How to Fix Up Your Home to Sell
Several years ago, you could put a "For Sale" sign in front of a house and immediately
a line of buyers would form, each vying to see who could offer the highest bid. Those days
are only a faint memory now.
Today there's a record inventory of houses on the market. When a potential buyer comes
to see your house, you need to understand that they have already, or soon will have,
looked at dozens of homes similar to yours. How does your house look compared to the
competition? Why should they buy your house rather than the competition?
When we live in a house every day, we tend to overlook the faults. To get an honest
evaluation of how your house appears to potential buyers, you need a set of fresh eyes to
look it. One way to find out how your house compares to the competition is to ask a real
estate agent to take a look at it.
Have a few agents come by and ask them what you need to do to fix your house up for
sale. You don't need to sign a listing contract with an agent to get them to evaluate the
condition of your house. Agents will be happy to help you because they're hoping to get
your listing when you're ready to sell. Ask the agent to be brutally honest, saving your
feelings now is not going to get you the quickest sale and best price for your house.
Does Your house have Curb Appeal?
When a potential buyer comes up the street, what will be their first impression of your
house? When fixing up your house, you should start with what a potential buyer will see
first. If a buyer is keeping your house in consideration, they'll drive by several times
without their agent and without coming inside.
What is the condition of the sidewalk and driveway? When an agent pulls up with a
potential buyer, what will they step out onto? Is the sidewalk or driveway cracked or
discolored? Is it covered with dirt from runoff after the last rainfall?
There are chemicals available that will remove stains from concrete. If your driveway
is asphalt, you can get crack filler and coating to make the asphalt look new. If the
public sidewalk in front of your house is cracked, you can work with the city to get it
fixed. You may need to have a new driveway or sidewalk poured. It's expensive, but you may
need to spend the money in order to get that all-important curb appeal.
What is the condition of your lawn? Assuming that you don't have desert landscaping, is
your lawn as green as it could be, or are there many brown spots. If your lawn is less
than perfect, you should do something about it. Fertilize and replant dead grass and water
If the trees and bushes in front of your house look partially dead or are overgrown,
you need to trim them. Add some color to the front landscaping by planting some flowers
along the pathway leading to the front door. If you can't do the landscape work yourself,
you may need to hire a landscaper. Remove any debris from the front and back, and side yards.