So you're thinking about putting your house on the market? Not so quickly! Find an experienced selling agent first, and then begin looking at other properties that are up for sale in your neighborhood. Take note of the asking price and condition of these houses, and consider how yours compares. If you come to the conclusion that your home is one of the most appealing on the market, list it. However, if your home falls short in comparison to others in the neighborhood, be aware that it may require some sprucing up.
Whether your home is a total fixer-upper or just in need of some TLC, a few strategic projects can do wonders for its appeal—and the offer price. If your home requires major upgrades, such as a roof replacement or new appliances, you may be in for a long haul, but there are a few key improvements you can make quickly and cheaply. Continue reading for some of the best projects to jump-start your home sale.
Kitchens, it is said, sell houses. That may be true, but don't worry—you can create a stylish kitchen without plunging your hard-earned cash into a full-fledged renovation. Simply redoing dated cabinets may be enough of an improvement to entice a buyer. It doesn't take much to make your cabinets look brand new. Remove the hardware from the doors and then take them off their hinges. After that, sand everything down and clean it with TSP cleanser. Apply a fresh coat of oil-based paint or stain once the surfaces are clean and dry.
Although flooring is not the most glamorous feature of a home, it is something that prospective buyers notice right away—and bad flooring could be a deal breaker. Nobody wants to move into a house with severely damaged floors or heavily stained carpet. If your floors need a quick makeover, consider laminate. This low-cost material, which is designed to snap easily into place, can be installed by homeowners of all skill levels, saving you the cost of a professional installation.
Nothing beats well-kept landscaping when it comes to making a good first impression. Even if you're not a natural gardener, you can improve the look of your yard with one simple tool: mulch. Get a few bags of mulch from the garden center and pile it in your planting beds and around small trees and shrubs. The fresh wood chips will add a touch of polish to the yard and may even allow you to water less frequently.
Of course you plan to clean the bathroom before an open house, but what are you going to do about the stained grout that's detracting from the appearance of your freshly cleaned tile? Because grout is porous, even clean grout can appear grungy, which is a major turnoff for buyers—but it's also a simple fix. Begin with baking soda, vinegar, and a toothbrush, but if the grime won't come off, use a commercial grout whitener. These mixtures can clean, whiten, and seal grout, making a bathroom appear decades younger—and cleaner.
Isn't it true that every home buyer wants more closet space? Even if storage space isn't one of your home's strong suits, you don't have to start tearing down walls to create more appealing closets. A much less expensive way to show off your closets? Clear the clutter. Cluttered closets, even large ones, appear claustrophobic and inconvenient. Sort through your closets and linen cabinets, removing approximately half of the items. Put everything in boxes and store it until your house sells. Or, even better, take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of some of it—packing and moving will be a breeze!
If your home could use a fresh coat of paint, either inside or out, pick up a brush and roller before you list it. Be forewarned: Color dilemmas are common among home sellers. If you paint a room too dark, it will appear small and cramped. If you paint a room white, it will feel cold and uninviting. Choose light, neutral colors that have broad appeal, as bold colors can turn off buyers.
Small things can sometimes make a big difference. Take, for example, drawer pulls and knobs. Out-of-date hardware ages a room almost as much as out-of-date cabinets. Fortunately, replacing hardware is a much less expensive solution than refacing cabinets. Bring a few of your existing knobs, pulls, or handles to the hardware store to ensure that the replacements will fit the existing holes. Once you've found new hardware that fits the bill, remove the old and replace it with a screwdriver.
Prospective buyers will want to envision their car safely sheltered in your garage, alongside their landscaping tools and other items they intend to keep there. Whether your home has a one-, two-, or three-car garage, visitors will likely focus on the space's functionality rather than its total square footage. Another example of how disciplined decluttering pays off. If your garage has become a dumping ground, clear it out and install budget shelving and pegboard to neatly store the necessities. Your orderly, spacious garage will delight you and everyone who attends the open houses.
Under those years of backyard dirt and grime, there's a gleaming-clean concrete walkway and a spotless stone patio. Rediscover them with the assistance of a power washer, which will cost you about $75 per day. A quick wash will revitalize driveways, walkways, patios, and decks, saving you the cost and time of replacing, resealing, or restaining. You'll be shocked at how much of a difference this powerful sprayer can make, and buyers will be impressed by your immaculate hardscaping.