If you’re in the process of handing over house keys to their new owner or are looking to sell, here are some tips on preparing your Washington DC property for the final stages. If you're a real estate agent, then head over here instead.
New coat of paint can help improve curb appeal
Great curb appeal has become a mantra for realtors and homeowners looking to sell - and with good reason. A home that looks great from the street stands a greater chance of being viewed by a potential buyer than the fixer upper down the road. To this end, a little bit of paint can go a long way. Your front door, sidings, and front wall can be given a whole new look with a coat of paint. Because these three elements (with the addition of the roof and driveway) play a major role in organizing your color scheme, consider selecting colors that complement each other. Trimmings such as window frames and shutters can also be brought into the color scheme by painting them in the same stand out color.
Interiors that attract a variety of home buyers
The interior of your home is just as important when preparing your home for sale. Rather than giving your home a whole new look, however, bear in mind that a potential buyer is looking for a space that he/she can make their own. As much as you might want to, now is not a good time to try out a bold new color scheme. Instead, select a color or color scheme that showcases the home’s strong points without drawing attention to itself. A simple white, for example, creates a clean, open space that appears larger than it is. If you do want to introduce an interesting color scheme, or add some character through color, keep this to a minimum in the form of a feature wall or subtle trimmings and make sure the colors are in line with other permanent features such as wooden staircases, countertops etc. As a rule of thumb, stick to the tried and true white ceiling and light colored walls. Whatever you go with, remember that it is likely that the new occupants will repaint according to their own tastes. Also bear in mind that any personal touches that you add will detract from the potential buyer’s ability to imagine themselves living in the home. To the same end, before viewings, remember to depersonalize the spaces by removing personal touches such as family photographs and children’s drawings.
Some extra things to bear in mind
Don’t forget that the smell of fresh paint lingers for a few hours up to a couple of days after painting. Give yourself ample time before showing your house to allow for painting and conducting other maintenance tasks. Along with the smell of paint, your home should be free of any other odors such as cigarette smoke, pet smells, and cooking odors (unless it's apple pie, of course). If you do need to quickly clear your house of odors, you can speed up the process by opening up the windows, turning on any electric fans you might have and placing odor absorbing substances such as charcoal, baking powder, or vinegar around the house. Do not try to mask odors without first neutralizing them as this may be detected and give the impression that there is something to hide.