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About to Sell Your Home? Make Sure You're Doing These Smart Things!

By Regina Gables | March 17, 2020

You, as a homeowner, have a lot to juggle when it comes to your property. From the roof to the walls to the very floor, there is a lot to look after, and you may hire a variety of working professionals like roofers, plumbers, etc. who can fix or replace just about anything.

You are bound to hire plumbers and electricians and woodworkers from time to time, and not only for your benefit but for the benefit of future owners of that home, too. Suppose you plan to soon sell your house, and you want to maximize its appeal on the market and find a buyer in due time? This is going to involve spending some money, but the good news is that this is not just money spent; it is money invested if you know what to do. Here are some fine ways you can make your house stand out on the real estate market when you are ready to sell it.

Thoroughly Clean Your Home

This is something you should do regularly anyway, but you should be extra diligent about this in the months and weeks leading up to the sale of your property. All surfaces should be subject to thorough cleaning, and some cleaning work you can do for yourself, while other cleaning jobs may call for professionals who can reach surfaces that you cannot. Now, why not start with the carpet? Having so many fibers, carpets (and rugs) can easily soak up a lot of dirt, grime, and bacteria, which can make carpets smelly and cause them to emit VOCs, and no one wants that. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum your carpets, and also use carpet cleaners that use water and shampoo to perform a deep clean and remove dirt that vacuums cannot reach. If need be, you can hire a maid service to take care of this for you. In more extreme cases, it may be a better call to replace the carpet entirely; the industry standard, for reference, is to replace carpets once every 10-15 years.

A maid service can deep-clean your carpet, while HVAC workers can access the air ducts in your home and clean off the metal in there, such as removing animal nests, as well as wiping away all pollen, dust, grime, and other debris. Doing this can remove obstructions and reduce the presence of VOCs and bacteria in the air of your home, and if the HVAC system is very old, you may consider overhauling it entirely. This is costly, of course, but it pays off since the new system is clean, powerful, and has modern energy efficiency standards built-in. That will appeal greatly to home buyers, and it allows you to raise the asking price of your property. Be sure that home buyers are told about a new HVAC system somehow.

Have Your Home Inspected

Dirt won't be scoured from your home if you don't know that it's there. It helps if you keep a log tracking when any major cleaning or remodeling work is done, such as knowing when the carpets were installed, or when the HVAC system was last cleaned. And if not, you might want to hire professionals to look the place over in every nook and cranny, and you might be surprised at what they find in your property. Workers may find mold in the attic or basement, find rats or their droppings, cockroaches, mice in the walls, or even drywall stains or warped wood in the attic. And, of course, the aforementioned dirty air ducts. And what about the plumbing? Some stainless steel pipes can last for 100 years, but they are hardly indestructible. Be sure to have plumbers check for any leaking or damaged pipes, so they can be fixed or replaced, or at least have clamps applied to them. Wasting water is a bad situation both for you and the home's future owners.

Check for Snow Mold

This may not be an issue for homeowners in Texas or Arizona, but it will affect homeowners in more temperate regions, mainly in early spring. Snow mold is a common hazard; when snow melts on your front lawn, and this added moisture spurs mold growth in dark, shady, or depressed areas in particular. When the snow on your lawn begins to melt and as the daytime temperature reaches between 30°F and 45°F, snow mold can begin to spread rapidly. Mold loves moisture, and a leaky roof is prone to have mold in it while your lawn or house walls may suffer snow mold. Don't let your home's new owners discover this for themselves later on; take care of it now.


So far, we have covered ideas for taking care of the home's interior, and more are to come. But don't forget about the land surrounding your home, either, since many surveyed Americans say that they value time spent in the front and back yards. You are advised to take your lawns as seriously as you do the house's interior, and this can pay off in big ways. Bear in mind that a home buyer will form a solid impression of the property before they ever step inside, and they will look over the lawn and sidewalk carefully. Make sure that all trash and weeds are eliminated, and mow the lawn, too. You may hire a residential or commercial trash removal service. Consider adding shrubs, a flower garden, or even a transplanted tree for some charming greenery, and in a cold state, you can find hardy plants that do well even in winter. Meanwhile, consider "hardscaping," or adding man-made features such as a fence, a garden shed, stone pathways, or even a wooden deck or patio, whatever your budget permits. All of this may impress buyers and allow you to raise the property's value. Consider this: investing just 5% of a property's value in hardscaping can yield an ROI (return on investment) as high as 150%.

Room Remodeling

Let's return to the house's interior. Not only can you clean the surfaces and check for mold or busted pipes, but you can also update entire rooms or even the entire thing. Home remodeling crews can make the room look like anything you choose, and around 30% of all home remodeling jobs involve the entire home. In particular, the kitchen and master bathroom are popular rooms to remodel, though the living room and basement can also be remodeled, among others. Many of these rooms may result in an ROI as high as 70-80% when they are remodeled. Also, consider hiring window and door crews to replace old, shabby windows or doors for improved looks, better security, and to prevent air drafts. You can do this whether or not a particular room is remodeled as a whole. Any room will need good windows.

A remodeled kitchen will appeal to many home buyers, since a fresh and clean kitchen is an appealing and convenient place for cooking, especially for a family. Floor experts can remove old tiles or linoleum flooring and add new materials, and the backsplash tiles can be updated, too. Meanwhile, plumbers can fit in a new sink (probably a more water-efficient model), and even the wallpaper and lighting fixtures can be updated. The countertop can be swapped out for a new one, such as a granite or marble model, and a new stove or dishwasher may be added.

Let's not forget that bathroom. Plumbers can swap out the old sink, bathtub, and shower head for modern low-flow models, and here too, flooring and tiles can be updated for a fresh look, not to mention the lighting fixtures and wall paint. If you are expecting elderly buyers, you can even install a special tub that has a side hatch, so seniors can easily step in and out of the bath without losing their footing. Finally, you can have the basement cleared out and cleaned so the new owners can store their own items in there, or even convert it into a home entertainment center or a hobby room.

Your home should be energy-efficient, safe, and pleasant to look at and live in, and all of this investment will make it much more likely to attract buyers on the market, and you can ask for a higher price, too. All that remodeling work and plumbing repair is an investment, not just an expense, and homebuyers will greatly appreciate a property that is fully ready to welcome them. With some smart effort, you can make that happen.

Regina Gables is a Realty Biz News Contributor and a freelance writer. With a background in Journalism, she enjoyswriting on real estate topics such as home buying, real estate technology and opinionated editorials.
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