You’ll need to make sure everything is presentation perfect before prospective buyers get a glimpse, but which investments will generate the greatest return when it comes to preparing your home to sell? Our article outlines some tips and tricks from our Realtor experts on getting the most bang for your buck.
- If it’s broken, fix it. That crack in the bedroom window, the cabinet door that doesn’t close properly, and the moldy grout around your tub may go unnoticed by you, but they’ll be glaring “must do” projects to home buyers. Worn or stained carpets should be cleaned or replaced, if needed. Repairs and deferred maintenance to your home are not only a turn off to buyers, but may also weaken your position when negotiating the sale price.
- Paint. Go for neutral tones when making your paint selection. And don’t hesitate to purchase more expensive paint. Brands such as Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Glidden offer online tools to help you visualize the finished project. Even a small job can make a big impact. A new coat of paint on your front door will brighten up your entryway and invite visitors inside. Painting the interior and/or exterior of your home is one of the least expensive DIY projects that packs a big punch in improving the look and feel of the space.
- Declutter and donate. Buyers look for their new homes to simplify and work well with their lifestyle. A cluttered and cramped home makes the space appear dysfunctional and prevents the eye from focusing on the home’s positive selling features. Pack up and store items in the attic or alternate location (hint: not your garage), or donate items to others who could use them. Ditch the outdated and worn window coverings: they detract and do more harm than having no window coverings at all.
- Kitchens and baths sell homes. With a little DIY initiative, you can minimize the cost of remodeling a kitchen or bath. Avoid a costly gut and remodel job (unless unavoidable). Appliances, sinks, faucets and lighting fixtures can be replaced for under $10,000, in most cases. If you have laminate countertops, consider investing in neutral, solid-surface or stone countertops. They help sell homes faster and for more money. Freshen up an old bathroom with new flooring, paint, and lighting for under $2,000. If your flooring is in good shape, consider having your grout and tile professionally cleaned for a few hundred dollars.
- Add Curb Appeal. An untidy exterior in need of repairs reflects poorly on the entire home. Start by ensuring your windows are clean, and if you have shutters, make sure they are painted and property functioning. Fix any cracks in the exterior and power wash the exterior, driveway, and walkways. Weed, mulch, and trim bushes and plantings. Add a pop of color with annuals at the entrance or hang a flag to greet visitors.
“While the size of the renovation budget will vary depending on the condition of the property and the neighborhood, smart choices and DIY projects will help you get the most for your money. For example, it’s not necessary to invest in a total kitchen renovation if kitchens in your neighborhood are comparable. I counsel my sellers to review competitive listings and focus on the issues that need to be addressed first before investing in expensive upgrades,” stated Patricia Schmitt with Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS in Greater New Orleans.
“Many sellers can maximize their budget with simple cosmetic fixes and repairs. For example, I always suggest a new doormat to welcome buyers and of course, encourage them to wipe their feet! Not a bad idea to have one at the back door, too,” she added.