Many Vienna VA ramblers that were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s will come on the market this year hoping to find a buyer who will appreciate the simplicity of the design. Although many have been updated or expanded over the years, most still have a fixture or two linking them back to their original builders.
Sound like your house?
Here are some inexpensive tips that will make your Vienna VA rambler (okay, split level or split foyer) stand out from the pack and help you “net” more in the end. It may seem obvious to clean up, but Bar Keepers Friend will restore that stainless steel sink, and moving things off your counters or boxing up some of your stuff will only cost you a little time, but can make a big difference when a home buyer is shopping at your house.
You may need to rent a storage room
If your home still has some historic artifacts in the bathrooms, kitchen or bedrooms, here are some tips to help your home appeal to today’s super-picky Vienna home buyer.
- Oak hardwood floors: It is time to show off those floors as they always rate very high on buyer wish lists. There are inexpensive cleaners and polishes that you can pick up at the hardware store that do a good job restoring and hiding scratches. Or you can hire a hardwood floor refinishing company to sand and finish your floors so they shine like they did back in 1957.
- Pink, blue or yellow bathrooms: Gutting old bathrooms can be expensive, so consider hiring a company to re-glaze the tile, tub or sink with a new white coating. I was shocked the first time I saw this done as the entire bathroom was transformed. Faucet fixtures are excellent upgrades and a basic American Standard faucet can enhance the look, feel, and water flow.
- Painting: A fresh coat of paint is essential with a neutral color on the walls and with white trimwork and baseboards. Wall colors are hard for most people, but consider a neutral color like Benjamin Moore’s “Camouflage” in matte finish. It is a nice, subtle green that appeals to today’s home buyers and helps conceal 50 years of hard living.
- Update light fixtures: Light fixtures can really transform a room or hallway, but please stay away from brass fixtures. I often recommend updating fixtures in laundry rooms, foyers, kitchens, hallways, walk-in closets or at your front door. Bronze and brushed-nickel fixtures are popular.
- Wall to wall carpet: You will be surprised when you see these after they have been professionally cleaned. You can save some money if you are able to move the furniture yourself. Companies like Absolute Carpet Care can be in and out in a couple of hours. Now, if the carpet is more than ten years old, orange/brown shag, or just smells then it is time to replace it. Rip it up if hardwood floors are underneath!
When you are selling a home, remember it isn’t your home anymore
- Appliances: One thing all home buyers look at is appliances, in the kitchen, laundry room or furnace room. You have more choices today than ever to buy a kitchen appliance, with free next day delivery, set up and haul away. I recently replaced a washer for $449 from Lowe’s that looks and works great. If your furnace or AC is more than fifteen years old then it may be worth getting an estimate from an HVAC contractor.
- Cabinetry: Kitchen cabinetry can be spruced up with new knobs and hardware (no brass please and about $2 to $4 per knob). There are refinishers that can really clean and restore the look (like Victorian House Refinisher). I have seen clients paint old bathroom cabinets a darker, richer color that transforms them… it does take some work though.
I have been selling ramblers for twenty years now, and have seen homes in top condition and in poor condition. The best tip that I can give you is to do a quality job. Home buyers will put no value on poorly done upgrades so know your limits and hire a professional. Hiring a pro will probably take less time, look great, and result in a faster sale at a higher price.
If you are still overwhelmed by the prospect of selling your home, I live in Vienna and can easily pop by and point you in the right direction.
Take a look right now at Vienna Real Estate currently on the market and check out the photos.