March 14, 2018 3:07 am
If you’re thinking of selling your house, you are undoubtedly also thinking about the value of your home and how the market will treat you in terms of a reasonable selling price. Your realtor will help you with that, and in the meantime, you may decide to do a few upgrades that will possibly create more value for you when the deal is done. In this article, we’ll discuss some ideas for minor to moderate updates that may help make your home more attractive, appealing and desirable to a buyer, while increasing your profits.
Here are 20 projects to consider that might improve your chances of top dollar when it comes time to sell. Many of these makeovers can be done easily and inexpensively, given a little time and effort. Others take a bit more planning and a higher dollar investment, but could be worth it, depending on the condition, style and location of your home. Let’s take a look.
1. Clean the windows.
Even though it might be a while before you are ready to sell your home, cleaning the windows will give you a bright, cheery outlook on life and a new brighter look to the house. Everything looks better through clean windows. It’s like a new lease on life. Once you’ve created that smile, you’ll be ready for even bigger things.
2. Brighten each room.
Here’s a simple tactic. Change out light bulbs that are burnt out or at a wimpy wattage. Add some light to your life, and your home will love you for it. Especially in the winter months, but also in the evenings and early mornings, a little artificial light will bring cheer to each room. When you are ready to sell, it will also bring cheer to all who enter.
3. Clean every room.
Now that you can see clearly in each room, take a good look. I don’t mean the quick glance that a room usually gets. What I mean is that slow, serious inspection-style look. Jot down what could use improvement in each room. Most things on the list can be managed fairly quickly, and your family members can help. This could be things like washing walls, removing the clutter or buying a few new, bright pillows to add cheer.
For the deep cleaning, if you’re out of time or not up to the task, you can find a residential cleaning service, and maybe even one that cleans with non-toxic supplies for a healthier environment for you and your family. Once that happens, it’s easier to maintain and enjoy the clean life.
4. Clean the flooring.
Here again, the idea of clean is more welcoming and will win big points for you, your family, your guests, and eventually potential buyers. You can hire someone to clean your carpets, vinyl or wood flooring, and many will even move the furniture which is one of those things that holds people back from checking this off their list. Ask friends for a recommendation for a good service if you need one.
5. Repair worn or broken blinds.
Families can be hard on window blinds. If yours are looking shabby, it might be time for a repair, new blinds or even a different type of window treatment, like a flowing panel of fabric. This simple change can bring that fresh, vibrant look back into a room.
6. Replace light fixtures.
Sometimes all it takes is a new light fixture to update the room and brighten the space. You probably don’t want something too trendy or unusual, but anything with a classic look that’s easy to work into any décor will work just fine. Look for sales and it will be easy on your budget too.
7. Refresh your woodwork.
Most woodwork gets dull and dry over time and will luxuriate in a coat of Murphy Oil Soap. It takes just a little time and effort to revive the natural shine. Especially if you have pets, there can be visible damage to your furniture, woodwork, cabinets and trim. There are products available to patch holes or conceal scratches, including the stain-colored pencils that are oh-so-easy to use. If the damage is severe, a new coat of stain or sealer might be the ticket. Or, you can always sand and paint for a completely new look.
8. Use color and nature to invite buyers in.
If it’s the right season, add a beautifully flowering, potted plant by the front door. Or, if it’s winter in the north country, you can add a pot of spruce tips with colorful accents or a tasteful holiday decoration. As visitors approach, anything welcoming will do the trick.
9. Spiff up the bathroom.
It’s important that the bathroom be as clean as possible, meaning all surfaces. If the tile, grout, tub or shower are looking dingy, they need attention. And, if the tile is broken or the tub has chips in it, there are fixes for that too. Call a reputable company or handyman service. It’s amazing what they can do to refurbish well-used tubs or showers. Once it’s looking good as new, use new towels and a candle as accents.
10. Create a cheery laundry room.
Laundry rooms can make you smile or make you look out for spiders! Go for the happy setting. If the laundry room looks clean, bright and cheery, it will make a good impression on your potential buyers. It might just need a good cleaning or a fresh coat of paint. Check out the floor too. If there’s not much you can do short of replacing the floor, you can do that, or find a cheery rug to bring some life into it.
11. Clean, repair or replace appliances.
Old appliances can serve new owners just as well, but they want them clean and in good working order. Take an honest look, especially in the kitchen. Once again, we’re back to cleaning, but it does make a world of difference. If you need a few new parts, that might be a cheap fix. Or, if they’re on their last leg, it might be time for replacements. You can often find good deals on less-than-perfect appliances, which is just fine if the small dent or scratch is on the side of a stove that is hidden by the cupboards and counter.
12. Spruce up your closets, storage and shelving.
It’s hard to realize how much abuse a closet can get, especially in high-use areas, until you empty it out and wonder how all the scuff marks and scratches got there. When showing your home, you want your closets to appear like they can hold everything the new owners will bring with them. Overstuffed closets don’t sell well. So, it makes sense to clean up the shelves and organize the contents, so it looks like there is plenty of room for a happy, well-organized life.
13. Add smoke alarms and CO detectors if needed.
If the home is older, it might not be up to code for an adequate supply and placement of these life-saving devices. Check to see what you have and add more if they would be needed to meet code. Buyers will be happy to know that this has been done for them.
14. Repair windows with cracks or foggy panes.
It happens a lot, and homeowners get busy and ignore the crack in the window or the window with a broken seal and a dirty, misty appearance. You can replace the window or, quite possibly, have it repaired. Ask around to see who offers this service on your neighborhood. A clear window will be a much better selling point even if you never have to mention it.
15. Paint the front door.
This is always wise real estate advice. The front door often takes a beating, whether it’s faded from the sun or actually given a gentle kick or two upon opening. A freshly painted door always gives a great first impression.
16. Paint the trim or shutters.
This is another great visual opportunity. Cracked, peeling or faded paint on the trim can have a negative impact on a buyer when first seeing the home. It’s not a project as large as painting the entire house (although that could be a good idea too), and it helps give it a fresh, new look. If you aren’t up to painting it yourself, a professional painter can do it quickly and at a reasonable cost.
17. Remove dead plants and bushes.
When we’re busy, we sometimes overlook the sad shape of our landscaping. If that has happened while your life has been busier than most, it works wonders to just remove the dead or dying bushes and add mulch or stones. Once it’s done, the view is clean, crisp and inviting.
18. Repair siding, fascia or gutters.
Over the years, the elements and activity can take a toll on the exterior of the house. Take a good look—as if you have not seen the house before. If there are areas in disrepair, it would be a good idea to get them fixed. A buyer might look at the visible issues and see dollar signs and more hassles than are probable, and their offer will reflect their worst fears. When you get quotes for the work, you might be surprised that the cost is more reasonable than you thought. (Get a referral from a trusted friend if you don’t know a reputable company.)
19. Repair the roof if it has been leaking.
If you’ve been putting off the repairs needed from the occasional leaks, get quotes and have an experienced roofer do the repairs. Then move on to #20 which is the next step in this scenario.
20. Repair water damage on the interior.
If you’ve had water damage from whatever cause, it’s generally evident when someone is looking seriously at your home. If you’re handy, you can possibly fix this yourself, or you can hire a handyman or professional painting or drywall service to make it look good as new.
When you’re ready to sell, if you have done some pre-planning, your house should have a much better than average chance of attracting the ideal buyer or even receiving multiple offers. When you do a check of the exterior and the interior, room by room, you can get a good idea of which changes might be worth the time, effort and expensive to attract the best offer.
Hopefully, you’ve gained some ideas and motivation to get started on a few fun projects, and you’ll even have time to enjoy them yourself before putting your home on the market. If you’ve enjoyed this article on increasing the value of your home, please share it with a friend who might also benefit. Thank you and best of luck with your eventual sale.