When it’s time to sell, every homeowner wants to get the highest sales price possible. One of the best strategies to keep the price high is to eliminate reasons for buyers to reduce their offers. At first glance, it may seem counterproductive to spend money when you’re trying to sell your home for the best price, but it does make sense. A thoughtful and limited cash infusion to your home will make it show better, perhaps function better, and attract more homebuyers.
Before you start any work, consider your home’s competition. For example, if your older home is up against new construction you will need to make sure your home shines in comparison to the model homes buyers are touring. It’s imperative to make sure your home looks squeaky clean, open and airy, bright and shiny.
Look around your home before you put it on the market. You’re sure to find a few places where some elbow grease or a little cash could make a big difference. Our dozen ideas of how to use $1,000 in your home is by no means exhaustive and you may want to focus on certain areas that need attention or that your local buyers put more emphasis on. Don’t be limited by our list, but use it to create a move-in ready home all buyers desire.
Keep reading for 12 ways to spend just a little to help bring in top-dollar offers. And, if you have any questions, please contact us. We’re here to help you get your home sold fast and for the best price.
1. Wash the Windows
Here’s what dirty windows say about you: “I don’t take care of the parts of this home you can see, so imagine how neglected the parts you can’t see are.” The would-be buyer sees grimy windows and thinks: “This home isn’t worth what they’re asking.” Price this service out and you’ll find that windows can be professionally washed for not nearly as much as you might think.
2. Magic Carpets
Hire an experienced professional to clean all the carpets in your home. Make the carpets look as good as new and you’ve just possibly saved a few thousand dollars on the offer. If the carpet in a particular room is in rough shape, go ahead and replace it. Often one room can be re-carpeted for less than $1,000, while punching up the overall appeal of your home.
3. Work the Yard
Unless your lawn is in really bad shape, $1,000 can go a long way toward weeding, seeding, mulching, adding plants and generally greening it up. Because curb appeal is so important, you might consider adding landscaping color and design to the spots that count.
4. Kill the Clutter
Are you surrounded by clutter? If you can’t chuck it all, then consider renting a storage unit while your home is on the market. Even a couple of months will run you less than $1,000. Extraneous books, excess furniture, mounds of kids’ toys, unused yard tools, etc., can make a home look too lived-in and drop the value of the home in the eyes of a buyer.
5. Color Changes
There’s nothing that can make a home look better, cleaner, newer and ready-to-move-into than a new paint job in neutral colors. If you do the work yourself, $1,000 can cover a lot of walls—and trim.
6. Invite an Inspector
Don’t wait until a buyer bids on your home to have it inspected; hire an inspector yourself. Sure, you might find some defects that cost more than $1,000 to fix, but for a few hundred dollars in inspector’s fees, you’ll get peace of mind. Having a current home inspection could even give you an edge over the competition.
7. Look Down
Are your hardwoods as good-looking as the day you walked in? A good cleaning could make them look new and cover up small scratches. Refinishing may cost more than $1,000 depending on the square footage. Replacing worn linoleum or cracked tile in smaller spaces can also be doable with the budget at hand.
8. Go Tech & Go Green
Change your thermostat to an internet-based programmable one. Change out all your incandescent light bulbs to LED. Install a low-flow toilet or water-saving shower heads. Or, do it all and you’ll likely still be under $1,000.
9. Appliance Upgrade
If the microwave, dishwasher, dryer, washing machine or other small- to medium-size appliance indicates that its best days are behind it, replace the item and make your new buyer happy.
10. Spruce Up the Front
A new steel front door on average costs just over a grand, but the impact it gives to would-be buyers is priceless. Don’t forget a new welcome mat and welcoming wreath or potted plant!
11. Hardware Shines
Consider updating doorknobs, drawer pulls, hinges and the like with a uniting new finish to bring your home up-to-date with the small things. If you do the work yourself, you could have this task done in a quick weekend.
12. Deep Clean
Consider replacing all tub and tile grout and caulk to start with a fresh, clean look for your kitchen and bath areas. Remember, clean and bright sells.
If you’re thinking about selling your home this spring contact me today for a complimentary consultation.
Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
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