The minute homeowners decide to move, their to-do list becomes a mile long. The big fixes — from repairing broken fences to replacing old siding and beyond — catch attention and are the first things you're likely to fix.
However, the small improvements that often slip people's minds are some of the things that make a house go from OK to stellar. With the explosion of the housing market in recent years, more people than ever are seeing what their homes are worth.
Whether you've put your house on the market, are thinking about selling or aren't planning on relocating soon but want to improve your living space, these suggestions can get your home looking its best.
Get your yard in shape
You've probably heard of curb appeal, and it means beautifying the first thing potential buyers see when they pull up to a house — the yard. While full flower beds or holes in fencing disappear from your vision after you've lived in your house for some time, these will negatively impact buyers' opinions about your property. Because you'll want to give a great first impression, put some fresh paint or stain on your fences and buy inexpensive, colorful flowers. Planting flowers before your open house brightens the landscaping and makes properties appear welcoming.
Take control of the climate
Your home's HVAC system is an important, if mostly invisible, part of its comfort and value. Your duct system, air conditioning unit, water heater and furnace are responsible for keeping the indoor environment livable. Before you sell or move into a new home, ensure your HVAC appliances are up to date on maintenance, and check the status of each warranty.
While you might have checked the water heater and changed the furnace filters, the chore of cleaning ducts often gets passed over. With dirty ducts, your clean furnace filters are nearly obsolete. Dust, mold, dirt and other particulate matter gets blown around in your ducts and cause serious allergic reactions.
Cleaning out your ducts can help your air conditioner and furnace run better in the long run, and improve your home for new occupants.
While you might have checked the water heater and changed the furnace filters, the chore of cleaning ducts often gets passed over. With dirty ducts, clean furnace filters are nearly obsolete. Dust, mold, dirt and other particulate matter gets blown around in your ducts and cause serious allergic reactions. Cleaning your ducts can help your air conditioner and furnace run better in the long run, and improve your home's air for an open house. This is a small task that can have tremendous impacts on quality of life, an appealing quality for people looking to buy a new home.
Replace forgettable items
When you move, you'll take most of your former house's interior environment with you. Switchplates, toilet seats and vent covers are some of the most forgettable items. A cracked toilet seat can ruin the look of a bathroom, even if it's spotless. Vent covers and baseboards become invisible to residents after a while, but when they're dirty, visitors and scrutinizing potential buyers notice.
Replacing these items improves the look of your property.
Don't spend so much time on the big projects that you forget these smaller ones. Because they are so noticeable, they make a difference. The little things may be the tipping point for potential buyers, leading to more offers for you.
Paint hard-to-remember areas
Painting will brighten your home, regardless of whether you're planning to move. Rooms like laundry rooms, bathrooms and the pantries often are overlooked when homeowners paint. Get a fresh coat of white paint on the walls to cover discoloration and make your house look new.
Follow these five tips, and you'll make the home selling and buying process easier for everyone, and increase your chances of more — and higher — offers from potential buyers.