Of course, you might be wondering what homebuyers are looking for when they search for a new home. You’re far from alone!
To get a better idea of the top desires of home buyers in any price range, check out these exclusive tips based on real conversations and experiences with our homebuyer clients. The more homebuyer’s “must-haves” your home offers, and the fewer "deal breakers" it has, the more likely you are to get the best possible financial outcome for your home sale.
(Conveniently arranged by category to help you stay organized.
Regardless of how the interior of your home looks, buyers make their first impression about your property from what it looks like on the outside. You don’t get a do-over with first impressions. It’s important that your home feels warm, welcoming and safe as buyers walk up to the front door.
1. Clean up your landscape and add brightly colored flowers to the front garden.
2. Clean up bushes and trees that could use a good trimming
3. Repair broken paver stones and masonry
4. Repave/seal your driveway (as needed)
5. Add a coat of freshly colored paint to your front door and place a welcome mat outside.
6. Give your home’s exterior a new paint job.
7. Clean your roof.
8. Use bright white paint to paint your trim.
9. Get rid of wall paper! Most (if not all) homebuyers in any price range gulp when they spot wallpaper in a prospective home. They anticipate a huge mess and an expensive inconvenience. Although sellers tell me that they are willing to offer a credit to compensate buyers for this dated feature, most buyers just can’t see past it when viewing photos online and may just click “next”.
10. Wipe down the high traffic areas of walls, doors and baseboards to get rid of grime and scuffs.
11. Re-paint the house, inside & out. Painting your home is super inexpensive and can do a world of wonder for the price point of your property. Choosing colors that work in your favor can jump up your asking price by thousands. If possible, get a consultation from a color expert so you can choose colors that help. Colors that are inviting like neutrals, evoke emotions like joy and excitement in your buyers.
12. If you have a home with dark stained moldings and windows, paint these moldings bright white! Even if you love the way it looks now, most buyers find white to be more inviting. Remember, dark colors can make your room look smaller and ceilings shorter. Both of which you DON’Twant. Also, online photos that feature dark trim can make your buyers view your home as outdated. Despite being seemingly minor, it has a huge impact on the way people think about your property.
13. For an even fresher look, paint the risers and spindles on your staircase white as well.
14. Darker stained floors are more popular today. If you have traditional honey oak floors or dated pickled floors from the 80s-90s, think about investing in refinishing. It is relatively inexpensive for the big impact that it will provide.
15. If you have carpeting with hardwood floors underneath, uncover them! This is a huge asset you want to show off. Hardwood floors are “sexy” to buyers today, and can really help sell your home for more money.
16. If you have tile, clean the grout to refresh the entire floor and make floor look brand new!
17. If you have carpet without hardwood underneath, be sure it is professionally cleaned and doesn’t have any major staining or damage. If so, it is worth it to have any poor carpet replaced.
Sure, you probably don’t want to renovate your property—well, neither do buyers. Some think that giving buyers credit for renovations is enough to keep them interested. It isn’t. They’ll likely feel that your property is more work than it is worth, and they don’t have the time to do renovations themselves. On the other hand, buyers will pay premium prices to buy a move-in ready property.
An alternative to completely renovating your kitchen and bathrooms is to do a few small renovations that can yield a fresh look at a minimum cost and time commitment. Here are a few simple suggestions.
18. Change the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs to stainless steel or brushed nickel.
19. Today, brass is often viewed as outdated. Remove as many brass fixtures as possible.
20. Re-stain or re-paint your cabinets. Re-face them if they’re in good shape.
21. Add new stainless steel appliances.
22. Swap out your old countertops with granite. Regardless of your home’s price range, buyers want and expect granite!
23. Consider installing a stainless steel sink and pull-out spray faucet.
24. Buy some pretty, fresh, white towels to invoke a light, fresh feeling when entering the bathroom.
25. If your lighting fixture(s) are dated, swap them out. Simple and cheap, but it makes a huge difference!
26. Add new, stylish drawer and cabinet pulls.
27. Eliminate and replace outdated mirrors with a stylish picture frame mirror
28. Add a simple, neutral colored shower curtain to your tub.
29. Consider adding a seamless shower door.
30. Re-grout the tub and shower.
31. Deep clean the grout on your tile floor.
32. Declutter. Despite being the most inexpensive suggestion on our list, de-cluttering your home has one of the greatest impacts. However, it does take significant time and emotional energy to go through your belongings and eliminate what you don’t want or can no longer keep. Plan months in advance to start cleaning! If you want to sell at the best time of the year, typically in Spring, then start about 6-12 months ahead of time.
Clutter makes your buyers feel stressed and uncomfortable in your home—the last thing you want them to feel. Simplify your space to conjure up positive emotions that help buyers picture themselves living in your home.
Maximize the light
After location, a home with good light is one of the most requested qualities. Buyers value great lighting.
33. Remove dark draperies.
34. Trim bushes to allow the most amount of light into your home
35. Clean your windows.
36. Add higher-wattage bulbs to your fixtures.
Areas such as your basement, utility closets, storage closets and backyards often are completely forgotten when staging a home. However, buyers look closely at these areas because they know they tell the true story of how the home was maintained. Clean these areas until they shine, and don’t leave them to the last minute!
37. Smell something musty? Start running a dehumidifier in your space to zap excess moisture. Stay away from anything that might mask the smell like a plug-in.
38. Painting the basement and/or garage concrete flooring will give the space a fresh, clean look! Battleship grey is my preferred color choice.
39. Think about giving the concrete block foundation walls a fresh coat of waterproof paint. It will give the buyer a sense of security that the house is free of moisture.
And finally, number 40: Hire a top broker in your area who can confidently net you the most amount of money in the least amount of time by leveraging their experience, market knowledge and advanced marketing programs.
With a low inventory and high demand market environment currently in our area, you - as a seller - can be in the driver’s seat.
Properly prep your home, price it correctly, add gorgeous professional photos of the interior, exterior, and neighborhood shots, place on the proper web portals and social media channels, and you’ve got a winning combination that should result in a very successful home selling experience.
Even if you aren’t ready to sell your home this year or even next, try to do some improvement projects each year so you can enjoy these upgrades yourself instead of just doing them for the new buyer.