The main objective, when it comes to selling a home, is to get the best price possible. It’s a simple concept, really, but achieving this goal is trickier than you might think. In order to make your home appeal to buyers, you’ll have to put in a little effort. That means fixing what’s broken, updating what you can, and cleaning the rest. If you’re not able, or willing, to spend a lot of money, you can still make improvements that will have a major impact. In fact, here are five inexpensive ways to increase your home’s value, revealed by an experienced real estate agent.
Give It A Thorough Cleaning
The cleaner the home is, the higher perceived value it will have. For that reason, the first, and easiest way, to get more value out of your home is to clean it thoroughly. Grab some cleaning supplies and roll up your sleeves for this low-cost improvement. To be sure you don’t miss anything, start at the back corner of the room, at the top, and work your way down and out. Pay special attention to the window and door trim and the tops of doors. You’ll be surprised at how much dust has accumulated in these areas. Next, dust and polish the furniture, top to bottom, inside and out.
Once you’ve taken care of the dusting, wash the ceilings, walls, and windows. Finally, vacuum carpets thoroughly, which means moving the furniture around to get under and behind it. Finally, steam clean the carpet to freshen it up. You can use a standard household steam cleaner, or rent one. For an inexpensive carpet cleaner, add liquid laundry detergent and Febreeze to very hot water. This little trick will not only get your carpet clean, but it will also make them softer and, of course, remove odors. Finally, mop and wax floors to give them a high shine.
Although many real estate agents and brokers recommend installing new appliances, cabinets, and fixtures, it is not an absolute necessity. In reality, you can improve your kitchen on a very tight budget. One of the biggest improvements you can make is to have matching appliances. If yours are mismatched but in good working condition, consider refacing or painting them to match. Installing a new faucet and updated light fixtures make for excellent the finishing touches.
Another quick and inexpensive upgrade involves little more than a can of paint and a few hours of time. Sand down your old cabinet doors and give them a fresh coat of paint and add some new hardware. They’ll look brand new again for a fraction of the price of replacement cabinets. If your flooring is in good condition, a thorough cleaning will suffice. If not, inexpensive vinyl or laminate flooring is a great way to upgrade, and it can be installed right over the old flooring.
The bathroom is perhaps just as important, if not more so than the kitchen is. Some simple bathroom improvements will go a long way, and they don’t cost much. Old, outdated light fixtures and faucets should be replaced, but don’t go for high-end versions, unless your market truly calls for it. In most cases, a moderately priced version is appropriate and will give the impression that the room has been well cared for. As with the kitchen, if you have grouted tile, scrub it clean and replace any broken or missing tiles. Be sure to clean the ceiling thoroughly, as moisture build-up can leave behind traces of mold and mildew, which creates unsavory odors.
The tub, shower, sink, and toilet have to be spotlessly clean, especially right before a showing. Even if these components are older, if they are clean, it shows how well-maintained the home is. Hang a new shower curtain and wash the window curtains to give the room a fresh look. Another recommendation is to remove any rugs from the floor. It makes the room look bigger and cleaner. Finally, hang some fresh, clean towels and clear out all but the bare minimums for bathroom supplies.
Cut the Clutter
Prospective buyers are easily turned off by excess clutter, so get rid of anything that is not necessary. Remember that the more open the space is, the larger it will appear. It’s also important to give buyers the opportunity to see themselves in the home. The best way to do this is to remove family portraits and other personal items. At the same time, you don’t want the space to look sterile and cold. Replace those family pictures with something neutral that coordinates with the home, but doesn’t suggest any particular style.
In addition to cleaning out the main parts of rooms, keep in mind that closets, drawers, and cabinets are also important. If they are stuffed full, it gives the impression that there is not enough room. Clean each storage area out and carefully consider what you put back in. Whatever you choose, make sure that it fits easily and that there is extra room. Also make sure that clothing, toys, pet supplies, and similar items are picked up.
A Fresh Coat Of Paint
If it has been a while since the exterior was painted, now is the time. The first impression a buyer gets of your home is determined by the outside. You want to everything you can to improve it. If there is peeling and faded paint, there will be an automatic drop in perceived value. Whether you do the work yourself or hire it out, a good paint job is an absolute necessity. Stick with a neutral color with complimentary trim for the widest appeal. If your home has vinyl siding that is in good condition, skip the paint job and give it a good power washing.
It’s also a good idea to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceilings, and trim inside your home. It will help make the rooms brighter, which will also make them feel cleaner and more inviting. It will also hide any old water stains and imperfections in the walls. Again, be sure to choose neutral colors such as white, beige, and light gray. Stay away from trendy colors, which lose their appeal rather quickly.
Add Curb Appeal
Make the first impression a prospective buyer gets of your home the best it can possibly be by doing some yard work. You don’t have to hire a professional landscaper, and you certainly do not have to spend a lot of money to make your yard look better. Start with the basics, such as raking, mowing, removing overgrowth, and trimming unruly trees and shrubs. Don’t stop with the front yard — the back yard is just as important. This simple solution will not only make your yard look better, but it will also give buyers a better idea of how large the lot is.
Simple things such as placing groupings of potted plants at the entrances, installing new house numbers, lighting, and door hardware are also highly recommended. Although they don’t take a lot of money or time, a drab and uninspired entry becomes an inviting space. Remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and anything that you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal will make an immediate impact.
When it comes to selling your home, remember that you don’t have to do major renovations in order to get a higher price. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. If you have any questions, or, if you are ready to list your home, please contact us. We will be more than happy to help you in any way we can.