There is often a misconception that in order to get the best return on your home you need to do BIG projects such as redoing the kitchen or bathrooms. We find that working with what you have and pricing right is the key to getting the best return. It just takes some elbow grease, a little creativity and fresh paint! Here are some tips on how to prep your home to sell without breaking the bank.
Clean, clean, clean!
Make your home/condo sparkle from the ceiling to the floor! In addition to sweeping, mopping and wiping everything down here are some extra cleaning steps you can take.
- Do a full overhaul on the refrigerator – remove old dressings, clean it and organize
- Remove the cob webs from the corners
- Clean the fan blades and replace if you can’t get them to shine
- Scrub the toilets and add a new toilet seat
- Take a magic eraser to your high traffic areas where you tend to use your hands a lot like doors and cabinets
- Whenever there is a showing, always clean and put away dishes
Less is more! This is one of the first things that should be done when you decide to list your home. Use this as an opportunity to start packing up your home. Pack up the trinkets, personal items and photographs. Removing your personal items will allow the Buyer to really picture themselves in your home. You can replace some personal photos with beautiful photos of St. Croix to remind the Buyer why it is such a great place to live. If its dingy or rusty, toss it or donate it.
A coat of fresh paint can really transform a room or an entire home. This is where you really get your best return on investment, especially if you put a little sweat equity into it. The standard rule of thumb is to go with a neutral color. However, living in the Caribbean we have a bit more leeway to go brighter and bolder. With that said, keep your bold colors within reason. A bright purple room or creamsicle orange exterior may deter a Buyer who has not yet settled into the idea of bright Caribbean colors.
Add Fresh Plants (and don’t forget to remove the dead ones)
Plants are not only beautiful while adding a different texture and color to a space, they also add positive energy. Don’t let brown or dead plants be the downer of your showings! Be sure to trim off any wilting or dead leaves just before a showing. You will be surprised how much this will liven up a space!
Remove the Rust
We already touched on painting, but go the extra mile and touch up the rusty spots around your house. Take a look at light fixtures, lamps, fans and even the small hooks that you may overlook – survey every inch of your home/condo and make sure there isn’t a spec of rust to be seen.
Freshin’ up the entrance
Make a good first impression! Step one: remove the junk, from dead plants and bicycles to trash cans and rusty grills. Keep in mind that every home in St. Croix is so different, so there isn’t a one size fits all type of suggestion here. Therefore, step two has several suggestions that may or may not fit your property. Pick and choose what works for your home. Pressure wash your driveway, grade your driveway if it is rutted, keep your yard freshly cut more than usual while you have it listed, add potted plants to the entryway, mulch if needed, add driveway rocks if it appears patchy, during the dry season be sure to keep your plants green by watering often, trim back any pathways and add a cute sitting area with a bench or bistro table set.
Restage and add accents
This is the fun part! After decluttering take a moment to sit back and determine the best use for each room and the features of your home. Position furniture in places that highlight a feature such as a sea view, outdoor living space or a gourmet kitchen with great space for entertaining. Add pops of color and layers with throw pillows, blankets and rugs. Place lamps in dark areas and make sure all of your light fixtures have bight light bulbs (that work) and turn them on for every showing. This is a great time to enlist the help and professional opinion of your real estate agent – they see a lot of homes so they will have some great ideas for your space!
Don’t forget the utility rooms
This space is often over looked or crammed with boxes and storage items. Even though this space may not be the main feature, it will affect how Buyers perceive the cleanliness of your home and in the end could affect how much a Buyer is willing to offer. We always get asked to take a look at the pump and utility rooms, so be sure to clean and organize this space.
Get to know our agents HERE! Any one of them would be happy to take a look at your property and offer some ideas to improve the value of your home or condo.