When it comes to preparing a home for sale, many Realtors will encourage their sellers to go overboard, installing new windows, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, etc. While these types of improvements do add value to your home, they do not necessarily add more value than they cost; that is to say, they are not cost effective. They will probably help get your home sold faster, but in many cases, will actually take away from your bottom line.
There are a number of things which you can and should do that don’t cost very much but can result getting your home sold more quickly, and for a significantly higher price. A lot of sellers do not take this seriously, and they end up leaving thousands of dollars behind.
Here is a list of the top priorities when it comes to getting your home ready for sale. The list is presented in in order of importance and cost-effectiveness:
- Spruce Up the Exterior / enhance curb appeal
- Remove clutter
- Deep Clean!
- Paint the Interior, Exterior
- Refinish and/or Replace Flooring
- Update Window Treatments
The first four items – cleaning up the exterior, removing clutter, depersonalizing, and thoroughly cleaning your home – provide the biggest bang for the buck, especially since comparatively few bucks are required. The next items are more expensive, but painting, repairing or replacing flooring, and updating window treatments (e.g. new blinds, curtains, or shutters) if they can be done cost-effectively will broaden appeal to more buyers, speed the sale, and usually result in a significantly higher sale price. If you do hire anyone to do some or all of this work, be sure to get multiple bids from contractors, as prices can vary significantly.