It’s springtime, the time when many home owners fancies turn to thoughts of selling their property and repeaping a huge reward. The big question many of them have is: what can I do to my home so as to sell it quickly and get the best price, without pouring a king’s ransom into the property first? That’s why we now have a list of the Best Home Improvements for the money.
I’ve been asked this a few times lately, so I thought I’d write about it in my blog. Here is what it comes down to:
1) Curb Appeal: your home should look magnificent from the street. Many times when I’ve been out with buyers, if the home appears to be dilapidated or “junky” in any way, that’s enough of a turn-off to make buyers say, “Forget it, let’s drive on to the next one.” To enhance curb appeal, you might consider doing the following:
a) Pressure wash the exterior walls, including driveway, sidewalks, porch, decking, etc. Don’t forget the windows, although you might want to do this by hand if possible.
b) Paint the exterior of the house – if that seems like too much work, re-paint the trim, and the door. While you’re at it, replace the doorknob and other hardware if it appears dull and can’t be polished up.
c) Trim the grass, trim the hedges, pull weeds, plant flowers, add some ground cover if you don’t have a lawn (e.g. redwood bark)
2) Remove clutter: when a buyer enters your home, he wants to see the home, not your belongings! Pack away as much as you can into boxes, and put them in the garage, or in a rented storage unit. Removing clutter is a pretty inexpensive thing to do, but it really can help your appeal to more buyers, which should help it sell more quickly and for more money.
3) Clean, Clean, Clean: clean the heck out of your home. Remove all dirt and grime from the walls, appliances, windows, window sills.
4) Paint the interior: If you’ve removed all your clutter and scrubbed the place clean, it’s pretty easy to paint. Choose neutral colors that the least amount of people will find objectionable. Do a good job; you don’t want buyers to think you’ve just done a “slap and dash” job on it.
5) Take care of the flooring: if you have worn carpets on top of hardwood floors, remove the carpet. Refinish the hardwood floors as best you can. Buyers love wood floors, especially if they look to be in good condition.
6) Recarpet: if your carpeting is faded, worn, or stained, replace it. Again, use neutral colors.
7) Linoleum flooring: if your linoleum flooring is torn or discolored, consider replacing it.
8) Window coverings: if your curtains are faded or funky, replace them with new, inexpensive curtains or blinds. If your blinds are dirty – clean them! If your blinds are bent or hang poorly, replace them, too.
Ta-da! That’s it! Easy enough, isn’t it? But wait, you ask: shouldn’t I remodel the kitchen? How about the bathroom? The answer to this is: no. Improvements such as these don’t usually recoup the cost of the money you put into them.
Also, don’t forget to check out our list of Five Worst Remodel Jobs for the Money.