Putting your home on the market is a big project. There are several things to do before taking listing photos, posting your home online, and booking showings. While it can be tempting to rush through your preparations so you can sell your home as soon as possible, skimping on home staging can actually hurt your chances of a quick sale.
Investing in high-impact home improvements will make your home more appealing to buyers. As a result, your home will sell more quickly and for more money! You can stick with DIY upgrades or hire pros to help with bigger projects — the choice is yours. But the truth is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time making improvements that will boost your chances of a quick sale.
There are a number of online resources out there that can help you prepare your home for sale, even if you don’t have the budget to hire contractors. For example, Stagerie allows you to take pictures of your home and receive feedback from staging experts to help you arrange your furniture, organize décor, and plan cosmetic upgrades that will show your home in its best light.
Below, we’ll explore some other tips and tricks to get your home in shape for the market!
Tackle Routine Home Maintenance
First, direct your attention to essential home maintenance tasks. Neglected maintenance issues are a major red flag to potential buyers, so make sure you tend to any lingering problems or seasonal projects that you’ve been putting off.
For example, your gutters should be cleaned at least twice per year — once in spring and again in the fall. Unclean gutters can cause water to pool near the home, creating many problems for your house and landscaping. Consider hiring someone to take care of this for you. Professional gutter cleaners have the tools and experience to remove gutter debris safely and efficiently, and they know how to spot gutters that may require repair or replacement. According to Angi.com, the average cost for a gutter cleaning ranges from $106 to $167 while large cleaning projects can cost up to $350. Need your gutters cleaned? Find professionals cleaning gutters near you.
Some other simple home maintenance tasks to tackle before listing your home include patching cracks or holes in the walls and ceiling, servicing HVAC systems, fixing broken appliances, reviving the roof, replacing broken windows, and repairing leaky faucets. Use your best judgment to determine whether you DIY or call in a pro. Remember, sometimes you will save money by hiring an expert!
Invest in Minor Kitchen Upgrades
You’re unlikely to recoup the cost of a major kitchen remodel when you sell your home, but smaller upgrades can offer a great return on your investment! Buyers focus a lot of their attention on the kitchen when evaluating homes. Investing in some simple improvements will ensure your kitchen appears inviting and modern, even if it lacks the latest trendy features.
Start by seeing what a fresh coat of paint will do to change the look of the room. Military.com recommends light, neutral colors and an accent wall in a complementary color that will make the room pop with warmth. You could also paint the cabinets and drawers — clean white and soft grey shades are popular here. Update your cabinetry even further with new knobs and drawer pulls. If your backsplash is dating your kitchen, consider replacing it with a DIY-friendly peel-and-stick option. There are so many ways to upgrade your kitchen without tearing apart the whole room!
Paint the Walls
Paint is your friend when preparing a home for sale. A fresh coat of paint can instantly turn a drab bathroom into a spa, transform a dark bedroom into an inviting sleep oasis, or bring a dated living room into the 21st century. When choosing paint colors, try to keep them neutral. Remember, you want to appeal to the highest possible number of buyers, which means avoiding polarizing paint colors like neon green or bright pink.
Spend Some Time on Staging
Once you’ve finished with your home improvements, spend some time rearranging your furniture and décor. Staging your home will give it that “wow” factor that will capture the hearts of your buyers. Staging is also important for helping potential buyers visualize themselves living in your home. Since your personal clutter can get in the way of this, you might have to pre-pack a few things before staging — think fridge magnets, family photos, personal collections, and awards.
Just be careful not to leave your home too empty. Consider replacing some of the items you packed away with some simple staging elements like fluffy bath towels, hanging pictures, soap dispensers, fresh flowers, and decorative pillows.
Boost Your Curb Appeal
Curb appeal plays an important role in a home’s value and how fast it sells. Often, the exterior of your home is the first thing buyers will see when viewing listing photos online, and this is definitely the case when visiting your home in person. Creating an inviting entryway is a great first step towards boosting your curb appeal. Consider painting your front door, hanging new house numbers, replacing your outdoor light fixtures, and adding a few potted plants.
Don’t let your curb appeal improvements stop at the doorstep. Some simple landscaping will take your curb appeal to the next level! Start by removing debris, dead plants, and weeds from your yard and shaping shrubs to give them a manicured look. Mow your grass, mulch your garden beds, and use a power washer to clean outdoor tiles and paved surfaces. It doesn’t take much to spruce up a front yard!
Time to Get Started!
Prepping a home for sale is a lot of work, but it can also be fun! This is a great opportunity to learn the importance of regular home maintenance and pick up a few new DIY skills. The amount of work and money you put into your home improvements is up to you, but in general, it’s best to keep things simple for the best payoff when you sell.
Suzie Wilson is behind HappierHome.net and has a passion for helping people organize their homes to be stylish AND stress-free. Check out her blog for ideas on how to Combat Stress at Home.