When selling your home, seemingly small details can be the difference between “sold in a week” and “sitting on the market for months”. From the moment that a buyer arrives at your home, they want an emotional connection with what they see. They want to picture their family growing up in the house. They want to fall in love.
While triggering such an emotional response from a buyer may seem like an expensive ordeal, it can be quite cheap and simple if you work smart. By avoiding structural changes and sticking to DIY improvements, you can save tens of thousands of dollars. Here are 6 surprisingly inexpensive ways to make your home sell faster (and at a higher price):
- Focus on curb appeal
First impressions go a long way in real estate. Make sure that your lawn, garden and bushes are properly maintained. Trim unsightly hedges, branches, and shrubs. Planting fresh flowers greets visitors with a smile and signals that you actively maintain your property. Put a wreath or similar decorations on your front door for extra charm. Also, think about replacing your door knob with a sleek, modern design to make your home look more secure.
- Let there be light
Dark, underlit rooms look creepy, cheap and scare away buyers. You want a potential buyer to be able to see how great your home is. So to make your home look more attractive, light it up.
Replace older light bulbs with newer, higher wattage bulbs to illuminate every corner. Install dimmer switches to be able to set the right mood for each room. You can even install additional ceiling lights in main rooms that need a more luxurious look. Ceiling lights may come at a higher cost, but they make a massive difference.
- A fresh coat of paint can do wonders
Most of the surface area in your house is walls and ceilings (paint). One of the biggest differences you can make in an afternoon is to re-touch and re-paint your interiors. Since you don’t know who will end up buying your home, you need to appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.
Remove old, dated wallpaper and paint over polarizing colors (too bright or too dark). Use neutral colors that don’t elicit negative reactions. In smaller spaces and rooms, use lighter colors to make the area seem larger. And if a house filled with neutral colors seems too dull, you can always use a tasteful accent color in the right places such as doorways, windows, and select walls.
- Fix what’s under your feet
The second largest surface area of your home is your floors. When you’ve lived in your house for years, it’s easy to overlook areas of wear and tear. Luckily, making your floors look better can be done on the cheap.
If areas of hardwood are worn out (such as under tables) put a surface rug to cover the heavy usage. Replacing fraying carpet with generic (even commercial) alternatives is not too costly and goes a long way to make your home look new. In the kitchen, cracked or dated linoleum can be replaced for more modern styles without breaking the bank.
- Upgrade your kitchen and bathrooms
The kitchen is the focal point of the house and one of the first places buyers go when touring a home. It is very important for your kitchen to feel warm, welcoming and up to date. Instead of replacing old cabinets, simply repaint them a neutral color. After painting the cabinets, replace the knobs for a more modern feel. Finally, check that all the caulk and tile grout is in good condition and looking new.
Updated bathrooms can add a ton of value to your home, but often come at a steep price. To fix up your bathroom on the cheap, replace small, dated vanity mirrors with a large framed mirror. You can find simple mirror panes from any hardware store, and then use a picture frame for a great finish.
- Deep clean and declutter
No one likes a dirty house. Hire a professional cleaner to clean in areas that you might miss during your normal routine. You may not notice much of a difference, but your guests sure will!
Also, move your family’s personal items, pictures, and knick knacks to storage unit. Homebuyers want to be able to picture themselves in the space, not your family. Removing excess clutter also makes your home feel much larger and less stressful.
While you can go all out adding additions and renovating your kitchen, know that you don’t have to spend mega bucks to make your home stand out. Finding tasks that you can do yourself saves tons of money. Small improvements add up, especially when you are smart about what you are fixing. And most of all, be sure to consult an expert when selling your home.