The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Improvements that help sell a home

Summer's approaching, people are packing and preparing to move.

Let’s face it: It’s not a seller’s market in real estate. Sellers want to get every possible dollar out of the sale of their home, but given so many are underwater and potentially taking a loss in the process, there is a strong desire to minimize pre-sale investments. For those looking to sell their homes, they’ll need to pull out all the stops, and it starts with simple home improvements.
Remove clutter. Rooms packed with furniture, closets full of stuff, and garages that don’t allow a car inside all contribute to a home appearing small and cramped. Removing clutter and excess décor helps your home look larger and simplifies the eventual move once the home sells.

  1. Patch nail holes. Filling unsightly nail holes is an easy way to make old drywall look new. Using a spackle knife, fill in each hole with lightweight putty and scrape the excess off the walls. Wait for the putty to dry and sand the spot down until it’s smooth. Then prime and paint

  1. Paint the walls a warm or neutral color. While pink might be your favorite color, it’s not universally celebrated. Stick to colors that will appeal to the largest audience of buyers. A fresh coat of paint will make the house look and smell clean and new.

  1. Restore baseboards and trim. While little things like dinged and scuffed baseboards go overlooked by the average homeowner, they stand out to the increasingly picky consumer. Clean the smudges and scrapes off the baseboards and and paint or stain to renew. Old English works great on stained finishes.
  2. Consider tile flooring. Tile doesn’t hold dirt like carpet, is cool in the summer and is impervious should the kids or pets track water and dirt in.  Tile floors that are lighter in color with a darker grout are most popular right now.
  3. Emphasize lighting. Different lighting options can influence the mood of any room, but there’s no substitute for natural lighting. One way to maximize natural lighting is to hang mirrors opposite of windows. Come nighttime, lights should emphasize decorative pieces in the room.
  4. Update kitchens and bathrooms. Before making major renovations, keep in mind that minor upgrades can go a long way. An easy and inexpensive way to breathe new life into a bathroom or kitchen is to replace old light fixtures, faucets and hardware with modern alternatives. A thorough cleaning, re-grouting as required, and replacement of old and mildewed caulk, will help a tub or shower look fresh and clean.
  5. Install a closet system. Homebuyers want plenty of storage space, and an unorganized, crowded closet won’t appeal to the masses. Anything that isn’t needed should be donated. Once the closet is empty, create a custom storage solution that maximizes space.
  6. Consider window upgrades. Not only will new windows make the home look more enticing, but double pane windows can save the future homeowner 25 percent on heating and cooling bills over old single pane models. Dispose of outdated drapes and bent mini-blinds and let the sunshine in.
  7. Improve the curb appeal. The outside of your home can make a strong first impression, and a well-maintained yard with eye-catching plants and landscaping adds elegance. Consider power washing the siding and deck, while adding a fresh coat of paint to entry doors and trim.

The number one thing home owners can do to ensure their home sells quicker than most to to keep up on the maintenance. Buyers do not want to purchase a home and spend money to accomplish years worth of neglected maintenance.