It’s time to put your house on the market and move on—so what do you need to do to get ready? Well, some might be willing to sell “as is” to avoid putting in a little effort. However, there are simple steps you can take to easily increase your return on investment and sellability. 

Remember, the key to selling your house quickly and for a profit is to appeal to the potential buyer’s imagination! They desperately want to walk into a home that they can envision themselves enjoying for the foreseeable future. In order to facilitate that fantasy, you’ll need to provide them with a clean, worry-free template to project their hopes and dreams upon. 

Here, we’ll give you ten tips to spruce up your home in preparation for successful showings!

1. Fix all the small things and some of the big ones

The last thing a potential buyer wants to see when they walk into a home for sale is all the things they’ll need to fix when they move in. To get ahead, make sure those things are fixed before they walk through the front door.

The small things

Fix all the small things you can. Dents, dings, tears, and scrapes. Replace broken fixtures, globes, towel bars, etc. Make sure outlets and switches have covers. Have a friend come in and point out anything they see that looks like it could be easily repaired.

Big-ticket items

There are several items that you will get majorly dinged for on inspection. Instead, fix or replace them and watch the appraisal of your home go up. Soldnest, Inc. recommends checking the-

  • Air conditioning unit
  • Furnace
  • Water heater
  • Foundation
  • Subfloor under the bathrooms
  • Electrical system
  • Roof

2. Update the kitchen

Kitchens, bathrooms, and primary bedrooms are under the highest scrutiny from potential buyers because that’s where we spend the majority of our time! According to HGTV, “The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated.”

The two areas that seem to impress buyers the most are-

  • Countertops
  • Major appliances

Replacing a dated countertop and backsplash with granite, or the like, gives an old kitchen a refreshing facelift. Add in at least one stainless steel appliance and you’re good to go.

Tip: Get those appliances fixed. A buyer wants their home to be move-in ready. Save them the stress of having to replace everyday appliances and they’ll be more likely to buy.

For suggestions on Fort Collins and Loveland area countertops, contact Graham’s for a free design consultation!

3. Replace the flooring

“From laminate to carpet, everything should be in good condition,” recommends Opendoor. Flooring can change the whole feel of a home. It can brighten and exude quality, but it also must be comfortable and clean. If your carpet is torn or worn, if your hardwood is scratched or damaged by water, if your tile is cracked, consider fixing or replacing your flooring. It is easy to update outdated floor coverings and it can be relatively inexpensive especially with the wide variety of durable laminate available.

Tip: Make it seem like the pets were never there! Replacing carpeting/flooring damaged by a pet is in your best interest. It doesn’t matter how cute your furry friend is—no potential buyer has the desire to purchase a property that smells like an animal.

Wouldn’t you know it! Graham’s is your local Fort Collins and Loveland flooring expert. Contact us or drop in to peruse your options.

4. Improve those bathrooms

“Clean, updated bathrooms are an absolute must,” Rocket Mortgage asserts. The kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms that your potential buyers are going to use every day from day one. Updating those rooms will get you a definite return and will most likely sell your home quicker, and it doesn’t take a top to bottom remodel. Pick out the elements that need a little pep or that change the feel of the room as a whole. New countertops, fresh flooring, or the latest vanity could be all you need! 

Luckily, Graham’s loves a bathroom remodel in Fort Collins and surrounding areas, as well. If you’d like to consult on some new countertops or flooring for your bathroom, contact us anytime!

5. Replace handles and fixtures

Home staging stylist Carlo LaCuesta of Odin + Friday recommends replacing light fixtures because “they date easily and are an easy fix.” In addition, switch out cabinet handles for something modern or trendy, and make sure your bathroom fixtures are all working and attractive. These little touches give a sense of opulence without breaking the bank.

6. Brighten it up

A bright space encourages hope and that is what your prospective buyers want to feel when they walk into a home. Eliminate spaces that feel dark and dank, and instead encourage your buyer’s scope of imagination. To illuminate your space, try-

  • A fresh coat of white paint (for specific recommendations, check out this HGTV article)
  • New window coverings that let the light in
  • Updating your lighting scheme 

Tip: Every light in the house is going to have to be on while showing, and burned-out bulbs make your space look neglected. Make sure you have plenty of extra light bulbs on hand.

7. Deep clean your home

Facilitate your potential buyer’s creative power by presenting them with a fresh and clean canvas on which to project their vision. Your goal is to have them imagine their glorious lives if they buy your home. Dust, dirt, and odors do not lend to a pristine canvas. Get your home deep cleaned right before you show it, and make sure to keep up the maintenance while the house is on the market.

8. Declutter

In re: fresh canvas, see above. But also, declutter your home to give it the illusion of space. Our personal items can create disorder which leads to claustrophobia. Strip rooms of everything that isn’t serving it. In addition, the more personal touches that your home has in furnishings and decor, the harder it is for the buyer to remove you from the home and place themself in the space. 

This is another time where the observations of a friend, someone objective, would be invaluable. They’ll let you know what stands out and what needs to go.

9. Make storage appear as if from nowhere!

Let’s face it—potential buyers are definitely going to snoop in your closets, cabinets, and drawers. Who could blame them? They are trying to envision their own things there, and storage is a commodity. A little trick of the trade is to take as many of your things out of cupboards and closets and then organize what’s left to accentuate the amount of storage! In fact, highlight any extra storage you may have: under the stairs, built-ins, above cabinets, etc.

10. Curb appeal!

What is the saying? “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well then, you’d better make it a good one!

A prospective buyer’s experience begins the moment they drive up to your home. Don’t forget to utilize your facade to create an immediate sense of hospitality. Rocket Mortgage suggests you-

  • Keep up your lawn: mowing, weeding, and pruning bushes
  • Repair and paint your fence
  • Pressure wash your sidewalk, driveway, and patio
  • Give your front door a fresh coat of paint

Additionally, consider-

  • Cleaning your gutters and washing siding
  • Planting some lovely flowers
  • Purchasing an inviting doormat 
  • Repairing or replacing your mailbox

With these tips, you should be ready to get your house on the market with confidence in your yield and marketability. Happy selling!

Now, what can we help you with here at Graham’s Flooring & Design? We are eager to assist with anything you need when it comes to flooring, countertops, baths, backsplashes, and more! And for more info, check out our blog on 8 Must Buy Home Staging Accessories

References and Resources