As we welcome springtime in the Mid South, we celebrate the return of warmer temperatures, longer days, and the exciting festivals and fun activities. As we emerge from our winter hibernations, we notice some problem areas in and around our homes. From dust that has collected to messy closets filled with winter clothes, our homes need to spring forward, too!
In addition to re-setting our clocks and adjusting to the time change, there may be other beneficial, proactive changes. Especially if one plans to sell a home in the near future, staying ahead of routine maintenance is a crucial part of home ownership. Rather than putting off these chores, take advantage of the fresh, new season to invest in your home’s long-term care. Be thorough! Be alert! Be thoughtful! And take charge!
Home Projects To Tackle This Spring
At Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS, our agents understand what buyers are looking for in a home. As a homeowner, staying ahead of the minor issues in your home can help prevent major issues down the road. The old saying is true: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Whether you plan to sell your home sooner or later, these spring cleaning projects are beneficial for your home overall. Investing time and money in upkeep and appearance will not only improve your home’s value. It will also improve your quality of life!
Here are our top 5 projects to get you started:
As you could have guessed, one of the top priorities of spring cleaning is simple: clean up! Now is the time to rotate wardrobes, putting bulky winter clothes back into storage. Since you have recently worn these clothes, now is a good time to decide what to keep and what to toss. Have bags handy for items you can donate or discard, and store the rest you want to keep.
Cleaning out is not just for closets. Other places that may become cluttered are your pantry, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, attic, garage, outdoor storage closets, and sheds. Follow the three steps: edit, clean and organize. Go through all of these areas for items that can be donated or thrown away – you will be surprised by what you come across!
Ample storage is significantly important to buyers. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, a top priority for potential buyers is the amount of storage they see in a home. Your closets, cabinets, and pantries are, indeed, prime real estate. Care for them just like you do the rooms you use every day. The less crowded and the more organized they are, the bigger your home will appear. As a final note, we often remind our clients who are selling their homes, “if you aren’t going to move it, why keep it?”
2. Deep Cleaning
When most people move out of a well-loved home, they are often surprised by the mess that has accumulated over the years. It’s easy to spot some areas that need to be cleaned regularly, but what about other areas that remain virtually untouched? \
Here are a few of our suggestions for places to begin when it comes to deep cleaning:
- Tile grout in the bathroom and kitchen; this may seem obvious since it can be visible, but take time to care for areas that are not easily seen.
- Windows, inside and outside. And, this is a good time to clean screens if your windows have them.
- Baseboards; scrubbing baseboards throughout your home, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Buyers look at wood trim so you want it to gleam, and to be clean!
- Ceilings, ceiling fans, and light fixtures; you may need to borrow or rent a tall ladder, but thoroughly clean and dust these fixtures. And, of course, replace burned out bulbs.
- Drapery; vacuum your drapes and clean your other window treatments.
- Air filters; switch out if they have not been changed recently.
- Chimney; hire a chimney sweep to examine your chimney and fireplace, if you have one.
- Cabinets; as mentioned above, cabinets are important! Wipe them down, make sure they are free of dust, crumbs, stains and scratches. If you use shelf liner, replace it with a new liner.
3. Safety First
Little projects can make a big difference when it comes to home safety. Not only will these safety precautions keep you and your family safe, but you will improve your home’s marketability. While buyers search for homes with specific criteria, they are also concerned about how a home ‘feels’. Buyers want comfort and security.
By keeping fire and carbon monoxide detectors updated, having a functioning alarm system, and adding security lights, you have added value to your home. Along with these security measures, keep an eye out for other problems that could prove hazardous during the home-selling inspection process.
As homeowners, we typically live with imperfect homes; but buyers want perfection. So, proactively repair anything that is not working as it should (lights, switches, built-in appliances, knobs, locks, etc.). This will make your home easier to sell and will give buyers a sense of comfort and security.
4. Get Organized
Now that tax season is here, many of us realize the importance of organization. Having a designated space for important files and documents not only eases stress, but also increases home value.
Also, as the number of jobs for remote workers increases, so does the demand for home offices. Even if you do not have an extra room to create an office, staging a space in your home (a nook in your kitchen, den, or elsewhere) shows buyers the potential for a home office. Purchasing filing cabinets, plastic bins, folders, and other organizational items helps present your home to best advantage and makes your life easier!
5. Take It Outside
Of course, with the beautiful spring weather, many of us want to improve the outside of our homes. We all know the importance of curb appeal, and creating beautiful, livable outdoor spaces plays a large role in making your home attractive to potential buyers.
Lush landscaping can make a home even more beautiful. A well-maintained, thoughtful landscape design can enhance your the scale, provide outdoor living spaces, and improve the overall aesthetic interest. Even if you are not planning to sell your home soon, landscaping now is a wise investment. It takes time for plants to grow and mature. The sooner you plant, the better results you will have.
Amenities like professional landscaping, irrigation systems, and custom lighting can give your home a sense of luxury and distinction that buyers want. A professional can help you determine which plants grow best, how big plants will become, and how to plan out the future of your yard.
While there are larger scale projects you can hire professionals to handle, here are a few ideas to get started yourself:
- Remove leaves, sticks, and other debris from flower beds, gutters, and the yard
- Add color; create interest in flower beds by planting bright flowers
- Paint; spring is the perfect time to touch up your home if it needs painting, whether on shutters, doors, or your home’s exterior
- Clean up the garage, carport, and shed to impress and influence buyers
- Now for the fun stuff! Buyers love outdoor rooms and outdoor cooking! Furnished and properly equipped decks and patios extend your living space outside. Hang lights, add a firepit, and add the perfect outdoor furniture to make an inviting area.
Most Of All – Have Fun!
At Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS, you can often find us in the community enjoying the local culture and festivals, especially this time of year. We know that with so much activity happening in our city, home cleaning and care can go by the wayside.
We encourage you to be realistic in your approach to these projects. Trying to achieve everything listed above can feel overwhelming! Take your time to schedule projects and prioritize what is right for you and within your budget.
Above all else, we wish you a wonderful spring in the Mid South! Caring for your home and for your community is beneficial for us all. To find out what is happening around town this time of year, visit the I Love Memphis blog and Choose901 for the latest updates on springtime events.