How to give your home a makeover without spending a lot of money
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the improvements that make the most difference are those that require the least time and expense. A small investment in sweat equity can have a big impact on how quickly your property sells and at what price.
In fact, one of the most basic ways to show off your home’s best assets is to make sure it's spotless. That means cleaning your house, trimming the lawn and creating the atmosphere that will give your home “sales appeal.” Sparkling clean houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in or show too much of the owner’s personality.
There are several budget-friendly things you can do that are cost effective yet can make a huge difference in terms of getting the highest price for your home.
Create Curb Appeal
First on the list is to increase your home's curb appeal. Make sure your house looks great from the moment your potential buyer first sees your home.
Don’t forget. Buyers can make up their minds on whether they like a property or not within the first 30 seconds. That’s why first impressions are so important. So you want to make sure the outside of your house is looking the best it can be. Your house should scream, “Buy me! Buy me! I’m beautiful!” from the curb. If it doesn't, you’ve got some work to do.
Mow and edge the lawn, cut back or remove overgrown shrubs, and add plants or flowers to your front entrance to give the home a more inviting feel. Paint or pressure-wash the exterior, replace missing or torn screens. Pretend you are the buyer. Take a good look at your home. What is your general impression? Clean? Neat? Well kept? If not, keep working.
De-personalize Your Home
Next, de-personalize the inside of your home by removing family photos and collections. This can be a difficult process for some, but remember, you are moving and sooner or later, it’s all going to get packed up anyway. Most people will first see your home online, so having excellent photos of your home will be imperative to attract those buyers to come look at your home in person.
Since purchasing a property is largely an emotional decision, you want to make sure that you help the potential buyer feel at home. The idea here is to help the potential buyer visualize themselves living there.
Clean, Clean, Clean
In the kitchen, clear off the countertops. In the closets, ruthlessly thin out clothes and shoes to make it look airy and spacious. In the bathroom, put away toothbrushes and personal items. Everything should be cleaned thoroughly. There is no bigger turnoff than a messy home. Along with vacuuming and mopping, consider ways of removing stains and odors from surfaces, floors, carpets and drapes.
Prior to any showing, putting the dishes away, making the beds, picking up the toys, cleaning out the closets and hiding all the personal items (especially in the bathroom), may seem obvious but are all essential ways to keep the buyer free from distractions and leave them with a positive impression. Remember, buyers will be comparing your property to others they see.
Whenever there is a property shown that has any of these things: pet odors, stained and soiled carpets, dark lighting, crazy colored walls, cluttered rooms and walkways, visible leaks, stains on the ceilings, dirty bathrooms and kitchens. It’s like an invitation back into the car and on to the next property.
When cleaning, make sure the kitchen and the bathroom are sparkling clean. And don’t forget the living room. Because it is usually the first room people see when they enter the home, make sure it looks relaxing. Open up the windows and blinds, turn on the lights and add some fresh flowers.
Washing all the windows and screens is another no-cost improvement that tends to be overlooked but can make a huge impression.
Often the littlest things make the BIGGEST difference! Take a look at all of the door knobs and door pulls, from the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the closet storage areas. Check out your local home improvement store for moderately priced modern knobs and pulls that will bring your home up to date.
Don't forget the floors! A new bathroom rug, or rug in the kitchen or living room can do wonders. Windows can look entirely fresh with a new window covering. Neutral colors work best.
Set the Mood
Finally, Locations REALTORS® recommend baking cookies or brownies, or brewing a fresh pot of coffee before showings to give your home a cozy, inviting feel. It’s all part of setting the stage, creating a nice ambiance and increasing a home’s sales potential without spending too much.