Update These Things Before Selling Your Home

September 16, 2019

If you’re planning to sell your home, you’ll want it to be in top shape. It’s often easy to overlook some of the wear and tear that happens over the years. Once you think about selling, though, you’ll start to notice things that need to be cleaned up or replaced.

But if you have limited resources and time, what are the most critical things to change and ensure the money you spend supports your home’s asking price?

For the answer, we asked two of our Long & Foster Real Estate agents.

“You’ll want your home to have the best appearance possible to get the best price,” said Paula Reeder of the Kent Island office in Stevensville, Maryland. “It needs to be clean, fresh and presentable.”

Reeder recommends replacing stained or worn carpeting, as well as chipped or old vinyl flooring. She often suggests her clients purchase new curtains, shades, bedspreads, throw pillows and lampshades, if the current ones are dated, worn or stained. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color also goes a long way to making the interior rooms look their best, she said.

“Improve curb appeal by fixing or replacing worn or broken sidewalks and driveways,” Reeder added. “Remove and replace leggy or unsightly shrubbery and plantings, and in particular, dead trees, which are a hazard.”

Denise Karas of the Rehoboth office in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, echoed Reeder’s comments about replacing unsightly carpeting. She also advised home sellers to check wood stairs for any rot or damage and replace as needed. “The same goes for any windows and doors that have broken glass, are drafty, don’t close properly or are ill-fitting—especially the front door,” said Karas. She also recommended checking electrical circuits and replacing those that are not working prior to the home’s inspection.

Each home is different, so before making any changes, talk to your real estate agent, who can advise you on specific items in your home to change that will pay off when it comes time to sell. Your agent can also give you an idea of how your home compares to others in the market so it can be priced accordingly.