We will all, at some point, have to get our homes ready to be sold. During this frantic process, the first thing you think about as a homeowner is how you can make your house the most presentable for buyers to get a quick offer, especially if you are on a budget.
Remember, you are trying to sell your house to make money, not to spend money that you may not necessarily have. Here are some quick inexpensive fixes, if you will, to get your house ready to be listed & put up on the market.
Some owners I’ve come across start panicking when thinking of all the things they have to do, but it’s rather quite simple. First, don’t put in all the extra money, as you will not make it back. You think getting all brand new windows will seal the deal? Many people don’t realize that although they think buyers are always looking for “new,” that term can’t be used lightly, especially if something is more than a couple of years old. New in real estate is brand new- we’re talking maybe a year or two at the most. Focusing on these inexpensive tricks, you really can say “new” paint, fixtures, appliances, and etc!
If You’re Selling Your House, Start De-Cluttering Now
The first step in getting your house ready is the process of actually “de-cluttering,” or as I like to call it, “pre-packing.” You’re going to have to do it anyway, so let’s put into boxes all the those lovely family albums, frames, and trinkets that may mean so much to you but do nothing for the buyer. Sure, some may think it will give a home a cozy family feel, but buyers aren’t looking to break bread with your family when they walk into your house for a showing. They want to see those high ceilings, the bathroom upgrades, and the view from the yard.
So, de-clutter as much as possible. Help buyers visualize how their belongings could look inside your home. For example, if your clothes are stuffed away into the back of your closets, that is what they will envision. Freeing up the closet space and even getting some custom organizers will help buyers see the potential storage space that is available to them.
Need some help moving things out of your house but don’t want to hire movers? Dolly it! Dolly is an app that provides fast help with anything you need moved or delivered anywhere. Just let them know what, when, and where, and they will be there. The nice thing about this app is that you can track and communicate with your dolly helper the entire time. Just think about it like that one friend with a truck.
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You’d be amazed at how much newer and nicer your house would look with a proper cleaning. Cleaning supplies don’t cost much but makes the world of a difference. If you have pets, a deep cleaning is a must. Although the buyers may like pets, the last thing you want is for your buyers to walk into your house full of dog hairs and miss out on an offer because they just couldn’t visualize living there.
What about a simple deep cleaning for your carpet? Unless your carpeting is extremely outdated & revolting, getting brand new carpeting isn’t recommended, as you will not necessarily make that back. The new buyers may choose their own carpet or choose to go the hardwood route anyway.
Cleaning and de-cluttering are the first steps in getting your house ready. And the good news is, when you’re finally at that last stage of getting your house sold, you will already be packed!
Paint Party Anyone?
Throw a paint party. Seriously. Painting goes a long way in terms of brightening up a room & making things look like new again. Buyers are always seeking that “NEW.” Paining is an inexpensive way to make things look brand new & if you really can’t afford to paint, make an event out of it. Invite your siblings or close friends over to help. When you are doing activities with the people you love, it really doesn’t seem that bad. Everyone has that one person he or she can rely on for some handiwork around the house. Bribe them with food- it always works.
I’m not just talking walls: paint those doors, frames, the trim, everything and anything to make it look brand new again. Also, stick to neutral colors when choosing paint. Bold colors don’t bode well for everyone, and the chances of the new buyers repainting are high anyway.
I’ll “Fix You,” Fixtures
Another tip & trick to making things look newer without spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on getting new cabinets and such installed is to focus on the fixtures.
What many people don’t realize is that a small fix such as the knobs on the your new (ten years ago but considered older now) cabinets can go a long way in terms of making it look new again. It’s such a small fix that one may not even notice it when it’s been done, but it is definitely noticeable if it hasn’t. You yourself could easily spot out the wear & tear of those faithful knobs from many a beating, which could now use some TLC. You can get brand new knobs for these lovely cabinets at your local home depot for less than $20 & even install them yourself. The result? Priceless, especially if you get it sold!
If you have a little more to spend, look into resurfacing your cabinets and appliances to give your kitchen more cohesion. Buyers look for a nice kitchen, which is considered to be the heart of the home. If you want, you can even upgrade some appliances, but be selective. Sometimes, a simple resurfacing and some new paint are just as good as new.
Here are some other inexpensive fixes: door handles, outlet covers for your outlets, and light fixtures. This is pretty self explanatory, and again, some things you could do on your own or with a loved one over the weekend.
What about the bathrooms? Some bathroom fixes include: upgrading the baseboard and casing around the windows and doors (which may go for about $2.00 per linear foot). Cleaning the grout & recaulking the shower or vanity areas is another fix. You can also regrout the tiles and/or replace any chipped tiles. You can easily find inexpensive tiling that can go right over the old ones. You can learn how to do this yourself by watching a quick Youtube tutorial.
You can also replace the toilet seats, which is such a simple and inexpensive fix compared to that old model that came with the house. Get rid of the dingy shower curtain that’s been there since last year’s spring cleaning. Get a fresh shower curtain and even some matching towels and accessories for the bathroom that could brighten up its look. It doesn’t have to take professional prices to stage your house. You can do it all yourself!
First impressions are everything. It isn’t any different in house hunting. Do your house justice and make a good impression on the buyers. Make sure the lawn has been mowed and the bushes aren’t growing into a jungle. You can add mulch around the bushes to give it a clean appeal, and that’s something you can do on your own. Hiring a landscaper also doesn’t have to be expensive. Your neighbor down the street may be home from college for the summer looking to make an extra buck. But if it’s a bigger task and difficult to do on your own, there’s always TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit provides services for moving, handiwork, yard work, cleaning, and help with any other “tasks” that you can think of. All you have to do is tell them the date, time, and location, and they will send over a rabbit to assist you. Need your lawn mowed for a showing but just can’t get home in time? Find a taskrabbit to do it for you, or to give you a hand around the house for your other projects. It doesn’t always have to be difficult… or expensive.
By de-cluttering, cleaning, slabbing on a fresh coat of paint, focusing on the fixtures around the house & on the landscaping, you can really get your home ready to be sold over the weekend… and on a budget. You’re welcome.