People live and work differently after quarantining, and savvy agents recognize these changes. Learning how to work with buyers to appeal to sellers post-pandemic helps agents sell houses faster and get more listings. Discover the top ten DIY value-adding home improvements for sellers to make before marketing their homes after COVID-19.
Clear Out and Clean Up
One person’s treasures are another’s clutter. Encourage sellers to remove unnecessary items, including personal ones such as photographs, religious ornaments, and toys for pets and kids. A little cleaning goes a long way because people spend more time at home post-pandemic and want everything tidy. Pay attention to details such as windows, door handles, and baseboards.
Just Add Paint
A coat of paint goes a long way to creating a modern feel in any room. If the house is painted in dated bright or dark colors, use a primer to tone them down before painting the walls. Select neutral and natural colors that appeal to modern buyers. Cleared rooms in calming hues enable potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the home – and encourage more offers on the property.
Focus on Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen is known as the heart of a home, and the bathroom is an oasis for rejuvenating escapes. Both rooms are typically examined closely by buyers, who want these spaces to be welcoming and functional. Sellers on a budget should improve the kitchen and bathroom to get the best possible offers on their property. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate affiliated agents have access to robust marketing tools to show off home improvements and drive more attention to properties for sale.
One of the first things people notice about a house is the flooring or carpets. First, refinish worn wood floors and replace broken tiles. Next, get the carpeting steam-cleaned or replaced, depending on the condition. If wood floors exist under old carpets, consider having them taken out and getting the floors refinished. Many modern buyers prefer floors post-pandemic to keep the environment cleaner without fabrics that trap dirt, dander, and germs.
Maximize Storage Spaces
During COVID-19, many people lived and worked at home. As a result, storage and organization became top priorities to stay on top of household and business duties. Ask sellers to keep storage areas half-filled to show off the space. Consider adding storage cabinets inside and benches outdoors to hold linens, pillows, and cushions.
Eliminate Outdated Features
When people spent most of their time at home, many started to update old fixtures that worked poorly. Look around for outdated features that made the house look old and poorly maintained, such as popcorn ceilings, worn-out hardware, and old-fashioned wallpaper.
Consider Curb Appeal
The exterior of a home is often what gets potential buyers interested to see what is inside. Sweep all pathways, trim the shrubs, and mow the lawn regularly to keep the outside looking well-maintained. Consider painting the door for a fresh look. Add landscape lighting to illuminate the property after dark. Plant colorful flowers and strategically place planters by the front entrance and property line.
Add Alluring Outdoor Spaces
With few places to go outside of the home, people rediscovered the joys of outdoor living during the pandemic. Stage outdoor areas to maximize their potential and encourage buyers to dream of adventures in their backyard. Add benches, potted plants, seating areas, and solar lighting to create an inviting vibe. Showcase outdoor features such as swimming pools, hot tubs, decks, porches, ponds, and gardens by adding images to listing descriptions.
Light Up the Place
Operational indoor and outdoor lighting are essential, especially since people stay home more often—swap large, outdated fixtures for modern, energy-efficient ones. In addition, many buyers today prefer recessed lighting for a streamlined look. Finally, ensure all lightbulbs are working correctly, and outdoor lights function optimally to illuminate driveways, pathways, and outdoor living spaces.
Check the Insulation
When people spent all the seasons at home, they quickly learned the value of insulation to keep a house cool in the summer and warm in the winter – without wasting energy and raising utility bills. Updating the insulation is a selling point for buyers seeking an efficient home to live and work post-pandemic comfortably.
Advising sellers to invest in one or more of these value-adding home improvements helps sell houses faster – -and can even drive up the price of the home. In addition, savvy agents recognize opportunities post-pandemic to rebuild their businesses and start getting more referrals.