By Scott McGillivray
(NC) Homes that show well and have great features typically sell faster than their counterparts, sometimes for a premium. If you want your home to stand out, a little effort can go a long way. Try these tips to create an enticing first impression.
1. Clean. A neat, clean home shows pride of ownership and suggests that it is well maintained.
2. Paint. Opt for a neutral colour so buyers will feel like there's one less thing to do before moving in. Grey, beige or the popular combination known as “greige” are always a hit. A fresh coat of white paint on trim will brighten the rooms.
3. Highlight your home's energy efficiency and green features. This is increasingly a big selling point, especially among younger buyers. New insulation that offers superior thermal performance and increased fire resistance, like Roxul Comfortbatt and Safe 'n' Sound, represent long-term savings and benefits to potential purchasers. Smart thermostats and low-flow water fixtures are also coveted.
4. Consider replacing worn flooring. Another lower-cost option is to give your floors a makeover by refinishing hardwood or shampooing carpets.
5. Make simple updates. New light fixtures or hardware on cabinetry can provide your room with an instant refresh. Give cabinets a new coat of paint if they look tired or dated.
6. Let there be light. Replace heavy drapes with sheer window coverings or valances to flood the home with as much natural light as possible.
7. Open up the space. Remove excess furniture and all signs of clutter. Organize closets and pantries. Open windows to allow the fresh air in.
8. Neutralize décor. Remove personal photos. Add inviting elements like fresh flowers, throws or toss cushions.
9. Create curb appeal. Clean and pressure-wash the driveway and walkways. Cut the grass, pull weeds, and trim shrubs. Consider planting annuals for fresh pops of colour. Paint your front door and house numbers, if needed. Stage the patio furniture to create the feeling of an outdoor retreat.
10. Throw down the welcome mat, and let buyers take it all in.
Not ready to sell? These tips also work well to revitalize a much-loved older home.
Scott McGillivray is host of the hit TV series Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays on HGTV Canada, a real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow Scott on Twitter @smcgillivray.