As the Minneapolis/St. Paul housing market is expected to continue its recent upward trend through 2015 and beyond, many other Midwestern markets are moving from their previously stagnant state, and are experiencing a steady increase. If you’re a homeowner who’s having trouble selling your home in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois or anywhere else throughout America’s robust midsection, here are a few very simple tips that might just help you finally find a buyer.
Image credit: American Advisors Group
What’s the very first thing that buyers do when they see a new listing? Look for photos online of course. Bad real estate photos can kill a deal before it even has a chance. We’ve all seen these atrocious pics: The off-center photo of the messy living room, the blurry snapshot of the unmade bed, or the listing that only has exterior shots, which makes you think, “what are they hiding in there?” All of these are instant red-flags to potential buyers. So get your home camera-ready and take some time to get some high quality shots. Try to use the nicest camera you can get your hands on and make sure your photos are clean, well-lit and in-focus!
Curb appeal is much more important than people think. Most potential buyers will do a drive-by viewing before making an appointment to see the house, so if the yard isn’t up to snuff, they’ll probably lose interest before you even hear from them in the first place. A fresh coat of paint and some simple landscaping can make all the difference. Make sure you trim your trees and bushes so the house is clearly visible from the street. And try to take care of any dead patches in the lawn and remove any debris from the front yard that might make it look cluttered. Also, you can always go all out and hire a professional landscape designer to give your front yard a complete facelift. It’ll run you a couple thousand dollars, but it’s a surefire way to wow prospective buyers.
Midwesterners are no strangers to the long, bitter winter, which can be an especially tough time to sell a home. There are a few things you can do to make it a little more appealing when you’re showing your house in winter. 1) Make it safe. Be sure to thoroughly shovel and salt the driveway and any outdoor walkways to avoid unfortunate sale-killing slips and falls. 2) Warm them up. You want your potential buyers to feel good in their potential new home, so make sure you keep it nice and warm when people come to take a look. 3) Winter curb appeal. Midwestern snowfall can make curb appeal a tall order, so do what you can to make it look nice. Keep your trees and hedges trimmed, walkways neatly shoveled, and try to find some cold weather plants and winter blooming flowers to beautify your entranceway.
Upgrades/Minor Kitchen Remodels
When looking at houses, buyers tend to spend the most time checking out the kitchen. After all, the kitchen is one of the most used and highly functional rooms in any home, so it’s no surprise that a kitchen can make or break your sale. However, at an average of 30,000 to 50,000 dollars, a full kitchen remodel might be out of the question, but there are still plenty of things you can do to spruce it up without breaking the bank. For instance, instead of completely replacing your cabinetry, you can simply replace the visible surface with some nice new raised-panel cabinet doors. That, plus some fresh countertops and some new flooring (if it’s in the budget) will do wonders for your home’s value and overall appeal.
Just because the market might not be on fire in your area, it doesn’t mean that selling your home is impossible. But, when the market is rough, every little detail counts. So give these simple tweaks and adjustments a try and see if you can’t turn that stubborn property into a hot-ticket item.
This article was provided by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. They are based in Ohio and provide excellent services, quality search tools, and years of expertise with home selling and buying real estate throughout Ohio, including Beavercreek, Centerville and Columbus, plus the Northern Kentucky regions. "Come Home to Quality" is their motto and they are a brand within real estate that you can recognize and trust.