Forget about sinking money into a major renovation that won’t pay off at the closing table. Here we share the following 10 magical ways to make your home more marketable without breaking the bank:
1. Turn your home back into a house
While it is often overlooked, one of the most important first steps you can take before selling your house is to de-personalize it.
The more family photos, collectibles, personal keepsakes and non-neutral color schemes, the more difficult it will be for potential buyers to see themselves living in your house. Try to remove at least one-third to one-half of your personal things and put them into storage.
2. Clean and deoderize
It should go without saying, but no one likes a smelly, grimy house. That goes doubly for prospective purchasers. When you are readying your home for market, don’t rely on the usual weekly cleaning.
Consider making the small investment into a professional cleaning crew, at least for your initial clean. Once in order, engage the entire household in keeping the house that way. Do not rely on obvious cover ups where odors are a problem. Instead, eliminate the source.
3. Keep pets out of sight
Americans may love their pets, but prospective home buyers are not in love with yours. Keep pets and their gear out of sight. You don’t want buyers having to dodge a dog food bowl or deal with kitty litter odors. Likewise, remove all pet hair.
4. Give attention to your closets
Face the fact: prospective buyers are going to snoop in your closets. Be sure they are not taking their lives in their hands when they open the door. Instead, remove about half of the things you have in closets, and throw away or put into storage. Neaten up and organize what remains and your home will appear to have plenty of storage for new owners.
5. Brighten up the kitchen
While real estate is still about location, kitchens are extremely important as well. If you have a bit of money to spend, put it into updating counter tops if yours are dated.
But if that is still too much for your budget, opt for inexpensive updates like fresh paint, new cabinet hardware and—if possible—at least one high-end appliance. This will give your whole kitchen the feel of being updated with expensive appliances without springing for a set.
6. Give rooms purpose
Take a hard look at your house and ensure that every room has an obvious purpose. You may have been using that spare bedroom as a catch-all area, but prospective buyers won’t see it that way. Instead, convert it back to its original purpose so prospective buyers see the living space. Ensure rooms aren’t crowded and that furniture matches a room’s intended use.
7. Remember curb appeal
You have probably heard plenty about curb appeal, but don’t assume you have to sink a bunch of dough into professional landscaping. Make a great first impression with a well-kept lawn and neat bedding plants.
One of the best-kept secrets for improving the exterior is to lay down some fresh mulch, which does wonders to hide landscaping shortcomings.
Be sure the sidewalk and driveway are clean and free of debris. You may want to power wash your home’s exterior as well, to knock down cobwebs and brighten brick and siding.
8. Sweat the small stuff
When it comes to selling your home, you need to sweat the small stuff. Pay attention to small details that, together, will give a good impression to buyers.
Things like matching towel sets, fresh cut flowers, new accent pillows and sparkling faucets will set the stage for buyers to see a well-cared-for home.
9. Grab a paintbrush
If you don’t have the budget to paint your entire interior, at least focus on less costly projects like the trim and heavily-used rooms. Paint over bright bedroom colors to more neutral tones and touch up areas that need it elsewhere.
10. Let in the sun
Natural light is a huge bonus when selling your home, particularly for daytime showings. Let the sun shine in through sparkling windows that have been newly cleaned. Be sure sunlight isn’t obscured by dusty drapes or busted blinds.
Getting your house ready to go onto the market can seem like a costly task.
But if you don’t have a lot of money to spend in the midst of your move, there are still plenty of things you can do to ensure your house shows well.
Concentrating on things like organizing closets, adding a fresh coat of paint and rearranging furniture can pay off without sinking loads of cash into projects that won’t get you the best return on your investment.