Selling your house and buying a new one sounds like a complicated endeavor! You’ll need to keep the interior of your current house clean for potential tours, work with a realtor, talk to banks, get loan approvals, and more. The process may feel endless. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to make your house more appealing to buyers and speed the sales process. Real estate experts agree sellers get the most bang for their buck when they focus on increasing curb appeal.
Curb appeal is the way that your home looks from the street. It’s the first thing that every potential buyer sees. If they see a messy front yard and sad landscaping, they may drive away without seeing inside. Curb appeal can make or break a sale. Thankfully, you can up your home’s curb appeal with a few simple tweaks. Here are five quick tips:
Pressure Wash Your Front
Technically, you should pressure wash the entire house – including any front porches or back decks – however, it is crucial that the front of the house is properly cleaned. If you don’t have a pressure washer, rent one for the day from your local home improvement store.
Check Your House Numbers
Buy new ones or repaint the old. This is one of the most neglected things about most houses. People tend not to even consider the numbers that sit on the front of their houses and announce their addresses to the world. Making your home easier to find instantly increases its curb appeal.
Plant Flowers and Shrubs
Nothing makes a house look more appealing than some pretty flowers and well-placed shrubbery. Overhauling your front garden may be a little on the expensive side, but the end results will attract buyers.
Paint or Replace Your Front Door
Make a big impact for a little money. The front door – or doors, if you have a storm door – of your home have possibly seen better days. Daily use can make their paint look worn. Metal storm doors are prone to scratches and dents. Replacing or painting both doors can make the front of your house look better.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Even if you keep all of your garbage and related debris relegated to your trash cans, this doesn’t mean that random trash won’t end up in your yard. You should pick up trash from your front yard and sidewalk every day.
Clean Your Windows
Washing windows is a major chore – one that most people put off doing. Ideally, they should be washed once a month, but once every six months is acceptable, as long as they are cleaned properly. When you’re selling, it’s a task you can’t put off anymore. Make it easy with these tips.
1. Gather the right tools.
Before you start washing your windows you’ll need to put all of your tools in the same place. At the very minimum, you’ll need a bucket of soapy water, a large sponge, a squeegee and a soft microfiber cloth. You might want an extra bucket, a dry one, to carry your tools in, since you’ll need to travel from room to room to do all of your windows at the same time. The proper technique involves spreading on the soapy water with the sponge, removing the excess with the squeegee, and then wiping the window pane dry with the cloth before moving on the next one.
2. Set aside a chunk of time to do the job.
The average amount of time that it takes to clean a window properly is about five to ten minutes, depending on its size. It helps to set aside an entire afternoon and work on every window in the house. There’s nothing more satisfying than a house full of very clean windows! If your time is limited, feel free to do one room at a time when you can, even though the feeling is less fulfilling.
3. Don’t try to take shortcuts.
The most common way to clean a window is with a bottle of liquid spray cleaner and some paper towels. This will get the surface grime off, but leave your windows streaky and something of a mess. It’s also rumored that newspaper will work to keep the streaks at bay, but this isn’t true – the paper will leave a residue behind, which means that your windows aren’t quite clean.
4. Wash both sides.
It almost goes without saying that you should wash both sides of each window. Typically, the indoor sides are washed first, followed by the outer parts, since that will involve a ladder and some tricky maneuvering. If you just do one side, you’ll quickly notice how dirty the other side is!
5. Inspect your windows as you clean them.
You’ll want to look for cracks, chips, mangled caulking, and weather stripping in need of replacement as you wash your windows. This gives a good chance to note which ones need repairs, so you can place them next on your list of chores.