Selling a home can be daunting, often times we get so comfortable in our homes, we neglect minor maintenance. We think nothing of it, however, potential home buyers are going to pay attention to every detail, after all, purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions we can make in our lives.
The goal of this article is to help homeowners prioritize and create a list that is both cost effective, and manageable for those of us who are less handy than others.
1. Curb Appeal
Let's start from on outside and talk about curb appeal. We can all agree that a first impression leaves a lasting one, landscaping is definitely is going to generate interest in your home. This may be one of the most cost effective projects, all we need are some gardening tools to tame that patchy grass, and overgrown jungle! Edging along the garden bed, walkways and driveway can make a dramatic difference, and fresh mulch is a must! You can pick up grass seed, topsoil and mulch at your local hardware store. If your budget allows, hardscaping can help beautify your home, and add some additional appeal!
I usually buy the cheapest stuff, dirt is dirt right!! A bag of top soil on sale can be purchased for around a dollar, and mulch can vary, $2-3 per bag depending on the time of year.
2. “Cleanliness is next to godliness”
I think it was Mahatma Gandhi, who said “cleanliness is next to godliness” and in real estate we should all live by this mantra if selling our home. I know some of us dislike cleaning, but it can be fun, invite some friends over, open a glass of wine and turn on the music!! You want to focus heavily on areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom, be sure to clean all your windows, outlet covers, appliances, and most importantly your floor baseboards; everyone forgets these!! This is also a great time to declutter, and in the process you can bless people in the community with items such as clothing, and furniture. And don’t forget the basement, I guarantee most people will appreciate cobweb free floor joists!
Odoban is a great general purpose cleaner, and I love Sprayway for windows and mirrors.
3. The Money Maker
On to the kitchen, this may be one of the more time consuming and expensive rooms in the home to update. But before you consider tackling the kitchen, it may be wise keep those pennies in your piggy bank, depending on the condition. The last thing you want to do is break the bank, with little to no returns. On the other hand if your kitchen is moderately updated, you can make a dramatic transformation by painting your cabinets, changing the hardware, swapping out light fixtures and installing a new faucet. With a little creativity and a $500 budget you can do wonders, if you don’t believe me, take a look at this video!
I am partial to using Benjamin Moore paints, but they are a bit more expensive. When painting cabinets skimping out can cost you in the long run! A good eye can point out cheap paint, which will immediately show wear and tear. I love using Satin on my cabinets, be sure to pick up a quality primer, my favorite is stix! And don’t forget to watch some videos on how to paint your cabinets! It’s amazing what paint can do!
4. Small Updates = Big Returns!
We are going to apply the same room of thumb in the bathroom! Painting the vanity and adding new hardware can bring a vintage cabinet back to life. A fresh coat of white semi gloss on the ceiling and trim, and a neutral white will give your bathroom a clean and welcoming feel. Some of my favorite colors from Benjamin Moore include White Dove, Intense White, Revere Pewter and China White. Don’t forget about lighting, swapping out light fixtures can cost you less than $50, with much greater returns!
A new top can range from $85-$250, and a faucet $30-$50. If you go cheap it’s not the end of the world, but it is noticed, there is a big difference in a $35 faucet and and $75, but go with your gut and your budget. Buying a cheaper faucet may allow you to upgrade your lighting, which is a win, win in my books!
Here is a great example a before and after!!
5. Updating your Outlet Receptacles
It sounds silly but I think one of the most dramatic updates, in addition to paint would include swapping old receptacles. In older homes you typically find brown, yellow, almond, but whatever the color, most times they don’t even match. This may be the trickiest task of them all, but well worth it, and I’m sure you can find a friend who can help! I’ll share a secret, you can actually buy outlet covers that look like you installed new plugs, you may need to replace some switches and outlets to match, but it is a quick fix when time is of the essence.
If you are deciding to sell your home, make sure you work with a reputable realtor, find a support team to work with you, not against you. Most importantly don’t let the stress get to you, have fun, and look to the future for inspiration and motivation!
Thanks for reading, and be sure to reach out to me with further questions, I would be happy to help!
PS. I find my inspiration on YouTube and Pinterest!!