers don’t realize how much work goes into properly prepping a house for sale. But putting in the work now will ensure the outcome you want later. Once a house hits the market and starts being shown, it’s very hard to correct a negative first impression for buyers. If your house doesn’t show well, you won’t get a second chance at those buyers and your pool of potential buyers dwindles. Commitment and preparation up front can ensure a smooth transaction every step of the way.
At Karen Cannon, Realtors, we are local real estate experts for Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and North Atlanta. We live, work and play here, and our agents are hand-picked for their connections in the community. Our highly effective marketing program allows us to shorten the number of days on the market. We’ve even put homes under contract sight unseen!
If you are thinking about selling your home, call us at 770-352-9658.