Are you getting ready to sell your home? If you’re like most home sellers, your main concern is to get the best possible price for your home – without having to spend a fortune.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to boost your home’s sale price for a small upfront investment of time or money. Here are 10 of the easiest, cheapest ways to sell your house for more:
1. Learn About Home Staging
Sure, professional home staging services can cost thousands, but you don’t have to hire a professional to stage your home. Nor do you have to rent expensive furniture or artwork.
Instead, use your existing furniture and decor to present your home in the best possible light. Watch this YouTube video to get one realtor’s step-by-step tips for staging your home:
2. Depersonalize It
The main goal of staging a home is to ensure that potential buyers can see themselves in the home. That means that they need to see as little of your personal items as possible. One of the simplest ways to help your home sell is to remove family photos and any personalized effects.
This also goes for items that have a lot of personality. While it can be a good idea to add artwork or throw pillows to give rooms a pop of appealing color, you want to steer clear of items following a distinctive theme or style.
3. Cut the Clutter
Sorting through clutter before listing your house not only makes staging easier, it streamlines your move. Home staging professional Debra Gould says in this MSN article that most homeowners could offload nearly a third of their stuff without missing it.
Even if you don’t get rid of all those extra items cluttering up your home, putting them in storage is a good idea. And don’t just think about knickknacks. Too much furniture makes a room feel crowded, so you may need to relegate unnecessary furnishings to a storage unit until your home sells.
Walls with peeling or faded paint definitely need to be repainted before you list your home. But even if your paint is in excellent condition, you may run into trouble if you use distinctive paint colors throughout the house.
Potential homebuyers often have trouble imagining rooms in a different color, and this is more difficult in a bright pink bedroom or a dark gray bathroom, for instance. Give buyers a neutral palette to spark their imagination, and then spice up each room with a few accent pillows or some pretty artwork.
5. Flowers Add Curb Appeal
Adding curb appeal is a good way to get drive-by looky-loos to schedule a showing of your home. Of course, you need to take care of the basics, like maintaining your lawn and cleaning up lawn toys and other outdoor clutter.
But adding flowers to the front of the home is a fabulous way to improve curb appeal. One clever option is to use large planters full of colorful annuals. Once the house sells, you can take the planters and the beautiful flowers with you to your new home.
6. Focus on Lighting
Bright lighting can make a room look larger and more appealing. If your lights aren’t bright enough or if certain rooms lack adequate lighting, potential buyers won’t see your home at its best.
Assess each room of your home during the evening, when there’s little natural light. Add floor or table lamps to areas that need a bit of extra light, and consider replacing light bulbs with brighter wattage bulbs. Just make sure the brighter bulbs aren’t too harsh for the room in question.
7. Take Care of Minor Repairs
Even though the housing market is beginning to turn around in many areas of the country, according to Realtor.com’s latest real estate data, we’ve still got a long way to go. And in a buyers’ market, sellers need to do everything possible to get a home in tip-top shape before attempting to sell.
If you’ve been putting off fixing the loose boards on the deck, the leaky faucet in the kitchen or other minor repairs, now is the time to do them. Taking care of repairs like these will help your home sell faster and will make potential buyers less likely to make a low-ball offer.
8. Clean All the Windows, Inside and Out
There’s something about clean windows that make a space look much more finished and put together. Plus, clean windows let light sparkle through, adding to the beauty of your home’s interior.
Before you list your home, consider hiring a professional to clean all the exterior windows, as well as the screens. And keep Windex and some newspaper handy, so you can wipe off smudges inside just before each showing.
9. Organize the Storage Spaces
This CBS News article notes that many of today’s homebuyers will pay more for a walk-in master closet, and adequate storage space is always at the top of a homebuyer’s mind. Even if your home has plenty of storage, buyers won’t think so if your closets, garage, basement and attic are disorganized, messy and crowded.
It’s tempting to shove into your closets the clutter you’re cleaning up elsewhere. But resist the temptation. In fact, you may need to do the opposite — clean your closets and garage out, rather than stuff them fuller. Pare the items in your home storage to the bare minimum and keep those spaces organized so that they look large and spacious.
10. Focus on Smell
If you’re a smoker or have pets, your home probably has a few unpleasant odors that you may not notice. In fact, even smoke-free, pet-free homes can sometimes retain odors from trash, cooking or mildew.
Make a concerted effort to keep your home smelling fresh while it’s on the market, and do a sniff test before each showing. Your goal here should be to get rid of bad smells, rather than to cover them up with fragrances that may give potential buyers a headache.