By: Heather Skyler
You’re finally ready to put your home on the market, but want to ensure you get top dollar. Are there any easy fixes that can increase your asking price without breaking your budget? Here are some tips, ranging from free to under $1,000. Happy selling!
1. Invite a REALTOR® over to give you suggestions on how you might increase the value of your home. REALTORS® will often do this as a courtesy, and many can offer great ideas for low-cost upgrades based on their day-to-day experiences.
2. Get an inspection to make sure you won’t be blindsided by hidden problems once your home’s on the market. Some small problems can cost a lot if they’re ignored for too long. So be proactive and see what your home needs to be in top condition.
3. Get an energy audit to see how you can improve the efficiency of your home. Many utility companies do energy audits as a free service, and figuring out how to make your home more efficient can be a great marketing tool when you decide to sell.
4. Paint! Applying fresh coats of paint to every room is relatively low cost, but can be time consuming, which is why many people decide to forego this project. But take the time if you can, because it will pay off. And remember, neutral colors are best because they appeal to most everyone.
5. Plant a tree, or two. Even if you plan on selling your home in a week, planting trees is always a good investment in your home. If the tree has time to mature, and provides shade to your home, it can cut down energy cooling costs as well, sometimes by as much as 40 percent!
6. Use native plants to increase your curb appeal and save money on water. Find out what grows naturally in your region and showcase those plants in the front of your home. Saving water is a great benefit to new homeowners, and planting native plants is an easy way to “go green.”
7. Install a water filtration system in your kitchen. The cost to install these is fairly low, but is one of those small details that home buyers love.
8. Remove your popcorn ceiling. This sounds expensive, but scraping away the popcorn texture from your 1970s ceiling is actually a fairly inexpensive DIY project. Just visit your hardware store for advice, then start scraping.
9. Hire a lawn service company to cut your lawn and trim your hedges. Having this task professionally done before listing your home can go a long way towards improving curb appeal.
10. Hire a cleaning service to make the inside spotless. Again, this is a low cost way to make a great first impression.
11. Rent a storage unit. One way to really open up the space in your home is to rent a storage unit and put half your furniture in it for safe keeping. The relative emptiness of the home is appealing to buyers because it gives the impression of more space.
12. Small upgrades in the bathroom and kitchen can improve a buyer’s first impression. Change out the knobs on the cabinets. Install updated lighting fixtures. Put in a new faucet.
13. Replace worn carpets or rugs. Area rugs are fairly cheap to upgrade. Replacing carpet with wood floors, or discovering the wood floor underneath, is ideal but may not be cost-effective for you. Do what you can to improve flooring. At a minimum, consider getting the carpets professionally cleaned.
14. Get a tankless water heater. Today’s home buyers are looking for eco-friendly details that will save them money long term. Upgrading your standard water heater with a tankless version is a fairly low cost way to improve the efficiency of your home, and help the earth too!
15. Upgrade appliances. If you’re able to upgrade any of your appliances it will increase the value of your home. Look for Energy Star-rated appliances so you can show potential buyers another way this home will save them money in the long run.