For those who are just about ready to list their Santa Barbara or Montecito house for sale this June, several simple yet cost-effective projects can be sure-fire buyer-pleasers. I am often asked to help my clients identify areas in their home that will benefit from improvements. I like to point to some simple changes that materially help a property’s ability to compete with any other house for sale in the Santa Barbara area.
Here are three of my favorite inexpensive fixes:
1. Painting walls in pale neutral colors. Freshly painted walls erase years of wear from any room. They send prospective buyers a subtle message: here is a home where your family can create your own memories. Neutral tones are important, too. While you may personally prefer rich or bright colors, potential buyers may not. Beyond ensuring that rooms look as big, bright and airy as possible, you want potential buyers to picture spaces where their furnishings will fit in without redecorating. Pale beige or grey rooms work with furnishings of all colors, and wind up appealing to the greatest number of potential buyers.
2. Clearing clutter. Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops, consign heavy furniture to storage, and stow the kids' toys neatly out of sight. The object is to emphasize the impression of sufficient space. When buyers visit any house for sale, they are most drawn to those where it’s easy to picture all of their belongings fitting in easily – and that takes space.
3. Keeping your cool. You want buyers to be comfortable as they walk through your house for sale, and at the same time want to signal that heating and cooling are not going to be problematic. Have your heating and air conditioning systems serviced so that they are in efficient working order. If you have a working fireplace, have the chimney swept, and light the fire in case we run into an unexpected chilly rainy day during an open house. If the weather cooperates and the sun is shining, open windows and doors to create a nice fresh breeze. But if it’s too hot, be willing to crank up the AC!