Prepare your home to be sold in 5 easy steps
With the traditionally heavy home buying season just around the corner, now is the time to think about putting your house on the market. But with the housing market in a continued downturn, it’s more important than ever to choose home improvement projects that will not only add value to your home, but make it stand out in the crowd.
Brad Staggs, HGTVPro.com and DIY show producer and host, and a licensed contractor, offers tips for homeowners preparing to sell their home. “The most important thing is to update the most visible areas, common gathering rooms like the den and kitchen. But don’t forget the front and back yards! Prime home-buying season coincides with spring and summer, and that first impression, your home’s curb appeal, can make all the difference.”
1. Moulding: icing on the cake. “It’s amazing the difference a little bit of decorative wood moulding can make,” says Staggs. “Frame out a picture window, add deep crown moulding to a high ceiling, even a simple chair rail in a guest bathroom changes the entire look of a room.”
2. Front porch first impressions. Your front porch is often the first thing a potential homebuyer will see. According to Staggs, it should be in perfect shape. “Add a fresh coat of paint to brighten the front of your house. Nice wooden Adirondack-style chairs are welcoming, especially when enhanced by bright flowers in colorful pots. You want your porch to signal the start of something wonderful!”
3. Look behind you. Don’t neglect the backyard! Outdoor living spaces grow in popularity each year. Impress potential homebuyers with a backyard to die for: overflowing garden boxes, some nice wooden outdoor furniture, a charming gazebo and perhaps a new deck. “Spend a few weekends dressing up your backyard before everything blooms,” suggests Staggs.
4. Floor them. Nothing says “welcome home” like the feel of smooth real wood floors. Easily installed and completely affordable, wood floors enhance any decorating style and evoke immediate “ahhhhs” from guests in your home.
5. Add a visual surprise. “Find something cool to add to a room in your home, a little visual pop no one will expect,” suggests Staggs. “Like adding beadboard panels to a kitchen island, then painting it a funky accent color.”
Staggs also offers his thoughts on choosing appropriate building materials. “As a consumer, the most important thing you can do is buy sustainable. Choose natural building products, those that truly fit the definition of “green.” One of my favorite materials to use in any home improvement project is Southern Pine. It’s real wood, so it’s not just strong and beautiful, it’s also recyclable. Southern Pine in the U.S. comes from well-managed and well-maintained forests; forests that are in better health now than they were a century ago!”