Are you thinking about selling your house soon? Interested in some inexpensive ways to get top dollar? Not all home improvement projects are created equal, and they certainly aren’t going to feel equal in terms of the hit to your wallet. So what projects can be inexpensively and easily completed? My YouTube video explains in detail what you should do, and what you shouldn’t.
One disclaimer: Just because you spend money on your house doesn’t mean you’re going to see all of that money back when it’s time to sell. Your return on investment may not be 100%, and that’s sometimes ok. After all, the more appealing your home, the less time you’ll will spend waiting for a buyer. Time is money.
Before you spend any money at all it’s important to take a good hard look at your house. If your roof is old and leaking, if your HVAC system is shot, if your foundation needs some serious attention no buyer is going to be interested in your jazzy bathroom. What they are going to be interested in are the basic components of your house, so take care of those basic maintenance items before you spend any money upgrading anything.
First and foremost, let’s talk about curb appeal. If you can’t get people out of their cars and through your front door you’re at a standstill. Your curb appeal must pop and weekend home improvement projects can make it happen! Spruce up the yard, mow the grass, fertilize the lawn, trim the bushes (or take those overgrown bushes out and plant something new). Trim the trees! People often ignore their trees. They need to be trimmed up from the ground, trimmed away from the house and dead branches taken out. Power wash your house if you need to. Take a good look at the north side of your house. Often the north side of the house becomes mildewy-looking and is an eyesore any buyer will notice. Look up at the gutters. Do you have little baby plants growing out of your gutters?! Deferred maintenance sends up red flags and does not instill confidence in the overall integrity of the house.
Stand at your front door and just stare at it. Is your door uninspiring? Is it weathered? Is the paint chipping? Is it dented? Your front door is where buyers will stand while waiting in anticipation for their agent to unlock the house. Make it as attractive as possible. Consider replacing it, but if that’s not feasible, a low-cost, quick improvement project is a fresh coat of paint. A new welcome mat and a wreath can go a long way.
Let’s talk about your lights. Are they dated? Are they brass from decades ago? Are they tacky? You don’t have to have ugly light fixtures and you don’t have to break the bank in order to update them. Just go to any big box retailer and pick out some modern fixtures. Think brushed nickel, chrome, oil rubbed or a modern soft bronze/gold. It’s ok to mix metals, just do it conservatively and pick two to play with, such as soft gold and brushed nickel.
Paint is one of the least expensive, biggest bang home improvement items that you can do while you’re sprucing up your house to increase the value. Repaint strongly-colored rooms in a neutral. Neutrals may get the rap for being boring, but they do appeal to the greatest number of people. Your rooms are going to look fresh, clean, on-trend and they’re going to appeal to the masses. Current popular choices are grays and grieges. A griege is a blend between grey and beige and is a great way to incorporate the modern gray look into a home that has a lot of warm wood accents (honey oak, I’m talking about you…). If you’re struggling with which paint color will work best in your house, take a picture of the room in question, go to a paint store and talk to one of the associates. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction of popular colors that have the undertones that will play best with what is existing in your house, such as the cabinets and floors.
Knobs, pulls and handles are another way to breathe new life into spaces. They’re an inexpensive and easy way to upgrade the look of your kitchen and your bathroom. Be sure to price shop their cost between your local big box retailer and online discount sources like Overstock.
This suggestion is a little more expensive than the others, but it will make a big impression. If your kitchen appliances are dated or in bad shape you may want to consider replacing the whole set. Fridge, dishwasher, stove, and microwave. Choose a standard mid-grade stainless steel appliance set. New appliances impress buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms are the showcase rooms in the house. That’s where builders spend the most money and that’s where people spend the most time. So, if you’re going to spend
money in your house, spend it in the kitchen and the bathrooms.
Looking for more tips on preparing to sell your your house and real talk about important topics like choosing a Realtor® and realistic pricing? Download my FREE Seller Guide here!