How Does Your Home Stack Up To The Competition?

    Tanya Lukasik,
    Tanya Lukasik,

    Before putting your house on the market, it pays to ask yourself this simple question: How does it rate when compared with other homes in the neighborhood?

    While there’s no real advantage to having a home that’s considerably more attractive or well-appointed than the neighbors’, selling one that pales in comparison is a pretty big problem.

    Your home’s deficiencies will really stand out, so it is well worth it to “catch up with the Joneses” before trying to sell. As much as this idea may fill you with dread, it’s easier than you probably think.

    Simple Ways to Bring Your Home Up to Speed

    If your home doesn’t compare favorably to others in your area, chances are that it’s on the older side. Through the years, many homeowners gradually perform upgrades that keep their homes more modern.

    If you haven’t done this yourself, your home probably lacks certain features that are considered to be pretty basic by many buyers’ standards. A few ways to modernize your home and help make it more in line with others in the area include:

    Move the Laundry Room

    Basement laundry rooms have largely fallen out of favor. People just don’t like lugging laundry hampers up and down multiple flights of stairs on a regular basis, and who can blame them? If possible, move your laundry area to the main floor or second floor.

    Freshen Up Your Landscaping

    If most of the other yards in your neighborhood aren’t all that meticulous, it’s not as urgent to manicure yours, but doing it will help set the standard. Adding a flower bed or two and putting flower pots on the front porch can make a huge difference. Outdoor living areas are wildly popular, so make sure you have at least one and that it’s in nice shape.

    Enhance Your Storage Space

    Older homes tend to have small, cramped closets, and today’s buyers like to have lots of storage space at their disposal. At the very least, consider installing organizational features in your closets to make them more useful. You might even want to take a small, unused part of the house and convert it into a large closet or storage area.

    Do Away with that Cramped Kitchen

    Another downside of many older homes is that they often have small, cramped, basic kitchens. For a long time, the kitchen was strictly the place to cook meals, so kitchens in older homes tend to be very utilitarian. Simply taking out a wall and opening things up a little can make a massive difference. Adding more lights and refinishing cabinets so they are lighter in color can help add the illusion of space, too.

    Get Started Early

    Don’t wait until after you’ve officially listed your house to start making these improvements. If possible, get going on them several months in advance. By the time you do list your home, it will be on more equal footing with others in the neighborhood, so it should sell more quickly, and you should get more for it.

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