If you are thinking about selling your home, it’s tempting to just decide on a price and sell “as is,” meaning, no upgrades or improvements. What you see is what you get. However, with a little time and money, even the most conservative home improvement budget can be enough to create a good first impression that might affect the bottom line when it comes to selling your home.
Here’s a list of ten affordable home improvements to consider if you are trying to add value to your home.
1. Get the yard in order.
A little yard TLC can go a long way. As the first thing a realtor or buyer will notice, the yard matters. Depending on the season, flowers or ground cover may do the trick, or head to your local landscape rock supplier. Packed down firmly, decomposed granite can do wonders for a dog run or areas in a yard that have become neglected.
2. Power washing.
Clearing your driveway, walkway, and porch of ground in dirt, dust, certain stains left by leaves, and bird poop can really impact that first impression.
3. First Impressions.
Speaking of first impressions, change out all your doormats, especially the front door mat. It’s one of the first things (after that newly washed stoop) a potential buyer sees.
Depending on the size, exterior paint jobs can be pricey , but if you can afford to paint your home’s exterior, go for it. If the paint is in good shape but the doors are old and chipped, paint or replace the front and/or back doors.
5. Kitchen cabinets need a refresh?
Interior paint for projects like kitchen cabinets, doors and furniture has come a long way. Chalk paint (not chalkboard paint) is meant to be applied right on top of stained and varnished cabinets – no sanding or stripping needed. It’s available at big-box stores and newer brands have become very affordable.
Not replacing, but cleaning. Detail both the interior and exterior windowpanes. Is there a main window facing the street with shabby curtains? Replace it with an inexpensive window covering.
7. Spruce up wood floors.
If you don’t have a massive amount of flooring, hire someone (or DIY) to sand and stain your wood floors. Otherwise, clean thoroughly with a high-end product. You’ll be surprised how good old wood floors can look when waxed and buffed.
8. Area rugs for the win!
Do you have hard wood or laminate flooring that’s more shabby than chic? Try to brighten a less-than-desirable visual by adding an area rug to an entryway, under a kitchen table, or down a hallway.
9. Broken or aged hardware:
Walk through every room of your home and look at the doorknobs and door frames. Replace unsightly or broken hardware and fix cracked or broken door jams.
10. Bust out the bleach.
You might be surprised how much better grout looks after some serious bleaching. Pass on the bleach-based cleaning products and get a jug of bleach. Use a spray bottle and apply a healthy amount, up and down the rows of grout on tiled kitchen and bathroom counters, and don’t forget tiled showers. Let it sit for a half hour and then wipe or rinse clean.
These tips will go a long way toward creating a great first impression, which may impact your sale price. Ask your realtor’s opinion and follow their advice.