Once you’ve officially listed your Santa Cruz home for sale, you don’t want to have lingering doubts that you could have done better. However, you do want to know that you’ve prepared your home to be highly competitive in the local marketplace. Some extra “elbow grease,” creativity, persistence, and yes—a little bit of cash—can go a long way toward improving your initial offers, sometimes by a vast margin.
The houses for sale in Santa Cruz, CA, that receive the best offers are clean, updated, and well-maintained. Consider making these changes before listing your home for the best return on investment.
Clean the floors
The flooring in your home should be as spotless as possible before it goes up for sale. Depending on the level of wear and tear on your flooring, you might be able to get away with a professional carpet cleaning, wood floor cleaning, or tile cleaning. But if your floors are deeply stained, worn, or unsightly, you might need to replace portions—or even the entirety of the flooring.
Prospective buyers will notice when your flooring is in poor condition, and it will reflect poorly on the rest of your home. Flooring is everywhere; there’s no getting away from it. Analyze your flooring to determine if it establishes a quality atmosphere for some quality offers.
Use color palettes
Your home should be unified, with wall colors that easily flow from room to room. If some—or all—of the rooms in your home have mismatched paint, consider re-painting your home under a coordinated neutral color scheme. Warmer neutral colors are in higher esteem than gray tones in 2023, so lean into brighter neutrals such as light beige or consider other creamy hues for your walls. (Pure white can make a shadowy room appear dirty, so avoid that hue in all but the sunniest rooms in your home.)
Have your roof professionally cleaned (or replaced)
If your roof is under 20 years old, consider cleaning it professionally to remove staining and debris. If your roof is over two decades old, think about a replacement. While it’s true that some roofs can last 30 years or more, others might start to show serious wear and tear after 25 years or less. If you do opt to have your roof replaced, it can be a significant “feather in your cap” since buyers often appreciate the recent replacement.
Consider strategic landscaping (or “hardscaping”)
Professional landscaping can make your home appear exponentially more polished. Shaped shrubbery can be a form of artwork that elevates your property and makes a statement. Native plants and trees can frame your walkways and the perimeter of your home for a finished look. Well-done landscaping can make your home seem established and welcoming and it can also introduce an atmosphere of life, growth, and abundance—all positive attributes buyers are searching for.
Hardscaping can be another boon to your property’s value, adding up to higher initial buyer offers at the onset. Sustainable hardscaping
is in favor, and it can improve drainage and make upkeep easier in backyard areas, making the property especially attractive to prospective buyers in search of a low-maintenance lifestyle. If your backyard is small enough, you might even decide to completely hardscape it, possibly with the addition of some perimeter plantings surrounded by fresh mulch.
Update your fixtures
If your fixtures are stuck in a previous era, then it’s likely that your home value will be stuck there as well. The Santa Cruz real estate
market favors updated homes that demonstrate attention to detail, and you can improve your initial offers by switching out the old for the new.
Consider how you can make your home easier on the eye by making some (or all) of these switches to your built-in fixtures:
Switching out the built-in closet or pantry doors
Creaky or warped closet doors can make your home feel outdated and in poor repair. Consider replacing these doors with a trendy sliding door or bifold door system. When buyers enter your home for in-person tours, it won’t be long before they open up all of your closets, and they’ll appreciate a newer feel to your doors.
Switching out light fixtures
Dated light fixtures can make a home feel drab and dark. Consider new lighting fixtures or even recessed lights for an uplifted look. Some buyers will be touring your home after sundown, so ensuring that every part of your home is well-lit is essential.
Changing leaky, outdated, and poorly functioning faucets
You might be acclimated to your faucets—you might not even pay attention to them if you’ve lived in your home for a long time. But it’s important to remember that prospective buyers will view your home with fresh eyes. At a minimum, ensure your faucets are functioning well, without leaks or drips. If you want to go the extra mile, consider changing out your faucets for newer, more modern faucets with clean, efficient nozzles. Prospective buyers will be turning on your faucets!
Make sure that your back doors function well
If you have doors leading from your home to your backyard, make sure they open smoothly with a well-functioning handle and lock. Prospective buyers probably won’t be opening your front door (your real estate agent will do that), but they likely will be opening your back door to check out the outdoor space in the rear of your home. A solid lock that functions well on this door will make your home feel like a safe and secure purchase.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock