Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Small Improvements That Sell


With very little effort, you can transform an average house into an above-average property that is sure to get second looks from buyers. Follow these guidelines to make sure your property stands out above the rest:

Paint inside and out

Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable improvement you can make, even if your home doesn't need a new coat. Paint the interior walls a neutral color and the ceilings white to make rooms look bigger.

New lights
Replace outdated fixtures. This inexpensive improvement can update old decor that might have discouraged buyers.

New flooring
Install new carpet, linoleum, or tile, and refurbish hardwood floors if needed. Choose a neutral color for new carpeting. New flooring will increase the market value of your home, while shabby floors can kill a sale.

Planted landscape

Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Mow the lawn, trim shrubs, and plant new bedding flowers. Clean up perennial beds. Plant some trees if the yard is barren, especially in the front parkway. Sweep the patio or deck and decorate with potted plants and flowers.

At a cost of $200-$300, it could be worth it to hire your own home inspector to give your entire home a thourough going-over before any potential buyers do. This is especially true if you have let any routine maintenance fall by the wayside for a number of years.

Completed repairs
Before listing your home for sale, make all minor repairs and catch up on maintenance. If you've deferred maintenance, get a professional home inspection. If the inspection reveals problems, make the repairs before listing the home. If you don't, the buyer will probably discount the offer price for more than the cost of repairs or replacement.

A clean garage

If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. Paint the interior white. If your garage is unfinished, install wallboard or build storage shelves on the back wall. A clean garage will help solidify a buyer's impression of a home in move-in condition.

As you can see, there are many small improvements you can do yourself on a limited budget without venturing into an entire home remodeling project.

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