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Checklist: 10 Easy Projects to Boost Your Home’s Value

By Sabra Morris  |  April 19, 2019

As many experts have predicted, the sell-side real estate market has slowly begun get more crowded.

According to a recent article in Fortune, “The number of homes on the market is starting to rise … meaning buyers have a wider selection to choose from. In January, there were 1.59 million previously owned homes on the market, compared to 1.53 million in December. The average home stayed on the market 49 days, a week longer than January 2018.”

In addition, consumer confidence may take a hit due to a slowing economy this spring, according to a recent report by Housing Wire.

All this means buyers will have more properties to choose from, and decreased competition may render your home subject to more (and more detailed) scrutiny.

As such, if you’re selling your home in the near future, you’ll want to go the extra mile to ensure your property stands out from the crowd.

How do you do this?

“I always advise my sellers is to see their home through the eyes of a buyer,” says Purplebricks REALTOR® Wendy Smith. “They should walk up to their home and enter the house just like any buyer would do. If a buyer feels a home lacks maintenance, they will either pass you by or devalue your home and submit a lower-than-desirable offer.”

But how do you know which deferred maintenance projects to tackle first?

Here’s Wendy’s checklist of priority questions to ask during your walk-through. These will help you identify the fixes that will yield you the most bang for your buck:

1.  Does the home look nice at first glance?

Are your windows clean? Is your landscaping full, well-groomed and welcoming? Cheery flowers and lush greenery go a long way to painting a pretty picture of what’s on the inside.

2.  Speaking of which … how’s the paint job?

At very least, does the front door have a fresh coat of paint? Do the main exterior color and trim work appear new and up-to-date? A drab facade could turn buyers away unnecessarily, so consider a good power wash to reveal your home’s true colors — or a new paint job altogether.

3. Does the home smell nice?

Pet or smoke odors are a no-go, as are any lingering food aromas (good or bad). Ensure your potential buyers are concentrating on your home’s great features, not what you had for dinner last night. Often, a deep clean of your home’s interior and a rewash of all linens and soft goods can help diminish strong smells. If that doesn’t help, consider eliminating rugs, old furniture items and even carpet that has been exposed to strong odors for a period of years.

4. Is the carpet stained? Can you see chipped baseboards or dirty walls?

Small bits of patchwork go a long way to making your home appear polished, bright, shiny and new.  Make sure your walls appear fresh and clean (a new coat of paint in a light color always helps here, too). Remove any stained carpets or rugs (see #3) and give baseboards and trim a quick paint touch-up. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the magic eraser for quick stain removal on trim, walls, and even fixtures.

5. Do all the cabinet doors & drawers open nicely?

So your silverware drawer went off the rails in 1993: Fine by you, but it may deter a picky buyer. Ensure everything runs smoothly (literally) so as to not inspire any distraction. Consider retrofitting soft-close hardware if you want to score even more brownie points on showing day.

6. Do your tubs and showers sparkle?

If not, consider re-glazing. No one wants to inherit a dirty bathroom (or one that looks dirty, anyway).

7. Do all the fixtures operate well?

Wonky faucets, slow-flushing toilets, bad water pressure, knobs and other hardware that appears to be hanging by a thread: These are all items that could turn off a potential buyer. Fixtures are a relatively inexpensive items to repair and replace, so consider doing so for anything that appears to have seen better days.

8. Do all the lights work?

Potential buyers may try the light switches and lamps, so make sure everything is in working order. You don’t want to give the impression that wiring has been done improperly or is outdated. If necessary, have an electrician over to troubleshoot any obvious issues.

9. Do all the windows open & have good screens?

Bent screens allow bugs in and, aside from giving light, windows that don’t open don’t serve you. Who wants to discover, on the year’s first hot day, that there’s no way to let cool air in? Windows that are outdated or in disrepair are signs of neglect, so be sure yours are in good shape and ahem … reflect well on your home’s value.

10. Do the sliding doors operate well?

Imagine fighting with the sliding door every time you want to go out to the deck: Not a good look. Buyers looking for a move-in ready space want to make sure everything functions seamlessly, without having to think about it at all.

More from Around the Web

For more on the pitfalls of deferred maintenance, check out this article.

Did you know: Our Purplebricks agents can help you spot deferred maintenance issues and recommend quick solutions. They can also advise on how to help you sell your home quickly, and for the best price. Find the agent in your area by clicking here.

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