With the weather warming up and home buyers hitting the market, many of you may be prepping your home for the market.
In addition to fixing up some areas that could trigger a negative home inspection, sellers can begin to think about what they can do to attract buyers. Luckily, online real estate marketplace Zillow surveyed top real estate agents and interior designers to give you insider information about the home improvements that can lead to a speedy sale.
Zillow listed several key improvements, starting with the home's exterior.
Curb appeal matters
Making a good first impression is still key for attracting buyers. A home's exterior sends signals about what the inside of the home will look like as well as whether the new home inspection will reveal structural issues.
"A clean entrance can go a long way at establishing a positive first impression," said Cyndi Lesinski, a Zillow Agent Advisory Board member from Valencia, Calif.
Clear refuse from the lawn and add some potted plants. Also, apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and clean the gutters.
Spring cleaning helps
While many homeowners take the opportunity to clean and organize their homes once the spring starts, such cleaning can also be beneficial for selling your home. Specifically, reducing clutter to create a feeling of open space is a good way to help prospective buyers envision themselves in the home. Furthermore, Kerrie Kelly, a Zillow Digs Board of Designers member, said that cleaning up can even help buyers overlook outdated appliances.
Kitchen updates sell
If, however, you are interested in spending a bit on updates, shoot for granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in your kitchen. Zillow Agent Advisory Board member Bic DeCaro said that most buyers request these features when they meet with real estate agents, and providing these amenities can increase competition for your property, thereby heightening your potential closing price.
Zillow's respondents did note that the kitchen is one of few places where you should spend significant amounts of money to renovate. Besides the bathroom, most other rooms can benefit from a simple coat of paint, updated light fixtures and new cabinet and door handles.
Presentation is key
After you've cleaned up your home's interior and exterior and made a few updates, think about how you can stage it to the broadest audience possible. Mara Miller, a Zillow Digs Board of Designers member, recommended removing all personal items and staying away from furniture and colors that only fit a particular taste.