If you are even thinking of selling your house the priority would be to get a higher price. To achieve this you must not think like a seller but like a buyer. This will enable you to optimize conditions such that the value of the house increases substantially. The corner stone is that visibility adds value. However it must be done subtly so that it does raise the appraised value or property tax bill.
Here are a few tips:
1. Pay attention to the exterior first. This is what potential buyers notice. Give priority to home improvements that are visible to the naked eye. Fixing the façade will get you a better price than ensuring the foundation is solid.
2. Tidy up the yard and garden. If there are signs of neglect most buyers will not even step in. what one needs to do is create a presentation. Make sure there are no tires or wood lying around and any loose shutters or storm drains and gutters are properly fixed.
3. It helps to landscape. This does not mean you need to spend on redesign. Prune hedges, trees, and shrubs. Weed flower beds and paint old pots.
4. Ensure that the roof is clean and sparkling. Have it power cleaned. Statistics reveal that 30% curb appeal is a sparkling roof.
5. Have the interior repainted and the carpets and vinyl flooring replaced. Most buyers want to move in right away. Few would consider investing in a house where they need to get work done.
6. Reduce clutter and spruce up the interiors. Sparkling windows, clean curtains, attractive upholstery, bright cushions, flowers on tables and a few paintings or photographs placed strategically make a room a home. It gives the place warmth and invites a person to take a look.
7. Pay attention to odors. What may seem fragrant to you may be repulsive to others. Invite a friend in to inspect on your behalf. Many find pet odors, smell of urine, sprays, insecticide, herbs, deodorants, incense, spices, and so on repulsive. Often if curries are cooked or egg or bacon fried the smell tends to hang around the house.
8. Spruce up the kitchen and bathrooms with friendly plants, colorful towels and inexpensive fixtures or brick-a-back.
9. Have the house cleaned from top to bottom. There should be no evidence of mold, mildew, or leaks.
10. Arrange the furniture and lamps to give a warm glow. If you have too much furniture or personal belongings of sentimental value have them stored. The closer the interiors come to being out of the glossies the faster the home will sell and that to for a good price.
Never overspend or make changes that are not in keeping with the neighborhood. If handled cleverly 80-90% of the costs of repair and sprucing up can be recovered. If emotions and sentiments cloud your judgment seek professional help, ask an interior designer or consultant to give you a few guidelines. The internet today is an invaluable source of information. Do some research which will clear your mind and give you direction. When in two minds seek the advice of the local real estate agent who has property values at the tips of his fingers and a licensed appraiser who would know what is best.