Enhance your home’s value by investing a little extra time and money in these minor projects that will boost your home’s appeal—and your chances of making a sale fast.
Neutralize Colors in Your Home
To sell your home quickly and appeal to the largest-possible buying segment, keep colors in mind when painting or replacing carpeting. These improvements can net big benefits in a raised sale price.
—Expose hardwood floors. The popularity of hardwood floors is undeniable and can drastically raise your asking price.
—Install beige carpet if you don’t have hardwood floors. This investment can make a home seem fresher.
—Avoid non-mainstream colors on your walls. If you have a vibrant hue, consider painting over it in a neutral shade.
—Choose colors that are soft and easy on the eye. White walls are not acceptable in today’s market. Tan or gray are good neutral colors, and can make rooms seem newer, larger and more expensive-looking.
—Take down wallpaper and/or borders. They are like pieces of art and might not be to everyone’s taste.
Complete Needed Home Repairs
If something in your house is in need of repair, fix it. Chances are you’ve become accustomed to these flaws, but a homebuyer won’t be. Owner neglect will only lower the asking price or lengthen the time required to sell.
—Ask a Realtor to go through your home and point out what repairs need to be done to the home before it goes on the market.
—Make needed repairs to your home before the first open house to save you stress and money in the long run.
—Ensure that systems and built-in appliances are up to date. Homebuyers often require that an inspector go through the home, so it’s wise to already be one step ahead of the game.
—Keep your home in tip-top shape with everyday upkeep and cleaning to make sure it looks its best at every viewing.
—Make safety repairs. Fix uneven or badly cracked cement on the front walk, repair loose railings and replace broken windows and panes, which can raise security issues.
Minimize Daily Clutter
An organized home will help buyers see its potential while also giving rooms a more spacious feel.
—Make your home look like a model house. Comb through it and pitch anything you don’t need or that isn’t going with you to the new home.
—Pack away unsightly or distracting items that are not necessary for the sale. This includes toys, out-of-season clothing and everything on kitchen counters.
—Have a garage sale. Sell items that won’t fit with the size or style of your new home.
—Store extra furniture in a storage unit or at a relative’s home. Today’s furniture pieces are very large and can dwarf a room.
—Make your rooms feel larger. A quick rearrangement can do the trick.
Create Lasting Curb Appeal
If your home is unappealing on the outside, it will only make people apprehensive about what’s inside. To get people in the door, you’ll need to update your home’s exterior.
—Cut and trim all trees and bushes. Don’t let a shadowy or overgrown landscape detract from your home’s beauty.
—Welcome potential buyers with a pot of flowers on the doorstep. If you have a porch or a deck, stage them with pots of flowers and arrange furniture in a way that is welcoming.
—Clean and paint exterior doors if necessary.
—Keep the grass nicely trimmed. A well-groomed lawn can be a major facelift for your outdoor area and make a welcoming first impression, plus it doesn’t cost you anything.
Update Your Home’s Kitchen
The kitchen’s reputation as the “Heart of the Home” makes it clear why special attention must be given to this space.
—Change out handles and knobs. Brass or silver finishes are most popular in homes today and can drastically upgrade the look of your cabinets.
—Paint chipped or outdated cupboards and clean the floors. An immaculate kitchen is a sure selling point.
—Reduce clutter. Clean counters of small appliances, food and papers to maximize the appearance of workspaces.
—Keep appliances spotless. Clean off the top of the refrigerator and the handles on your refrigerator, dishwasher and oven.
Add Finishing Touches
You’re almost ready for your first open house, but before you let anyone walk through those doors, spruce up and take care of some smaller details.
—Take all paintings, mementos and family photos off of the walls. To make the room seem less sterile, choose one or two to put back on the wall.
—Restore walls to their original state. Holes and cracks left unfixed can concern a homebuyer who may not want to do a lot of repairs.
—Pack away family keepsakes so potential buyers can imagine themselves and their family in the home.
—Do a thorough cleaning of your home. Clean the carpet, scrub the walls and trim, and pick up all rooms.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens. Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. http://www.meredith.com. All rights reserved.