Throughout much of Colorado, November starts off as one of the better buying seasons for people looking to own a home. Sellers get to enjoy the annual sales boom in July, which is often the best time to sell a home, with excellent weather enticing transplants to relocate. But patient buyers know that the “left over” homes, the ones that didn’t make the cut in the summer sales frenzy, will likely have received a price drop and the owners might be more negotiable. Don’t get me wrong, the statistics still show that days on market, while creeping up, are still low. However, most of our Colorado Springs military members are settled and kids are in school. This is when the market takes a breather and prices calm down a bit. If you happen to be the owner of one the passed up homes of this summer, you know, that selling a home can be tricky after the summer craze.
Each buyer is different, and the same thing won’t appeal to everybody. Some buyers are going to be looking for a sleek backyard; others will want a spa-like bathtub; yet some people may want a home theater system. You can’t please every potential customer, especially in a buyer’s market like the fall, so why try? Sure, you can go ahead and take your friend’s advice by dropping $15,000 into a new kitchen and maybe get 60 percent of that back. Or you can spend less than $1,000 and immensely improve your home’s aesthetic appeal during showings, and up the negotiation power you have this November.
Brighten the Mood
Replacing old or color-clashing light fixtures is a fairly cheap option. Install dimming overhead lights in the living room, and replace ancient light fixtures outside with motion detecting adapters. Another thing to consider is adding overhead fans into each bedroom or living area. This helps move air around during the cold and warm months, and is another lighting option.
Have a Clear View
Replacing any cracked, dinged up or otherwise unseemly windows is a good idea. Try to also get energy efficient windows as a selling point to resist heat in the summer and retain it in the winter. It’ll help the new home owner with their utility costs. Shiny windows inspire confidence that a home owner has taken care of their property. Just avoid any tacky, customized or oddly shaped options.
Now that the windows are clear and sparkling, make sure you don’t cover them up with heavy drapery but just add a bit of accent window coverings.
Oh, the odors….
Odors can turn buyers off almost instantly. I had buyers not even wanting to see a home because they were “greeted” at the entrance with a strong smell. So let’s take care of that.
When fall comes and the heat kicks back on, it’s time to also take a closer look at the furnace. Have the furnace inspected, cleaned and the filter replaced to keep odors away from your home and thus from potential buyers.
Ratty, stained carpet is a huge detractor to any home. That coffee stain you covered up with a couch? That’s no longer hidden. The urine smells from the dog’s accident in the living room corner? Lighting candles only masked the smell; it’s still there. If you can’t perfectly clean your carpet or rug, then the best way to get rid of an unappealing floor is to literally get rid of it. Call a junk removal service and have them haul away any carpets and big rugs that are in poor shape, or any rotting floorboards and tacky tile.
Getting a nice, plush carpet from a local home improvement store isn’t necessarily cheap but, depending on how many rooms you’re replacing, you can likely get the project completed for less than $300 if you install it yourself. Another option is to install [laminate] wood or high quality vinyl floors. Get the proper measurements and then put colorful accent rugs on top for a classier appearance.
Mop the Walls
You might not notice it, but walls attract a lot of grime. Black smudges from greasy hands stain walls, especially near doorways. Nobody wants to see a pristine white wall scarred by a tar-like smear, so don’t let them. Grab your floor mop, put on a clean mop head, add some cleaning product and a smidgen of bleach and then you’re ready to clean. Wipe down the walls from base to ceiling with your odd-smelling soapy concoction, and with enough scrubbing the dark stains will erase.
Eliminate the perception of clutter and add a bit more space to your cramped kitchen and living rooms by mounting blinds, paper towel racks and dish cloth holders. The general rule is if the appliance has a screw, then screw it. Torque that shiny piece of metal so it lays flush with whatever it is holding up.
Guest blogger: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, good music, traveling, and exploring the great outdoors.