8 Low Cost Ways to Prep Your Home for a Sale

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

When selling your home, don’t overdo it by putting more money into repairs than you can get back in a sale. Many times, low cost updates like the ones mentioned below are enough to put “icing on the cake” and impress potential buyers into signing contracts.

1. Work on your curb appeal.

Buyers will see your house first as soon as they pull up. Invite them to get out of their car and enter by doing a few simple things. First, make sure your landscaping is neat and trim. Clean gutters, and clear away leaves. Power wash your house exterior and windows to remove years of dust and grime. Make your front door more inviting with a new coat of paint, and a stylish welcome mat.

2. Fix anything that needs fixing.

Now is the time to do any of those “honey-do” projects you have been putting off lately. Have that broken window repaired. Replace the kitchen cabinet hinge that is broken, or the missing baseboard. Potential buyers will notice these issues and see projects and costs that they do not want to deal with.

3. De-clutter and clean. remove very personalized decor.

In love with that bright orange 70s shag rug? Is your living room taken over by an oversized, dirty man chair? Are the walls of your teenager’s bedroom covered in rock posters? Now is the time to remove those items and put them into storage. Take up that shag rug to showcase the floor space, remove the ugly man chair that detracts from the design flow of the room, remove your teenager’s posters so buyers can get a good idea of the size and height of the bedroom. Help potential buyers imagine their own furniture and decor in a room by providing a de-personalized, clean space.

4. Organize closets and drawers to showcase storage space.

Storage space is often high on a buyer’s wish list, especially buyers with children. Don’t hurry to clean up by shoving things into the junk drawer, or closets. Chances are, a buyer will open those drawers and doors to peep out storage potential. The last thing you want on buyer’s minds is that storage space is limited and their stuff will not fit in the house. Install closet or drawer organizers and showcase the storage possibilities of your home; especially if square feet is limited.

5. Tone down paint colors – neutralize.

Your kitchen’s bright polka dot walls make you smile every day, but will a potential buyer like it? It is impossible to please everyone, but toning down wall colors can make it easier for buyers to imagine their belongings in your home. Choosing neutral colors like grays, and tans can add warmth to your home without adding the cost and time of re-painting to a buyer’s to-do list.

6. Replace any dated light fixtures, fans, doorknobs, faucets.

Fixtures like lights, doorknobs, and brass faucets can really tell the age of your home and make potential buyers see the dollar signs involved with an update. Make your home appear current by replacing these items with newer ones. Or, try re-using old fixtures by cleaning, sanding, and spray painting them a different color.

7. Showcase the items staying with the home like the size, floors, storage, fixtures, window coverings.

Buyers will notice your staging and decor, but they are most interested in what will be in the house when they move in. If you need to spend money on updates, spend it on replacing worn flooring, replacing old window coverings with low-cost blinds or shades, or replacing a dated ceiling fan with a budget friendly alternative. This will show potential buyers that the house is move in ready and will not cost them more money to make livable.

8. Neutralize odors.

Got pets, or stinky teenage boys? Even if your home is modern and bright, a bad odor can drive people away. Neutralize those odors by cleaning carpets and walls. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards reducing odors in a house. Move the pet and litter box out of the house before showings. Light scented candles or add scented plug-ins to make the house smell fresher. Try baking some fresh cookies right before a showing and leave them out for agents and viewers.

Do you have any low cost tips to add to this post? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Find a Professional to Measure and Install Your New Window Coverings

We have always been known for easy custom ordering for window blinds and shades. And while we provide measuring instructions, not everyone wants to have such a hands-on experience.

With that in mind, we’re excited to announce that you can now find a professional to measure your windows and install your new window coverings. We do not charge to use the search service. You will work with the professional installer directly.

You just have to type in your zip code on this page and you will be shown the contact information of a local installer. All professionals are from Nationwide Blinds Installation, and they’re all screened, insured, and licensed. You can even read reviews of the local installers from others like you before contacting the pro. Ordering and installing your window blinds or shades have never been easier.

Make your life easier and find a professional today – http://www.selectblinds.com/pro-installation.html


Charlene Jimenez

Home Automation and Improving Quality of Life

Home automation used to be the stuff of science fiction, but now it’s actually possible for the masses. Home automation is about using modern technology to simplify daily tasks, like turning the lights on and setting the home security system. These technological advancements have allowed people to turn their homes into smart homes, where most everything that can be automated is automated.

But home automation is more than that, at least for some people. It’s also about improving the quality of life for those with handicaps, illnesses, and the elderly. Tasks that may be simple for many can be complicated, tedious, and frustrating for those who need a little extra help. Home automation gives the everyday control back to those who need it most.

If you’re considering home automation for yourself or a loved one, here are some upgrades that should be at the top of your list:

Motorized Window Coverings

Window coverings are important for light control, insulation, and privacy. Choosing motorized window coverings allows you to raise, lower, and tilt blinds according to your needs. Because motorized window blinds and shades are cordless, they are a natural choice if you have children or pets in the home. You can choose to use a remote or add it to your home automation system. From there, you could set it up so the blinds opened or closed at certain times of the day so you or your loved one won’t have to worry about it, and it would still provide the needed light control and privacy the blinds were designed for.

Automated Interior Lighting

Set up your interior lights to be sensitive to motion. This means they’ll turn on when you walk into a room and turn off when you leave, helping you lower electric costs. Or you could set up your lighting to turn on or off at certain times to coincide perfectly with your schedule. Or better yet, set up your lighting so it automatically adjusts based on the amount of natural light in each room.

Selective Phone System

Not every call that comes through needs to be answered. You can program your phone to only ring when select numbers call. Schedule it for your busiest times, so you can get more work done, or make it a permanent feature to weed out all unwanted calls. These callers will still get to leave a message, even if they’re not on the approved caller list.

Just a few little improvements and your quality of life or that of your loved one will skyrocket. Life is hard enough already. Simplify it with home automation.

Buying Window Treatments for a New Home

One of the hidden costs people often overlook when they are considering a new home is the window treatments. With so many styles and options in the world of blinds and shades, it is often difficult to know which products to choose. Hopefully reading this blog post will enlighten you and assist you in making the best choices for your home decor.

Kids Rooms and bedrooms

When it comes to children there are a couple things to always keep in mind. First, we don’t want any cords on the blinds or shades in their room. Cordless blinds or shades should always be utilized in the rooms of small children. You also want to consider that in the summer kids tend to wake up when the light enters their room. For this reason it is recommended to use a blackout cellular shade or blackout roller shade. It also comes in quite handy at nap time for mom and dad.


In bathrooms it is important to remember that humidity and moisture can be very hard on wood blinds. For this reason we suggest a fabric shade or a faux wood blind for these types of rooms. Faux wood blinds are really good whenever there is a fear of water or humidity as well as providing an extremely economical window covering option.


There are a wide variety of options for kitchens. I prefer the look of a light filtering cellular shade as it gently filters light in and provides the benefit of energy efficiency. These shades will actually reduce your monthly heating or cooling costs. They also come in a wide array of fabric choices and lift options like Top Down / Bottom Up which actually allows you to lift or lower the shade from the top of the shade or from the bottom of the shade. It is a very popular lift option right now.

Family Room / Living Room

These rooms are often the centerpiece of the home. These rooms are where you can let your inner designer come out. Roman Shades are very popular for these rooms as they come in designer fabrics and allow you to use the window coverings to complement the décor of the room. Another very popular choice is real wood blinds. They are popular for their convenience and traditional appeal. If you decide wood blinds are for you, you can still add a touch of flair by adding the decorative cloth tape option, which will allow you to contrast the color of the wood to a fabric.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for window coverings is simply this. Have fun and choose something that speaks to you. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to blinds and shades. Have fun with the home improvement project and make sure what you choose helps make your new home feel like an extension of you.