Where we live the real estate market is so hot about all you need to do to sell a house is put up a For Sale sign. But this isn’t true for most of the country, which probably includes where you live. In fact, the nationwide average for selling a house is 56 days. Given the fact that this is the average, just imagine how many days it takes to sell a house in cities like Cleveland and Tulsa.
You’d probably like to sell your home as quickly as possible. You may have already found a new one you’d like to buy or maybe you’ve been transferred to a new city and are anxious to sell your house so that you can move on. Whatever your motivation there are things you could do to make your house more attractive to potential buyers for a fast sale and here are seven of them.
Tidy up the landscaping in front of your home
A big turn off for potential buyers is if they drive by your home and it looks as if it was owned by the Adams family. Go out, stand in front of your house and look at your landscaping as objectively as possible. You should mow your lawn but you will also need to get rid of any scraggly trees and shrubs and remove any plants that are dead or beyond resuscitation. You may also need to weed and edge your lawn and mulch garden beds. The cost to do this should be less than $100 to get a landscaper to prune a small tree and a couple of shrubs. Of course, if you can do it yourself it won’t cost anything.
Consider repainting some interior walls
If you have interior colors that mirror your taste such as a pink bedroom, a bright yellow family room or a red accent wall you should have them painted over them with a warm, neutral color such as ivory, taupe, beige or light gray. This will not only make the room look larger and brighter but also more inviting. The website Homewyse.com says you should be able to get a professional painter to prep and paint a 10′ x 15′ room with two coats of latex paint at a cost of $400 and up. This is an investment that should definitely help you sell that house faster.
Get rid of any popcorn-finished ceilings
This is a seriously outdated style, plus it accumulates dirt, is hard to paint and defies cleaning. Even worse, if your home was built prior to the 1980s that popcorn ceiling could contain asbestos. If your home is that old, you should have the ceiling tested for asbestos by a licensed inspector. Unfortunately, removing a popcorn ceiling is both a laborious and messy process whether or not it contains asbestos and could cost as much as $54 to $64 per square foot. Or you could have it sealed at a cost of somewhere between $2 to $6 per square foot. If you suspect the ceiling contains asbestos, you’ll need to have it tested, which will cost from $100 to $250 per sample.
Ditch that wall-to-wall carpeting
Today’s buyers expect hardwood floors. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting that’s hiding your home’s original hardwood floors ditch it – even if the hardwood isn’t in great condition. If there’s no hardwood flooring beneath that wall-to-wall carpeting, you might consider having it installed at least in your main living area.
If there is a reason why you must keep that carpeting make sure it smells and looks its best, which means having it professionally cleaned. According to Homewyse.com a professional carpet cleaner will clean 500 square feet for about $174 to $230. If your hardwood flooring needs to be refinished the cost to do 500 square feet will run you about $2000. New hardwood flooring runs from about $3660 to $5762 though you might be able to get by with laminate flooring, which costs a bit less.
Get rid of any shiny yellow brass fixtures
If you have chandeliers or switch plates that are shiny yellow brass, get rid of them. Replace them with fixtures that have either a chrome or satin-nickel or an oil-rubbed black or bronze finish for a contemporary look. This is something you could do yourself. The cost of two chandeliers to put over, say, a dining room table and in your kitchen, plus a few flush-mounted lights shouldn’t cost you more than $400 at a big box store such as Home Depot.
Replace any acrylic knobs in your bathrooms
These knobs not only look cheap they can be difficult to use by both kids and older people. Replace any in your house with a faucet and handle set that meets the standard of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that matches your fixture’s configuration. The ones that will cost you the least are polished chrome finish and they are the most durable. It will cost you at least $26 for a center set faucet, plus the cost of a plumber at a minimum service charge of $25 to $150. Need to replace a tub-and-shower faucet set? That will cost you about the same.
What you want prospective buyers to do is imagine living in your house. You don’t want them thinking, “How in the world did these people live like this?” Pack up all your knickknacks and other non-essential stuff and put the boxes in a storage area or your garage. Some experts say you should even pack away all your family photos as, again, you want prospective buyers to see themselves in the house and not your family. Be sure to clean your house very thoroughly and keep it that way until you’re ready to move out. Also, check for unpleasant odors like from pets or smoking. These, too, can be real turnoffs. The cost to clean up your house will be just the cost of cleaning supplies – assuming you do it yourself. If you want a pro to do it, expect to pay from $188 to $234 for a 2000 square-foot house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms – at least according to Moneywyse.com.
Here are seven more tips for selling your home fast that focus not on the physical things you could do but more selling your home for the most money.