As a property examiner, I can tell you that that one of the first mistakes people make when selling their homes is not paying attention to detail. It’s the little things in a home that make a big difference to a prospective buyer, and the slightest adjustments or improvements can have a big payoff. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on an elaborate remodel to fetch a good price for your home, you just need to invest in a little something called ‘sweat equity.’ Real estate experts say that a seller’s best bet for a profitable sale comes from putting just a bit of time, effort and cash ($300 or less) into a few weekend home improvement projects. I’ve listed 7 of the best suggestions below.
1.Update your lighting
Lighting is one of the easiest and quickest ways to boost your home’s value. You don’t even have to spend a fortune, simply follow this golden rule: if it is distracting, damaged or dated- replace it. For example: Get rid of any low hanging, tacky light fixtures that might cause prospective buyers to bump their heads, and replace them with simple, elegant pendant lamps.
2. Enhance your curb appeal
Home begins at the front door, so pay attention to the way your abode looks from the outside. Consider repainting your front door an eye-catching color like red or blue to add interest to your doorway.Polish or replace any rusty or old hardware, including house numbers. If your doorbell isn’t working, fix it. As far as landscaping goes, prune away any trees or bushes obscuring your windows and don’t forget to mow your lawn. Never underestimate the power of a well-swept walkway and porch, either.
3. Scrub up your bathroom
Bathrooms, along with kitchens, are always severely scrutinized by prospective buyers. It’s important that this area is appears bright, well lit and most of all, clean. Doing a massive bathroom overhaul can get expensive, but there are a few small projects that can be done at minimal cost. Things like, replacing frosted glass for clear glass, cleaning the grout, removing rust stains from the sinks and tubs, applying fresh caulk, updating the doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replacing faucets, and installing a low-flush toilet. Even buying a new toilet seat can make a huge difference.
4. Clean your flooring
It’s really that simple. If you have old carpets, rent a steamer to get the stains out. Polish and buff up your wooden floors. If your home suffers from loud and distracting vinyl flooring, purchase vinyl stickers to cover it up. A few well placed nails can eliminate squeaky floorboards, and replacing one cracked tile goes a long way to creating a welcoming, sophisticated environment.
5. Create breathing space
Most buyers are more than prepared to pay a extra for a little breathing room. If you have a basement or garage, spruce up the space by polishing the floors and installing decent shelving. This creates the impression that the room has potential to be used for an extra living area. If you have a decent sized backyard, consider setting up a sitting area by buying some paving, patio seating and installing a small water feature. This will also give the impression of extra space.
6. Makeover your cabinets
As I’ve mentioned before, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house for most buyers. Outdated, shabby looking kitchen cabinets can really detract from the feel of a kitchen, but you don’t have to replace or reface them for a whole new look. Just buy a few cans of paint to give them a new finish. Light colors are good for most cabinets, but if your kitchen has a lot of natural light- you might want to go for a darker color as it creates more depth. Last but not least, don’t forget the hardware. Choose something simple and fairly modern for the pulls, like something with a brushed nickel finish. Steer clear of brass, brightly colored glass or anything decorated with pictures of birds or flowers, as those are dated and don’t suit everyone’s taste.
7. Get handy
Don’t spread all those ‘fix it’ jobs out over a course of a year. Make a list of every squeaky door, leaky faucet and creaky floor in your house, grab your toolsand endeavor to get it all fixed within one weekend. Along with the reward of a satisfied potential buyer, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after getting rid of all those homely ‘aches and pains’ will be well worth it.