It seems almost daily this time of year that people are asking what they need to do to get their home ready to sell. Obviously, each home is different, but there are some items that almost all homeowners should consider.
10. Garage Door
I know, garage doors aren’t exciting, but that is exactly the problem. Depending on the style of home, your garage door can easily take up 40%, 50%, or even 80% of the front of your home. That makes it the single largest architectural feature people will notice when driving up. Replacing that old door, or upgrading to a door with a little more visual interest can make a huge impact on the overall appearance of your home!
9. New Windows
Still have the aluminum or old wood windows? You can often upgrade standard sized windows to vinyl for as little as $300 per window. Considering that the average home doesn’t have that many windows (6-8 perhaps, not including basement), you can replace your old windows for a lot less than you think.
8. Paint Trim
If you don’t have the time or money to paint the whole outside of the house, consider just painting the exterior trim. A fresh coat of paint on weathered trim makes a big difference.
7. Update Plumbing Fixtures
A homes fixtures are one of the easiest things to replace, and almost every single buyer will notice outdated fixtures. You only have a handful of sinks and a couple tubs/showers in the whole house, so if you’re able to replace the fixture yourself this is a very cost effective update.
6. Update Light Fixtures & Hardware
This is similar to updating plumbing fixtures, except there are more of them. That said, this is still money well spent if you’re smart about it. Consider watching for clearance items at Lowes or Home Depot if you need to save money.
5. Front Door
As with the garage door, this is something that contributes to peoples impressions before they even get inside. A nice door can easily pay for itself when you sell your home. (Keep in mind, however, that if you have a storm door, this impact is reduced. Of course, you might want to remove the storm door altogether unless it’s really nice.)
4. Under-cabinet Lighting
Less than $100 – that is what it can cost you to install some basic under-cabinet lights in the kitchen. The improved appearance of the kitchen is huge. If you have granite or corian counter tops, you should probably consider having them buffed and polished as well to maximize the impact.
3. Update Flooring
If you have wood floors, consider refinishing them to restore the original luster. If you have stained or worn carpeting, it should probably be replaced. You don’t have to get carried away – just an inexpensive style in a neutral color will completely change the way a home shows. Another element of new carpet, in particular, is the “new house smell” you get with new carpet and/or paint. This has a significant subconscious effect on people.
2. Interior Paint
Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do – just make sure you do it well. Obviously, you’ll want to keep colors neutral and light (to keep the home feeling spacious and open), but you already knew that.
1. Anything that is Actually Broken
This should go without saying, but if there is anything in your home that is damaged or broken you have to fix it. As soon as people see one thing in your home that needs to be fixed they’ll start to question what else you’ve neglected. If it’s broken. Fix it. Period.