Happy May Day! May is not only a great time for spring cleaning, it’s also the best month to sell your home. Redfin listing agent Eric Tan offers the following spring cleaning tips for homeowners who want to impress potential buyers. If you don’t have time to do them all, start with the first three, which have the biggest impact.
- Replace popcorn ceilings. Otherwise known as cottage cheese ceilings or acoustic ceilings, this type of treatment was common in homes built from 1950-1980. Unfortunately modern day homebuyers don’t like it. Removing or covering a popcorn ceiling is a time intensive process, but can increase the value of your home.
- Apply fresh paint. A new coat of interior and exterior paint dramatically improves the appearance of your home and makes it feel fresh and clean. To appeal to the widest audience, stick to neutral colors that will go with any furniture, and choose an exterior paint that matches other homes in the neighborhood.
- Focus on the floors. Steam clean all carpets, use a wood-cleaning product on hardwood floors, and consider professional cleaning for tile or marble. The walls, ceiling and floors are what potential buyers pay the closest attention to while on home tours, so it’s important that they are as clean as possible.
- Make a grand entrance. Consider replacing or painting the front door; if you have shutters, paint them a matching color. Clean and polish the door knob and fixtures, and dress up the entry with seasonal decorations such as flowers or a wreath. People are naturally attracted to symmetry, so place any accents on both sides of the door.
- Replace or repair the mailbox. An old or damaged mailbox makes the wrong first impression. You can purchase a new one at most hardware stores and major retailers. If you replace the post, make sure it sits at a height of 42 inches above ground to meet federal regulations.
- Maintain the yard. Landscaping has a major effect on curb appeal. Make sure your home looks its best by mowing the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds, and pruning the bushes. Planting small flowers in the yard can be an inexpensive way to add a pop of color.
- De-clutter and organize. Keep only the essentials, and put everything else in storage or give it away. Not only will your home will feel cleaner and bigger when it’s not filled with stuff, this process will save you time when you’re ready to move.
- Let in the light. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the curtains and blinds, dust any light fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs. A room filled with light will feel more warm and inviting.
- Deep clean the kitchen and bath. Wipe down or paint the cupboards, clean the grout between tiles, clear everything off the counters. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks and polish the fixtures. Make sure no mold is present.
- Stage the backyard. The backyard is often the last thing buyers see on a tour, so it should look nice. Simple staging can make a big difference. Get rid of decorations and clutter in the yard, add a table and chair set, power wash and stain the deck and fence, and clean the pool and spa. Remove any dying plants, and take down any shed or outdoor storage that’s in poor condition. If budget permits, add a barbeque, fire pit, Koi pond or outdoor lighting to create an inviting space.
For additional home staging tips, check out this video featuring Redfin Agent Bree Al-Rashid, or contact a Redfin real estate agent in your area. To contact Eric Tan in Southern California, email Eric[dot]Tan[at]Redfin[dot]com.