MoneyWisdom Blog

Preparing your home to sell.

Posted by Bill Burpeau on Apr 28, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Sold!We’ve offered a lot of information on the best way to buy a new home, but what about when you need to sell your home? Which projects should you tackle before you put your home on the market?

I just went through it and I have to say, I wasn’t very smart about it. I cleaned out 17 years worth of accumulated stuff, put in granite counter tops, new windows, tile floors and lots of fresh paint. It was a lot of work, cost me a lot of money, and my house didn’t sell. On the positive side, I have a beautifully updated house that has a lot more storage room. The bad thing was I spent a lot of money unnecessarily.

I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I did. All I really needed to do was focus on these three things:

1.    Curb appeal
2.    Kitchen
3.    Bathrooms

A buyer’s first impression is arguably the most important factor when you’re trying to sell your home. If their very first thought about your home is negative, you’re facing an uphill battle as you attempt to turn them into interested buyers.

There are several things you can do that won’t cost you a fortune, but will have a big impact:

  • Paint the front door and/or the shutters
  • Weed and trim your front yard landscaping and keep the lawn nicely mowed
  • Add an artistic element like a bird bath, fountain or small statue.

Improving the curb appeal and creating a positive feeling for buyers as they cross the threshold is the first step in getting them interested in your home.

Kitchens and bathrooms may be a little more costly to update, but all evidence points to both being areas where you can more than make back the money you spend. Since the kitchen is where many families seem to spend most of their time, it’s really important that you make this space as inviting as possible. You can update the hardware, install a new faucet and put on a fresh, neutral paint color fairly inexpensively. If you’re interested in investing a little more, make sure all your appliances match, put in new lighting fixtures and consider updating your cabinets with a fresh finish. Almost anything you do to improve your kitchen will pay off in the long run.

The same holds true for your bathrooms. Quick, inexpensive fixes include painting, re-grouting the tub and shower, and updating the light fixtures. If the bathrooms are really in need of a makeover, you can install a new toilet, sink and update the flooring with vinyl tiles for just a few hundred dollars.

And, of course, without much more investment than your sweat equity, there are several things you should do throughout your home to improve its overall look:

  • De-clutter your closets, tabletops and bookcases
  • Fix squeaky doors, stuck windows and chipped paint
  • Wash all your windows
  • Remove some of your personal items including family photos
  • Paint scuffed up baseboards

Preparing your home to sell doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Just remember to make all your upgrades fairly neutral so they’ll appeal to the largest number of people.

Good luck!

 

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