Other than price, what do you do to rehabs that makes the most difference? Here are 18 things we’ve found that help sell quickly.
- Start with landscaping so people driving by are immediately interested, even while you’re working on it. Cleaning up the yard and front of the house first also thrills the neighbors and gets them talking positively. “Face lift” landscaping is fast and easy – pull out weeds, throw down pine needles. A bit of aeration and seed can mean new grass by the time the house is ready for the for sale sign.
- Next, pay special attention to the front door and the entry hardware. This is the first up close viewing of your property. Make sure both the door and door knob are in excellent condition – that the knob is tight and works well and that the door not only looks good but opens and closes efficiently. Something as subtle as a loose doorknob puts the buyer on alert from the time they enter, even if only subconsciously.
- Another subtle fix that adds a great deal of impact is crown molding. If your budget allows, add it to main living areas such as living and dining rooms.
- Replace fixtures. Light fixtures are inexpensive and new ones work wonders as do new door & drawer knobs. Knobs that have paint on them especially need replacing. Plumbing fixtures are more expensive than lighting but make a significant visual difference.
- A quick, inexpensive change that is always noticed is to take out standard sheet mirrors in bathrooms and replace them with nice framed mirrors.
- When painting, paint the trim a contrasting color from the walls. If you don’t want a contrast color, make walls at least two shades darker or lighter than the trim for an extra pop. And, gloss for the trim makes them easy to wipe off. Don’t paint walls gloss, however, or every bump and crack will show when the lights are on.
- Once you’ve painted, be sure to replace electrical outlets. Dingy old switch and outlet covers really stand out on clean walls and make prospects wonder what else you’ve glossed over.
- Caulk – Inexpensive and easy to use. When done correctly, makes areas look tight, neat and clean.
- Nasty tile colors? If tiles are in good shape, they can be painted any color you like. We have ours done professionally, tubs as well, as the kits you buy at home improvement centers tend to chip and peel over time. The ones we have done professionally look like new and never go bad.
- Continuity. Whether your prefer brass, brushed nickel, shiny, matt, or antique, make sure all knobs, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and hinges match. Many of the things I’m listing make a subliminal impact and the buyer may not even know what it is that they like or don’t like, but attention to detail pays big dividends.
- In our experience, changing kitchen cabinets sells much faster than painting old ones. New cabinets look new and painted cabinets look like a quick and less expensive fix. Painting the outside doesn’t make the inside look better and buyers know what was done. They, again, wonder what else you simply covered up.
- The most important feature of any house is kitchen and baths so make sure yours sparkle.
- Put up, at the very least, inexpensive blinds so exterior openings are covered and your prospects don’t see the expense of window treatments. With blinds, your buyer can move and sleep in the home immediately.
- Light bulbs. I almost omitted this because it seems so obvious, but working lightbulbs in all fixtures including appliances, even the one over the stove. Really.
- One of my favorites and the one that always gets oohs and ahhhs, is a clean and painted garage floor. Yup, cleaning and painting the garage makes the whole house seem new. Don’t miss the floor. Concrete paint is cheap.
- Pressure wash and stain decks so the whole house looks and feels fresh.
- Remember the crawl space. Check under the house. Yes this, too, needs to be clean and neat. Laying down plastic adds a more attended to look and protects the house from moisture.
- Last, but not least, a new mailbox. Everyone sees it; you want it to look new.
What can you add?