5 tips to prepare your home to sell this spring

By Todd Fahlman

In 20 years there will be almost 80 million seniors accounting for 21 percent of the population. You may not want to wait that long to sell your home so here are five tips to help you prepare your home for the big spring market.

•Cleanliness means money – You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. That is so true when selling a home. You want to make the interior shine the moment the buyer walks through the door. For less than $450, hire a cleaning service for a deep top-to-bottom scrubbing. You probably keep your home clean but there are nooks and crannies that are commonly overlooked. Give yourself a weekend to do the dirty work or hire a pro.

•Fixtures for your bottom line – A functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing. If provides light and in our warmer months creates a soft breeze to help keep the home and us cool. But, an outdated, wobbly, loud fan that only has one speed that works is an eyesore and needs to go. Replace old fixtures around the home to make your home more enjoyable for you now and to help increase your bottom line should you decide to sell.

•It’s tool time – Get paper and pen, walk around your home, and make a list of all the little things you’ve been thinking about doing but never got around to doing them. Individually, these small repairs might not seem important but it can create an impression that your home has been neglected. If you don’t want to deal with it, hire a handyman and say bye-bye to your “to do” list.

•Summon your inner Picasso – Paint, paint, paint is a fantastic way of transforming old into new almost overnight. The price of paint in comparison to the

return you get from buyers is night and day. If you do it yourself, take your time and do a great job. If you slap some paint on in a hurried fashion it will cause buyers to think about what other shortcuts they might find. If necessary find a pro.

•Time to spend some money – Kitchen or bathroom remodels are always a safe bet. Improving your home if it’s flooring or adding a deck are always solid investments. If you have a few thousand dollars to spend, the best place to start would be by upgrading either the kitchen, bathrooms or both. You don’t

have to do a complete Hollywood-style makeover to reap huge returns. Just modest updates can net on average an 80% return.

For more valuable tips contact a local real estate office and have them prepare a pre-selling consultation report. That report will help you make the best dollar-for-dollar decisions.

Todd Fahlman is a local agent who writes a monthly real estate column for this newspaper.