If you spend a little money to fix up your home, it will help you make more money when you sell. The little things can help you dress up your home and give you a lot more bang for the buck. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are some easy and inexpensive ways to give your home a newer feel. In the eastside neighborhoods of Seattle, it’s important to do some of these updates because buyers still have a lot of homes to choose from. Plus, buyers always think it’s harder to make updates than it really is and it will cost them more to do than it really does cost. This could mean the buyers make a lower offer or they don’t make an offer at all. I always tell my sellers when the buyers walk into the entry, you don’t want the first thing they think to be: “I have to change that brass chandelier in the entryway.” Your goal should be to have the buyers walk in and focus on the home, not something that needs an update. Eliminate an old light fixture before it becomes an issue.
Recently, I made the trip to Home Depot and Seattle Eastside’s Crescent Lighting Store with one of my clients. My goal for this home was to update it with some great looking fixtures, but in as economical way as possible. The home is in excellent condition and shows well, but some new fixtures would dress it up beautifully. The fixtures below are great for traditional homes and work well for homes in the Seattle area that are below the $650,000 price point. More expensive homes may command more expensive fixtures. When you go looking for fixtures, take some photos of your spaces and the existing fixtures. It will help you to pick out the right style for your home.
Below are some of the plumbing and lighting fixtures we picked out:
The lighting fixtures should relate well to one another and share a similar style. If you buy brushed nickel lights, then all of the fixtures should match with a brushed nickel feel. The same should happen with the shades or glass bowls. Many of the bowls today are a smooth frosted look. Again, all of the lighting should have the same glass look. Talk with some of the people working in the store and have them help you to choose lighting that comes from a similar line and works well together.
The total cost for this project was about $500.00. It is $500.00 that is very well spent and will add that finishing touch to a great home. Can you think of some other inexpensive ways to dress up a home?
Mr and Mrs. Home Seller ask: “Why don’t we let the buyers pick out the new carpet? We don’t know what color they may want.”
This is one of the most common sentiments I’ve heard over the years from home sellers. Sellers often think it’s best to leave the old carpet, offer a carpet allowance if needed, and let the buyer choose their own carpet.
Is this right? Do buyers want to choose their own carpet?
NO. Not in the Seattle-Eastside real estate market. Buyers DO NOT want to choose, pay or replace carpet when buying a new home. In this area, Seattle’s eastside cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, and Issaquah, etc., buyers want to buy a home that’s move-in ready.
On Seattle’s eastside, the typical buyer is a very busy person(s) who may work a lot of hours. Most buyers aren’t looking to do structural or cosmetic updates to a home. They don’t have the time or the inclination. They want to move in and continue on with their lives with the least amount of disruption. They don’t want to be replacing carpet. Besides, there are lots of Seattle-eastside homes to choose from and many of the other homes have been updated and are ready to go.
Most home sellers don’t want to replace carpet either, but think about it. The buyers don’t have to replace your carpet because they don’t have to buy your home. They have other homes to buy. However, as the seller, you have only one home to sell and so you’ve got to do it. Remember, if you feel like you don’t want to replace the carpet, the buyer probably feels the same way. The catch is, they don’t have to do it, they can buy another home.
So if you want to get an offer to buy your home and make the most money while selling your home, replace your carpet if it’s worn, discolored, has stains, you name it. Make sure it looks fresh and clean, otherwise it will cost you money in the sales price for your home and it could even cost you getting a buyer.
Should you spend a lot for expensive carpet? Absolutely not. You should put in a good grade of carpet, but one that is similar to what builders install in new construction. Make sure you pick a neutral color and install a good 8 lb. pad underneath the rug. A thin pad with new carpet won’t work. It’s easy to tell that either the carpet or the pad are thin the minute you step on it. It feels like you’re on cement.
Looking for some other tips to get the most money when selling your home? Read Parts 1-5, planting some “green,” when to set the sales price, yard clean up, dressing up a front door, and replacing moldings and doors. Pick what your home needs to get it “dressed up” to sell in the competitive Seattle real estate market.
You’re a home buyer out looking at homes. You pull in front of a home that looks kind of interesting. You stand by the front door as your agent gets the key out of the key box to open the door. You look around the entrance and notice dirt and scuff marks on the front door. The brass plate is all tarnished, there are scratches by the key hole and the door mat is dirty. It looks like there’s been years of wear and tear and you haven’t even been inside.
A dirty front door and scratched hardware is not a big deal, or is it?
Buyers, what do you think?
I heard from past buyers that it raises a lot of questions. Mostly, the buyer is wondering how well the home has been maintained if something so obvious sticks out when you first walk up. Will this buyer be taking a closer look at the house? Will the buyer start wondering if there might be maintenance issues. Possibly.
A nice front door and shiny hardware make a big difference. It keeps the level of positive energy and interest up. It’s like seeing a blind date for the first time, you want that person to look good from the “get go,” not with messy hair or dirty clothing.
So home sellers, stand out in front of your home by the front door, just as a buyer would. Look at what the buyer would be looking at when standing at the front of your home.
- Is your front door dirty?
- Is it in need of paint?
- Is the hardware gleaming and fresh or is it scratched?
- Are the railings in good shape?
- Are the steps neat and clean?
- Do you have flowers providing color by the front door?
- Is the doormat, fresh and clean?
- Do the house numbers look clean and stand out?
None of the fixes for the above should cost a lot of money. It can actually cost you more money if these items are not in good condition. Here are some more suggestions for creating that great curb appeal.
So before you sell your home, think of it like getting ready for a date or going to a party hoping to meet someone. In this case, your home is meeting a potential buyer. The buyer has a lot of options to choose from, like you might at a party. Help the buyer to choose your home by getting it ready for the party, oops, I mean to sell.