No Cost Home Improvements
How can you give your home a makeover without spending a lot of money?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the improvements that make the most difference
are those that require minimal time and expense. A small investment in sweat equity, can have a
big influence on how quickly your property sells and at what price.
In fact, one of the most basic ways to show off your home’s best assets is to make sure it is
spotless. That means cleaning your house, trimming the lawn and creating the atmosphere that will
give your home “sales appeal.” Sparkling clean houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in
or show too much of the owner’s personality.
There are several budget-friendly things you can do that are cost effective yet can make a huge
difference in terms of getting the highest price for your home.
Create Curb Appeal
First on the list is to increase your curb appeal. Make sure your house looks great from the
moment your potential buyer first sees your home.
Don’t forget. Buyers can make up their minds on whether they like a property or not within the
first 30 seconds. That’s why first impressions are so important. So you want to make sure
the outside of your house is looking the best it can be. Your house should scream, “Buy Me!
Buy Me! I’m beautiful!” from the curb. If it isn’t, you’ve got some work to do.
Mow and edge the lawn, cut back or remove overgrown shrubs, and add plants or flowers to the
porch entrance to give the home a more inviting feel. Paint or pressure-wash the exterior,
replace missing or torn screens. Pretend you are the buyer. Take a good look at your home.
What is your general impression? Clean? Neat? Well kept? If not, keep working.
De-personalize Your Home
Next, de-personalize the inside of your home by removing family photos and collections.
Yes, this is difficult for some people to do. But remember, you are moving and sooner or later,
it’s all got to get packed up anyway.
Since purchasing a property is largely an emotional decision, you want to make sure that you
help the potential buyer feel at home. The idea here is to help the potential buyer visualize
themself living there.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Third, is to clean and de-clutter. In the kitchen, clear off the countertops. In the closets,
ruthlessly thin out clothes and shoes to make it look airy and spacious. In the bathroom, put
away toothbrushes and personal items. Everything should be cleaned thoroughly. There is no bigger
turnoff than a messy home. Along with vacuuming and mopping, consider ways of removing stains and
odors from surfaces, floors, carpets and drapes.
Prior to any showing, putting the dishes away, making the beds, picking up the toys, cleaning
out the closets and hiding all the personal items (especially in the bathroom), may seem
obvious but are all essential ways to keep the buyer free from distractions and leave them
with a positive impression. Remember, buyers will be comparing your property to others they see.
Whenever there is a property shown that has any of these things: pet odors, stained and soiled
carpets, dark lighting, crazy colored walls, cluttered rooms and walkways, visible leaks,
stains on the ceilings, dirty bathrooms and kitchens ... it’s like an invitation back into the
car and on to the next property.
When cleaning, pay particular attention to the kitchen — make sure it sparkles — and the bathroom
too. And don’t forget the living room. Because it is usually the first room people see when they
enter the home, make sure it looks relaxing. Open up the windows and blinds, turn on the lights
and add some flowers.
Washing all the windows and screens is another no-cost improvement that tends to be overlooked
but can make a huge impression.
Set the Mood
Finally, Prudential Locations Realtors recommend baking some cookies or brownies or having a fresh
pot of coffee brewing to give the home a cozy, inviting feel. It’s all part of setting the
stage, creating a nice ambiance and increasing a home’s sales potential ... without spending a