Natural light and great lighting choices add immediate value to your home. It is one of the least cost, highest value improvements one can make. There a many reasons to improve the amount of light in your home. The best reason we can think of it simply your mood! This Time Magazine article offers many insights but this may be the fundamental one,
“The strongest support for the role of sunlight in health, however, comes from its effect on mood. Studies generally focus on the brain chemical that’s most directly linked to mood, serotonin: higher levels of serotonin correlate with better mood and feelings of satisfaction and calmness, and lower levels link to depression and anxiety. ”
Satisfaction and calmness, both of these emotions your sellers want to evoke in every potential buyer that walks through their door. Here are some simple ways to bring this most valuable resource into your spaces:
Wash the windows. In our market, the harsh summer sunlight, couples with wind blown dirt builds a light obstructing layer of debris on the exterior windows. Having them scraped with a razor blade and cleaned pays volumes in the sale price of the home. I have watched it multiple times, a buyer walks into a home, spends less than five minutes inside and says “This house just feels sad. Let’s find another.” I look around and can not see out.
Fixed windows that have lost their argon gas and have condensation built up between the panes. In our market, there is discussion and debate about whether this condition is “outside normal working order” or not. However, it remains true that more important than beautiful art on the wall, is seeing the naturally beauty of lush greens and the blue, blue sky. We simply cannot improve on God’s handiwork in nature. Clean and well maintained windows bring the outside inside.
Remove heavy window treatments and dirty blinds. Even if you cannot afford to replace window treatments, removing them entirely is better than having a dreary outdated drape filled with dust. If you have blinds that are in good shape but dirty, you can take them outside on the back porch and spray them down with water and clean them with a mild soapy water and a soft brush. Rinse them well. If they are wood, dry them with a soft towel and hang them back immediately. Leaving them in the hot sun will warp them beyond repair.
Clean the glass globes on all light fixtures. Although, not natural light, any light is helpful when a home is being shown. Many buyers bring flashlights with them so they can see what they are getting into. Cleaning a thick layer of dust, grime and sometimes even nicotine from years of smoking off fixtures brings a flood of new light into a home. One quick trick is to remove the glass globes and place them in the dishwasher. In just a few minutes, they come out squeaky clean.
Clean the lightbulbs. It is important that this is done while they are cold. It can be dangerous to put a wet cool rag on a hot light bulb. But just like the glass globes, light bulbs become coated with dirt. Cleaning them is free and brings in larger amount of light.
Change light bulbs. It does not seem like it matters much but it makes a huge difference to simple walk through the home and replace bulbs. Use the maximum amount of wattage the fixture will allow. Also make sure they match each other. If they are in a fixture that displays and does not cover the bulb, make sure they are attractive bulbs. The new Edison bulbs look great as well as any clear candle type bulb.
Stick to incandescent bulbs that are soft white, and warm yellow tones. This mimics sunlight much better than the energy efficient LED, and compact florescent lights that are so popular today. Your goals are to create a warm, well lit, inviting home that is so attractive, buyers will choose yours over their other choices. Abandon your energy efficiency goals until the home is sold. Focus on buying a more efficient home instead.
Turn on all the lights. Before leaving your home to be shown, make sure and turn on all the lights. I have seen sellers “shoot themselves in the foot” because they have always turned the lights out before leaving the house. These methods make your home a warm and inviting place.
There is no question a well lit home makes you feel better. Perhaps you aren’t selling your home. Then enjoy it more by using these simple tips to bring more light in your space. We know these things improve your position in the market place. Let them improve your life as well. One Saturday devoted to these matters make a huge difference!