9 Affordable Home Improvements That Can Help Your House Sell for More13-09-2010
Selling a house has plenty of challenges, especially in today’s market. But there are a few things you can do to make your home stand out as the one to buy. Following are nine easy and inexpensive home improvements that can help sell your property for the best possible price.
1. Paint Where Necessary
When shopping for a home, many people cannot see potential. Instead, they see what’s right in front of them. That means scuff marks, uneven paint, or holes in the walls from picture frames—while minor—make it appear as though getting the house into tip-top shape will be more work than it really is. The cost versus return ratio may suggest it’s not worth painting the exterior, but putting put a fresh coat of paint on the front door in a color that pops, and subsequently draws people in, and on interior walls is a good investment. Also, repaint or replace faded house numbers so buyers can see them easily from the curb.
2. Create the Illusion of a Bigger Space
Every home hunter wants more square footage for their buck. And while you can’t easily make your home larger, you can create the illusion of a bigger space. A few easy ways to accomplish that is to hang a wall mirror (or a series of mirrors), which reflects light and gives the appearance of more room; open up the drapes to let natural light flood in; and place lamps in dark corners. Also, don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture—when you set furniture at a 45-degree angle, it seemingly widens an area and creates an interesting dynamic.
3. Depersonalize Your Decor
Pack away photos, knickknacks, family heirlooms, and any other personal items. Similarly, cover any boldly colored walls with a neutral color. These quick tricks allow potential buyers to more easily envision their belongings in the house.
4. Organize the Closets
Potential home buyers will look at every nook and cranny—including the closets. Messy closets give the appearance of scarce storage space, so organize them and move non-essential items offsite to a storage unit, the garage (neatly), or a friend’s house.
5. Clean Away Dirt and Clutter!
Not only is a pristine home more visually appealing, but it also creates the illusion of a bigger space (as opposed to a dirty, dingy dwelling). Edit your furniture and accessories; move out stuff that makes rooms seem crowded and leave only what is necessary—accented with a few decorative touches.
Also, wipe down windows and countertops until they sparkle, and shampoo the carpet. Scrub scuff marks off the walls and consider getting curtains dry-cleaned. Tackle the exterior by power-spraying your home’s siding to rid it of dirt and cobwebs and scoop out leaves and other debris from the gutters.
6. Do Minor Landscaping
Curb appeal is crucial, but you don’t need to hire an expensive landscaper to fix up the front yard. Simple tasks like mowing or patching the lawn, pruning bushes, and raking leaves can make a world of difference! Likewise, filling an empty flower bed or vacant planters with flowers and covering dirt areas with tanbark can drastically improve the look and feel of your home’s exterior.
7. Get Your Driveway and Lawn to Sparkle
If you’re placing your home on the market in the spring or summer, turn on the sprinklers a half hour before scheduled open houses and appointments—this simple act gives your lawn and driveway an aesthetically pleasing sparkle!
8. Create an Inviting Smell
Forget artificial sprays, which might subliminally suggest you’re trying to hide odors. Appeal to the buyer’s sense of smell with the most inviting scent of all—freshly baked cookies or bread! It will instantly make the buyer feel at home.
9. Put out the Welcome Mat
Literally! Buy a new welcome mat to give potential buyers a great (and inviting) first impression as they step through the threshold.
By: Tene Sommer
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