The Coronavirus quarantine is leaving a lot of homeowners feeling trapped.
Let’s take these lemons and make some lemonade! Most of us have little if any extra time, let alone an abundance of it as some of us do now. Below we have listed a few ways to use this time as an opportunity.
Whether your home is currently listed for sale, you’re starting to consider the possibility of selling your home, or just a homeowner feeling trapped and looking for something ANYTHING TO OCCUPY YOUR TIME!
Deep Clean / Declutter
According to a recent National Association of Realtors study, de-cluttering and deep cleaning topped the list of home-improvements realtors recommend to clients. Think about the difference between what your house looks like day to day, when you have people coming over, and when you throw a party.
You’ll want to prepare your home to be presented in its peak condition. For lack of a better example: Think of preparing your beloved fur baby for the Westminster Club Dog Show or as some of us southerners might perceive our prize-winning cow.
The best part is you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get your house clean. Avoid harsh chemicals, aerosols, room spray and air fresheners as they can trigger allergies.
Clean from ceiling to floor paying special attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, baseboards, walls and ceiling fans. You might even consider hiring a professional to clean the carpets.
Don’t mask odors in the home; try to eliminate them completely when possible. Open windows while running fans in stale or stuffy-smelling rooms.
Wash windows both inside and out, mow, weed and debris flowerbeds, power wash brick, siding and driveways to remove discoloring or stains where applicable.
Not only is it free but decluttering can also be fun! This is your chance to re-imagine and recreate each individual space. When you prepare your home for sale, you really want to make every room feel as big as possible.
Start by removing over-sized or worn out furniture. Then, rearrange the remaining furniture to create an open space that’s easy to navigate. Minimize and simplify decor, especially personal memorabilia.
A well-prepared home can not only increase your chances of getting the full listing price, it can also help reduce time it spends on the market. An old saying comes to mind: “spending a little more time on the front end can save you a whole lot of time on the back end”.
Reduce any foreseeable justifications home buyers might see as leverage to negotiate the price down or make a low-ball offer.
Contrary to popular belief, a typical home buyer does not want to repaint in their own colors after moving in. Buyers are looking for a house that’s move-in ready.
Now that painting has become easier with built-in primers and quality paints being more affordable, it’s an improvement you might want to consider for smaller projects. For larger projects that might require special tools, skills or treatments hiring or at least consulting with a professional might be necessary.
If your house has mismatched wood floors, trim, doors, and cabinetry, a simple coat of paint can be the most economical way to create consistency. Not to mention, light neutral colors will not only brighten a home but will also make it look and feel bigger and newer.
Anything you can do to increase buyer interest will help facilitate a higher sale price. While a fresh coat of paint can seem small and unimportant, it really does make a big difference.
Upgrade / Update fixtures
If someone hasn’t told you already, kitchens and bathrooms are often the most influential rooms when selling your home. Simple inexpensive improvements can really make a big difference. Sinks, faucets, vanities, hardware and new toilets are upgrades buyers quickly notice.
Replacing rusting or damaged amenities that show years of overuse, installing brighter lighting and replacing outdated fixtures not only increase value but aesthetically revive these spaces.
Generally, most homeowners can replace basic plumbing and light fixtures. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and safety.
Basic fixture upgrades will not typically require a permit for individual homes. You will need to inquire about applicable building and electrical codes for apartments and condominiums.
Always contact a licensed professional if you have any doubts, questions, or if your home's wiring doesn't appear to be compatible with the changes you're making.
Be sure to use the correct wattage bulbs for the fixture. It is dangerous to exceed that, or it will try to draw more power through the wires than they safely can handle. Watts are not a measured in brightness, but instead measure the amount of electricity flowing through the wires and the bulb itself.
Make a list of projects for each section considering costs, supplies and necessary tools needed (if any) in each section. Then create a to do list putting each project in the order and assign an estimated timeline for completion.
But don’t wait! As precautions for the Coronavirus increase more and more retailers are not only limiting hours of operation but closing completely. Others might be more prefer placing an online order for supplies.
So get going and don’t be afraid to get a couple close friends and or family involved. What could have been previously perceived as a time of unrest could be transformed into creating fond memories that last a lifetime.