Let’s discuss ten ways that you can improve the allure of your home without breaking the bank. The first way to save money is by doing the work yourself. As you often hear ‘kids don’t try this at home’, but hey we’re all adults here, so with a little homework and a little sweat we can be on our way to a successful sale. Here are my top TEN SUGGESTIONS!
1) Staging can be costly but one great suggestion is to hire a staging consultant to come review your home for improvement suggestions. I have found this to be very beneficial. For about a hundred bucks, you can have a home stage professional/decorator walk through your residence and give you many practical suggestions about furniture and picture placement and color schemes. They will write out their plan, then all you need to do is go to work on it. You may not opt to do everything they recommend, but they will indeed help you get an outside perspective that will appeal to the general buyer. Sadly, staging your home appropriately is often under rated by sellers but does offer a lot of value.
2) If your willing to put in that little sweat equity, then the first and most common cost effective upgrade I would recommend would be painting. Don’t go with what suits your fancy, your not selling it to yourself. Stay with a neutral base color scheme. What is acceptable or considered the norm may vary from area to area and your home type. If your not sure how to color coördinate then ask a friend who does, don’t guess.
3) New carpet is nice but not always cost effective, but what about what is under that carpet? When it comes to what’s chic, wood is always in and always looks classy. Refinishing your hardwood can add a ton of appeal to your home. Even if all you are doing is adding a new coat of shine to it. A good site to review hardwoods and finishes is A-Max Hardwood.
4) Still have linoleum in your kitchen and bathrooms? My experience has been that most people associate linoleum with cheap. Surprisingly tile isn’t all that expensive and not that hard to install. You can even rent a tile saw pretty cheap for a couple days. If your really trying to keep the budget down then look for discontinued product.
5) Are your counter tops in good shape? Do they match with your kitchen and cabinets? Replacing your counter tops isn’t very expensive if you stay away from granite or corian. Home Depot or Lowes are both good if you want a quick quote.
6) Nothing dates your home quicker than your lighting. Buyers will often stereo type a homes quality by the modernes of your lighting fixtures. Don’t get me wrong, you can spend the farm on lighting, but you can find decent updated fixtures (often on clearance), at a nominal cost. I replaced nine fixtures in my home for less than $200 bucks.
7) Are your faucets crusty? Have lime coated toilets and tub? Rickety old toilet seat? Nothing turns a buyer off more than someone else’s crud. Their crud is OK to them, but not a strangers. Make sure all your sink fixtures SPARKLE, if that’s impossible with yours then you may want to consider replacing them. Don’t forget to clean those toilets and tubs good enough to grab a glass of water from them.
8) An easy one we all know is to clean your carpets. Whether you do it your self or hire someone, it is a low cost item with good return. The clean fresh smell it adds and the new shine is definitely worth the price.
9) Nobody says it better than Shakespeare so I quote “O! my offence is rank, it smells to heaven.” If you smoke inside your house, STOP! Take it outside while you are trying to sell. In my experience, the two BIGGEST turn offs to a buyer is a home that smells of cigarette smoke and one that smells of animals, but any bad smell is a no no. While a person may not remember the details of every house they viewed, they will NEVER forget the ones that smelled bad. That isn’t the impression you want to leave. Many times I have had buyers walk back out the door without even viewing the home. Buy a fragrance for your home but beware, many people have allergies or are sensitive to smells, so don’t buy the cheapest on the shelf or splatter Old Spice around the house. I have found that if you stick with a botanical or a better quality fragrance, it is more smoothing and seldom a problem.
10) Have you ever seen what window treatments can cost? Oh my gosh, you could buy a second car. But that doesn’t have to be true. I have staged a number of homes and have found quality awesome matching sets of window treatments in stores such as TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, etc… to name a few. You may need to do some driving. I once had to visit three Ross stores to find six of the same matching curtains but hey, at $8 to $15 a curtain panel, it was worth the drive.
I hope these tips assist you on your way to a successful home sale, please feel free to comment on any cost affordable tips you have come across so I and others can benefit.
Paul Heim Boise Idaho Real Estate Sales