Before entering the real estate sales process, many homeowners choose to make a few minor upgrades to their houses as a means of boosting value. However, some experts caution that consumers sometimes get a bit overzealous in these efforts and don’t get the return on investment they might have expected or hoped for. As a consequence, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t fix to make your properties more attractive to would-be buyers.
With this in mind, here’s a simple checklist to focus on when you’re trying to make your home sparkle without breaking the bank ahead of a sale:
- Look down: Instead of putting thousands of dollars into renovating a kitchen or bathroom, it might be wiser to simply spend a lot less to make all the flooring as nice as possible, according to The Balance. Tearing up carpet – especially if it’s a bit old and worn – and replacing it with hardwood flooring is one great way to make a property stand out in the market.
- Don’t try to be Picasso: A fresh layer of paint on walls and a new ceiling surface can make any room feel a lot more welcoming. In general, experts recommend painting the walls a neutral color rather than something bold. They also note “popcorn ceilings” can be a turnoff to modern buyers, so owners of older homes might need to consider a change.
- Working in the kitchen: While a kitchen remodel isn’t entirely recommended, and sellers shouldn’t spring for new appliances, something as simple as resurfacing cabinets or installing new faucets can make a kitchen really sparkle again.
- Evaluate the bathroom too: It’s not typically necessary to gut a bathroom, but even taking basic steps such as new lighting fixtures can help bring a new feel.
- Be aware of ongoing issues: No one knows a house better than the people who live in it, so going through a home and figuring out which doors are creaky, which light switches don’t always work and which faucets drip can help reduce minor quirks that might turn off open house attendees, according to HouseLogic. Often it’s possible to fix these issues for relatively small amounts of money each.
- Go outside: Some of the problems with a home aren’t on the inside at all; making sure to clean out gutters and fix misaligned pipes or obvious problems with a roof are also vital ahead of the sales process.
- Don’t forget the simple stuff: It’s also important to go through a home and look for cracked tiles, nicks in walls or banisters, and other superficial markings that come with living in a home for years. Fixing these issues last might also help give homeowners a sense of accomplishment because these problems are typically the easiest to deal with.
After looking over all these issues carefully, homeowners should be ready to host an open house. However, it’s often wise to walk through the property with their real estate professionals to make sure they haven’t missed anything that might otherwise stand out to a new visitor.
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