Few things are more exciting for homeowners than moving into a new home after they’ve sold their old one. New homes offer more space and a chance for homeowners to have a fresh start when it comes to decorating, renovating and designing.
But what happens with your old home? Obviously, you need to sell it, but that’s not always as easy as it seems. You may think eager buyers will line up around the block to take a look at your home and maybe, in time, they will. But if you’re selling your home, you really need to ramp up your home appeal and make your home one that anyone would be happy to live in.
How to you increase your home appeal? These simple steps can help you transform your home into a must-have when it hits the market.
Make A Good First Impression
First impressions can tell people a lot, whether you’re meeting someone for a business meeting, going on a date or selling a home. It doesn’t matter how good you think your home’s interior looks or how good you think your home appeal is, chances are pretty high that a potential buyer has already formed an impression of your house by the time they come inside.
So what do you need to do? You need to spruce up the outside of your home. You can visit a wholesale florist and find some brightly colored, easy to plant annuals that really brighten up your property. You can take time to fill any cracks in the pavement along your driveway. If you’ve got a home garden in your backyard, you can put down a layer of bark dust. This helps make the garden more attractive and will help the next homeowner in their planting endeavors since it helps soil retain moisture and helps protects plants against weather.
Once you’ve spruced up the outside of the house, turn your attention to your home’s entryway. Since it’s the first thing people are going to see, make it a welcoming spot by putting out a vase of fresh flowers or a bench to sit on. Remember, first impressions are first impressions and you may not get a chance to make a second one.
Don’t Neglect The Roof
When people talk about being thankful for having a roof over their head, they mean they’re happy to have a home. But they’re also thankful for having a roof over their head; that is to say, one that’s rock-solid, doesn’t leak and protects from the elements whether it’s the heat of the summer or the cold of fall and winter.
If you’re trying to increase your home appeal, you’d do well to take a look at your roof and access it’s condition. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, talk to local roofers and have them take a look. If your roof has a noticeable gaping hole in it, then it’s an easy choice to fix it. But beyond that, it can be a tough call. Having roofing contractors put a new dome on your home can be a costly venture, but it can be a Catch-22—if your roof is in bad condition, a seller may not be willing to pay your asking price.
Bottom line: you need to look at your roof, access its condition, and fix any immediate needs. After that, you need to decide what to do about your roof and how that might affect your asking price. What’s most important is that you’re honest with yourself and with any potential buyers.
Make The Kitchen The Star
If you’re really looking to ramp up the home appeal, do all you can to make your kitchen the star of your home. Think of it this way, when you’re selling your home, you’re really selling your kitchen. By investing a little bit of money into your kitchen, you can likely get about an 85% return on investment. If you’ve got new appliances, new cabinets, and new countertops, a buyer will be more interested and willing to pay your asking price.
Keep It Simple
While addressing things like roofs and kitchens can make it seem like it takes a lot of money to increase home appeal, it doesn’t have to.
Believe it or not, you can do a lot of simple things to give your home’s interior a makeover. You can make your home look fresh and crisp by giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. You can spruce up the curtains by cleaning them or installing some new, inexpensive ones. You can pull out your toolbox and make some basic repairs to cabinets, faucets, door handles, and closet doors. You can put in new window blinds and clean the windows, which can be a big selling point if you’ve got big bay windows.
Know When To Sell Your Home
The housing market tends to have ebbs and flows during the year and you need to know when is the right time to sell it. For example, you might be able to sell your home in the winter, but your odds will likely be better in the spring, when—statistically speaking—buyers are out looking for homes. If you list your home toward the end of winter, you might have lots of potential buyers lining up to look at your house in the spring.
If a buyer is looking online and homes and comes across yours, the first thing that might draw them in is well-done professional photos. Good photos can showcase the best features of your home and make it look like a place that’s warm and inviting. If you’ve renovated your kitchen, show it off with photos. If you’ve had brand-new seamless gutters installed on your roof, post pictures as it will also show off your roof.
Nothing can boost home appeal faster than well-lit, inviting photos that show a buyer exactly what they would be purchasing. The more photos you provide in an online listing, the more interest in your home will soar.
Clean It Up
When a potential buyer visits your home, they want to see an inviting place that they could see themselves living in, perhaps for many years. That means when it’s time to sell your home, you need to take time to declutter. Clean out closets, box up the things you don’t need immediately, and make sure your home is in good working order. If your HVAC system needs new oval duct fittings, get them installed and check on your other appliances. Remember, you’re trying to show off your home at its absolute best and buyers don’t want to be turned off by a messy house.
Get A Good Realtor
Once you’ve spruced up your home and bumped up the home appeal, you need to invest in a good realtor. You can make all the upgrades and fix-ups to your home that you want, but if you don’t know how to sell it, you might be selling your home short.
The 2012 Economic Census estimates that there are more than 86,000 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States and more than a million realtors. That means you’ve got a lot of options for finding the right person to help you sell your home. A realtor can be very beneficial in many ways:
- Convenience: Selling your home isn’t always easy, but a realtor can make it easier. A realtor has the experience and the knowledge to put deals together for both buyers and sellers and they can help sellers get everything in order to put their home on the market.
- Negotiation: Realtors are experts at negotiating. Realtors can let sellers know if buyers have any questions or misgivings. They can also be effective mediators between buyers and sellers, being mindful of the interest on both sides. Taking your asking price for example. If a buyer is trying to haggle on price, an agent can negotiate and make sure that you, the seller, isn’t getting a bad deal.
- Attention to detail: Realtors are sticklers for detail and can help sellers hammer out every detail of selling a home. That includes drawing up contracts and accounting for home add-ons like storage units and sheds.
In a lot of ways, you should consider a realtor like a lawyer: they’re experienced, they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re honest. After all, realtors build their reputations on referrals and knowledge of their markets, so when it comes to selling your home, they’re going to do the best job they can. Realtors will know how to make the most of your home appeal, save you money and can be invaluable sources of information.
Use SEO To Sell Your Home
While there’s a lot you can do to increase your home appeal by sprucing up the inside and outside, you and your realtor also need to get familiar with search engine optimization or SEO.
If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, in a nutshell, it’s all about making your stuff easy to find online. Since the majority of people go to search engines like Google for information, so if your realtor is listing your home online, you need to make sure people see it. This can be done by using certain words and key phrases that pop up in search engine results.
To get your home noticed online, you might want to consider hiring an SEO agency to go to work for you. An SEO agency can get your listing up on sites like Zillow, where buyers can search different geographic areas and use other filters to narrow their searches as they look for the perfect home.
If you’re having a realtor list your home, you want to make sure they keep these three tips in mind:
- Include the right keywords: Your listing needs to include keywords that are appealing to a prospective buyer like “house with a pool” or “homes in Los Angeles.” The listing should include these keywords in a way that’s compelling and sounds natural.
- Mix up your keywords: In your quest to include keywords, you’ll want to include any variations on those keywords so that all your bases are covered.
- Use social media: Every day, millions of eyes are on social media sites of all kinds. So that means your listing needs to be up on those social media sites. By doing this, you increase the chances of selling your home faster and getting a good price for it.
It’s also important to remember that in addition to your listing, there are thousands of listing out there for home, apartments for rent, and all other kinds of dwellings. What does that mean for you? It means your listing has to have quality information that’s valuable to customers. You can make your listing stand out by embedding maps and calculators and even multimedia to really give potential buyers a feel for what your listing is like.
By taking the time to invest in SEO or a company that specializes in online marketing, you can ensure that hundreds, if not thousands of people in your area see your listing. The more people who see your listing, the better chance you have of meeting prospective buyers, setting up open houses, and ultimately getting your home off the market by selling it.
Show Off Your Home
As excited as you might be to move into your new home, you need to show your old one in the best possible light when it comes time to sell. Showcase that residential garage door opener feature! Take photos of that new bathroom counter. By hooking up with a good realtor, using social media to your advantage, and taking time to spruce up your home inside and out, you’ll be able to showcase your home in a way that’s going to make potential buyers interested. Even if your home needs a little TLC, you can take some simple steps to clean your home and show why you fell in love with the home and how any future homeowners can fall in love with it too.