After 30 years of selling real estate in Las Vegas, I can state for a fact: Most buyers have ZERO imagination. When buyers tour a home for sale, most have a very difficult time visualizing anything other than the condition it is in currently. While a small percentage actually prefer a fixer-upper so they can get what they really want and not pay for someone else's taste, 95% really want a move in condition home and are willing to pay top dollar for it. In fact, many buyers in our area say they only want brand new homes, but if you show them one that is model perfect with everything already done, they will jump on it.
So if you are thinking of selling your home later this spring, NOW is the time to get it ready. Late spring is traditionally the time of year that there is the most inventory on the market, so that means more competition. And the real estate community is a small world. Realtors love to show mint condition properties, so they get shown more often. The more showings you get, the better the chance of selling your home quicker and for a higher price.
But of course, you don't want to put more into your home than is necessary. First step: have a professional real estate agent come view your home and make suggestions as to what improvements will give you the most bang for the buck. Some improvements will more than pay for themselves, some will be a break-even but help your home sell faster, and others are not worth it at all. Many items just need your elbow grease on a regular basis.
Below are some basic maintenance guidelines:
- Front Entry: Spruce up the outside - you only get one chance to make a great first impression! Put out a new or clean doormat and make sure to keep this area swept regularly. All woodwork should be freshly and neatly painted, including the door if necessary. Replace badly worn or broken doorbells.
- Yard: Mow and trim the lawn. Replace any dead plants or trees and get rid of all weeds.
- Driveway, garage: Clean up grease or oil spots and make sure the garage opener is working properly
- Patio: People love "outdoor living areas" these days. An enticing grouping of patio furniture will make them want to stay for awhile.
- Swimming pool: Make sure all cool decking is in good condition and keep the pool SPARKLING clean at all times. Get rid of ratty old floats and create a pristine environment. With summer right around the corner, everyone is looking for homes for sale with pools in Las Vegas.
- Windows: Repair or replace torn or bent screens or remove them entirely. Check to see if any windows are broken and remove or replace any tattered window coverings. And make sure to keep all window coverings open for showings - buyers like bright sunny rooms.
- Paint: One of the least expensive but most effective ways of enhancing your home's value is a fresh coat of paint.
- Carpet: A deep steam cleaning is the best answer for soiled carpets. If you have pet odors, clean the carpet a few weeks before your home is placed on the market so the odors have time to fade.
And after that, it's time to de-clutter the interior of your home:
- Closets: Buyers always want more storage and closet space. Pack up everything you aren't likely to need and, if possible, take it to a storage unit or borrow part of a friend's garage.
- Counters and cabinets: If your counters and cabinets are cluttered, buyers will feel like they won't have enough room for their things either. Remove everything from counters and take all those refrigerator magnets down too while you are at it.
- Garage: Like closets, garages need to feel spacious. Again box up everything you can and move it to storage and get rid of any oil leaks.
Bathrooms: Few things will "unsell" a house as fast as dirty bathrooms. If the sinks are chipped or the faucets corroded, it may be worth it to invest in new ones. Make sure to recaulk any moldy tile areas and put down fresh bath mats and towels.
Kitchen: The kitchen is the focal point of the house and can make or break a sale. Make sure the burners on the stove are shiny and clean and the oven too. Put fresh liners in drawers and cabinets - no one wants to buy old toast crumbs and vegetable oil stains. (Showing hint: put a little vanilla on foil in the oven and set it on low to create a fresh baked smell in your home.)
Rearrange furniture: Even though you might like watching TV from a certain spot, traffic areas should flow. Again, old worn furniture should be gotten rid of and too many personal knick knacks distract from the home itself.
This may seem like a lot of work (it is!), but it all adds up to a quicker sale and more money in your pocket. Or, you may find you love your "new home" so much, you don't want to move. For sure you will be saying, "Why didn't we do this for ourselves?!!"
Team Leader, The Tonnesen Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada
3185 St Rose Pkwy #100 Henderson, NV 89052
With over 30 years of experience helping families call Las Vegas "home!"
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