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.