This may not be the summer you want to sell your Greenwich home, but most homeowners know that summer is the time to show your home some TLC and put in some home maintenance hours. Kept in good repair, what is likely your most significant asset will maintain its value over time and it’s your best defense against unexpected (and often expensive) house hassles that can eat up your fun time. When you are ready to sell, you can rest easy knowing that your home has been properly maintained—one of the best ways to achieve a swift sale at the right price.
How do you assess the importance and potential return of trading some sand, sunshine and smoothie time for home maintenance? And how do you fit in all in? Here are some real estate tips to set priorities and goals.
- Lawn, landscaping and garden. Whether you pull the weeds and plant the flowers yourself or farm it out to a teenager or hire a service, weekly attention to your lawn and seasonal attention to your landscaping are unavoidable. This is a passion area for many, so spending time and money on landscaping, such as fountains, raised gardening beds, vegetable gardens, flower gardens can become a focal point of your summer. What’s the value proposition? Research shows that money invested in landscaping shows a strong ROI. Focus on efforts that enhance “curb appeal.” Necessary: Weekly lawn maintenance and a onceover of your overall landscaping. Optional: Gardening, advanced landscaping
- Pressure Washing the House. I categorize this as necessary. For a quick and eye popping spruce up, give your home a pressure wash. This inexpensive service can help to spruce up the dirtiest of homes by effectively removing built-up dirt, sediment and other debris while eliminating things like mold, mildew and algae, which can result in long-term wear and tear on a home. There are two ways to do it: hire it out or do it yourself. Pressure washers can be rented or purchased. If you’re a fan of washing your car at home, you’ll likely enjoy owning a pressure washer and will suddenly find all kinds of things that need a solid cleaning. Fortunately, pressure washing is easy enough to hire out as well, so if this is not something you want to do you don’t have to. Necessary: Pressure wash the outside of your home annually. Optional: Purchase a commercial grade pressure washer and washing everything and anything you can shake the wand at.
- Cleaning the windows – interior AND exterior. If you’re starting to sense a theme here……cleanliness matters. Anything you do that cleans or de-clutters your home is a win for home value. Again, the glorious news is that this does NOT have to be a DIY project. And if you have to use a ladder to access most of your windows, the best way to avoid injury is to hire a pro. Many homeowners have made the mistake of underestimating the skill required for a high-quality squeegeeing, and been dismayed to find streaks marring their window panes after a long and tiring day’s work. Ideally, windows should be cleaned 3 times per year. Necessary: Cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows. Optional: Doing it yourself.
- Pool Maintenance. Pools are one of the most controversial home elements when it comes to the “return on investment” equation. Many realtors and home owners will tell you a pool is nothing but a liability and one that requires expensive regular maintenance. However, on a 90 degree summer afternoon, you’ll be hard pressed to find a kid or adult who wouldn’t love to enjoy a beautiful backyard pool. (Check out the pool at one of my newest listings here in Greenwich, CT.) Pool maintenance typically includes clearing debris, water analysis, monitoring and balancing water chemistry, brushing and vacuuming and installing backwash filters as needed. Necessary: Pool maintenance is unavoidable, but can be hired out. Optional: Doing it yourself. Think carefully before committing to a pool.