Looking for inexpensive ways to make your Simi Valley home more attractive for buyers?
But wait a minute, aren’t homes selling with multiple offers, bidding wars and buyers being left out? Certainly in the lower price ranges homes are selling quickly and with multiple offers; however, homes in all price ranges with serious deferred maintenance and other issues are being scrutinized by buyers and sometimes left on the market.
A factor that has become glaringly obvious is that homes in the lower price ranges that do not sell in the first 30 to 60 days end up with a scarlet letter that causes buyers to be very cautious before proceeding.
So what can you do to get your Simi Valley house ready and not have it cost you a fortune?
Curb appeal – First Impressions are important in any market. What does your house say when buyers drive by?
There are two categories under curb appeal in which to view your home.
First is the landscaping
Trees are the most overlooked and poorly planned landscaping item at most homes. Many times the tree species was too large for the yard to begin with or was misplaced in the yard. There are what I call the “volunteers”, these are the trees that are grown from seeds that are deposited in your yard from bird droppings. Most of these volunteer type trees are fast growing deep rooted and destructive, as the birds sit on rain gutters, utility lines, roof edges fences and deposit the seeds where they grow and breakup sidewalks, perimeter walls and fences, impact foundations, grow up against the roof, and rub up against the house. I’ve seen were large trees over the course of years have rubbed the stucco color coat off the side of homes.
Most home owners do not understand that when they plant a tree in their yard, that will need to be pruned and maintained every few years. If not, they will overgrow and create far more costlier problems than the cost to prune and maintain the trees. See this example of how a poorly placed and improper species planting in my yard by the previous owner created a big time maintenance issue. Trees and Overhead Power Lines
Overgrown shrubs and trees negatively impact the growth of your lawn as fallen leaves and lack of sun kill off portions of the lawn. Trimming the trees and shrubs will make a huge difference in the appearance of your home.
Make sure that all dead branches are removed from the trees and that the trees are pruned and thinned. Check the shrubs and planters removing old worn-out plants and weeds. Any shrubs that are growing up and blocking Windows and pathways need to be cut back. If you enjoy potted plants, make sure that you are not overcrowding the front of your house and even the front doorway with too many potted plants.
Depending on the season, after you get your yard cleaned up, perennial flowers such as lavender, gold strum, daisies, asters, chrysanthemums or hibiscus can be picked up at places like the Simi Valley Home Depot, Lowe’s or the Do It Center in flats very inexpensively.
If the time of year is right to bring in some new plants and color, make sure your sprinkler system is working.
Second is the exterior appearance of your Simi Valley house.
- The condition of your roof – If your roof is visible and made of composition shingles, consider a tuneup for these types of roof systems 10 or more years old. A roofer can install new Ridge caps, check and seal roof Jack flashings, chimney flashings, and drip edge flashings. If your roof has turbine venting these can be checked adjusted and or replaced if necessary. On my house I had all the equipment, pipes and the flashing painted a matching brown. The new Ridge caps and freshly painted vents made my 15 year old roof look almost new. Fascia boards and the eaves with peeling and worn-out paint provide perfect attack points for wood destroying organisms such as dry rot and termites. Unprotected wood in the Southern California sun can be damaged quickly. Along with the fascia boards and eaves, the trim around the Windows and doors may need attention too.
- The front door – If your door is dirty and the paint is still intact, dust, shoe marks, and handprints should be cleaned off the door. If the paint or finish is peeling and/or worn off, the door should be repainted. Make sure any screen doors, door bells and most importantly the doorknob and deadbolt are all in working order and not in disrepair. Also any keys you have made for the realt0r lockboxes should work without any problems. According to an expert locksmith friend from Epsomlocks.co.uk, after a number of years, continual copies of keys can create difficult to open locks. A locksmith can come adjust the locks or you if you are handy, take the locks and deadbolts to a locksmith to have them keyed alike with a new key combo; which will generally charge approximately $10 per cylinder to have re-key.
After sprucing up the trim and front door you may want to wash the stucco and/or siding and any cobwebs in the eaves. If the stucco or siding is in poor condition repair and paint may be needed.
In the order of things to do here is how I would tackle my own Simi Valley home.
- The front door-paint and/or clean and adjusts the locks.
- Shrubs and planters-cleanup, spruce up and add color.
- Trees-remove volunteers that have grown up too close to the house or fences.
- Trees-prune overgrown trees that are blocking the view of the house.
- Roof tuneup-replace Ridge caps.
- Roof tuneup-paint flashings.
- Cleanup, repair and paint exterior of home,
Depending on the interior condition of the home, maybe only several of the above items need to be taken care. An overall budget and plan for the interior and exterior preparation of your home needs to be compared to any kind of improvement of sale price you can anticipate for your home.
While the above outline has many items, you may have a home that only needs a few of the minor items dealt with before your home is placed on the market.
Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and try to look at your house as a buyer would, critical, concerned and looking for issues that might aid their negotiations. Tackle those issues now and take those items off the negotiating table.
If you’d like a free evaluation of your home’s condition I’d be happy to come over and go through your home and give you some tips and ideas on how to improve that first impression.
For more tips and ideas see:
- 14 Ways to make the most of your curb appeal
- Get Buyers excited about seeing your Pasadena Home
- First Impressions in Real Estate
Thanks for reading Simi Valley’s Premiere Real Estate Blog!
Author – Ted Mackel Simi Valley Real Estate Agent – Keller Williams Realty
Ted Mackel is a top producer at Keller Williams Realty Simi Valley,
specializing in Simi Valley Real Estate