10 Tips To Help Sell Your Home That Won’t Break The Bank
Today’s housing market has left many homeowners owing more on their home than it’s worth and others with so little equity that selling seems difficult if not impossible. Homeowners who need to sell, but have no budget for making their home more appealing by making upgrades or repairs may find the following tips helpful. Each of these can be accomplished with little or no money and can make a dramatic difference in the appearance and appeal of a home.
- View your home from the street as prospective buyers will see it as they approach. Then, increase the appeal by doing the following: Unless it looks new, replace or repaint the mailbox and post. Add new street numbers that are bright and easy to read. Does the lawn need work? Weeding and adding fresh mulch cost little yet make a dramatic difference. Is the driveway stained and need washing? If you can’t afford to have it power washed, buy a scrub brush on a long handle and some TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and wash it by hand.
- Make the exterior sparkle. If it’s stained, cleaning with a TSP solution and scrub brush may be enough. However, some painting is probably necessary. Paint the trim around windows and doors as well as the front door, and replace the front door lock unless it looks new. Have leaves and branches accumulated on the roof and in the gutters? Clean them or have someone do it for you.
- Trim shrubs and bushes, especially those that block the view of windows or attractive features. Large overgrown bushes make a home look old and can keep light from brightening the interior.
- Move garbage cans, toys, dog houses, outdoor equipment, or anything else that may detract from the first impression. You’ll have no second chance at making a good first impression.
- Keep the lawn neatly trimmed. Cutting grass diagonally can give a nice, manicured appearance.
- Make the foyer or entrance area appealing by cleaning, painting, and removing excess furniture. Try to make the entrance as open as possible. You’ll often have an agent and two or more clients entering at once. Try to keep it from feeling crowded. Buff hardwood to a brilliant shine and touch up or repaint any areas that don’t look fresh. Keep the rest of the home spotlessly clean at all times.
- If you have pets, farm them out if possible. Regardless of how clean and neat your pets are, they have odors that are easily detected by strangers. Worse, some potential buyers have allergies that may flare with viewing the home. If you’re serious about selling, have someone keep the pets.
- Remove all clutter and excess furniture; but don’t store it in the garage or basement. Buyers are looking for places to store their “stuff.” Show them that your home has plenty of space. Donate or store unused clothing, and then neatly arrange ALL closets or storage areas.
- Remove personal items such as trophies, most photos, and memorabilia. Buyers are looking for THEIR new home; leaving out personal items presents a subtle psychological barrier for them.
- Have the home professionally staged. While you may think it’s not in your budget—a basic staging may cost less than you think—staging will help your home sell faster and may bring a higher price.
One of the most important tools in a seller’s arsenal is the real estate agent hired to help in the process. Selecting the right agent can make the difference between a quick sale and disappointment. Your agent can advise you on pricing—one of the most critical factors in selling—and you must trust their judgment (if you don’t you’ve selected the wrong agent). And while you may be thinking of selling FSBO (For Sale By Owner) in an effort to reap the most cash at closing, in today’s market I think that’s a bad idea. Click HERE for an unbiased evaluation of agent vs. FSBO.