Selling a home is all about creating an emotional bond between the property and the prospective home buyer. Most home buyers make a decision to buy a home within the first 10-seconds, so first impressions are crucial. Homes that sell faster and for more money in today’s market are 10’s. The good news is making your home a 10 does not always involve expensive remodels. In fact, there are many things sellers can do to improve the appearance and condition of their home that are very low cost. Here are the 17 tips for preparing your home to sell on a limited budget.
7 Low Cost Ideas to Improve Curb Appeal
When selling a house, you want to get a good profit. The first thing a buyer sees when they pull up to a house is it’s curb appeal. We’ve seen buyers say they don’t even want to go in if we pull up and the curb appeal is not appealing. Here are 7 low cost ideas to help you improve your home’s curb appeal.
Clean Up the Outside
Get rid of debris, trash, old chairs, old welcome mats, bricks, etc. Walk around the entire perimeter of the house and see what you can get rid of. If it doesn’t enhance the curb appeal, get rid of it. This includes old playscapes that can’t be salvaged, planter boxes that are falling down and any other unsightly structures.
Tend to the Garden
Next, you’ll want to check out the garden. Are there any dead limbs on the trees? Do they need pruning? Are the shrubs shaped and trimmed? Weeds pulled? Rocks placed back where they are supposed to be? Step stones cleaned? Add some color with flowers. Turn up the soil so it isn’t so packed. Make the yard look fresh and clean.
Spruce Up the Lawn
The lawn should be freshly cut and remain that way for the time your home is on the market. Also fertilizer can help bring out the green color. Try Eleanor’s VF-11. That typically works well. If it’s early enough, throw out some grass seed to fill-in the holes. Keep the weeds pulled. Edge the lawn to give it a finished look.
Repaint the Front Door
Buyers will spend a significant amount of time on the porch waiting for their buyer’s agent to open the door. You want to set the tone for what they can expect inside. Freshly painted or stained doors and trim help give the house a clean, finished, well kept look. Tattered and paint chipped doors encourage buyers to look for “what else isn’t kept up” when they walk inside. If the door is stained, re-stain it and paint the trim. If the door is painted, consider adding an accent color to make the door pop. Austin is a great place for a touch of color, especially on houses. It also helps buyers remember the house after seeing a bunch by saying “the house with the yellow door”.
Add a Touch of Color and Style to the Entry Area
If there is a planter box, consider adding some flowers to give the area some color. Sometimes a decorative statue or planter with some colorful flowers can set a more inviting tone.
Power Wash the Structure
Homes can collect quite a bit of dirt over the years. And, in a lot of areas that make it difficult to clean, sometimes you need to hire a professional. A power washer can get to areas of the house that are difficult to access. And can often save you from having to repaint. Power washers also work well on driveways, so be sure to use it there too.
Fix the Gutters and Downspouts
Check for gutters that have gotten loose and re-secure them to the structure and fix all broken parts. Keep the lines clean and the house looking well maintained.
10 Low Cost Ideas to Improve Your Home’s Interior
When a buyer enters your home, you want them to envision it as their home not as a guest in your home. The majority of these improvements do not require any financial investments, only your time. Here are 10 low cost ideas to help you improve your home’s condition.
Clean Everything. Then Clean it Again
I cannot stress enough the importance of cleaning. Everything must be spotless, even places you don’t normally look. Because a buyer will. Baseboards, sinks, window sills, faucets, door handles, the side of the toilet, shower doors, behind the couch and bed. You’ll want to touch every surface. Then, clean it again. A spotless, squeaky clean home looks well maintained.
Wash Windows – Inside and Out
Wash all windows, inside and out. Make sure the glass is clean on both sides so buyers can get a great view of the yard you spent time cleaning. If you can’t get the screens clean, take them off and put them in the attic. Try to create a feeling of one space – indoor to outdoor – especially if your yard is spruced up.
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Bring in Light
Now that the windows are clean, you want to make sure the light can get in. Trim any bushes or foliage that block the window. Notice where the sun comes from and make sure that path is clear. Natural light is something many buyers look for in a house. You want to create a bright, open, clean space.
Open the Drapes and Blinds
Now that you’ve cleaned the windows and cleared the foliage, you want to be sure buyers can see out. Open the drapes and blinds, even in bedrooms. Remember, buyers are typically seeing your home during the day and don’t want to walk into dark caves. Though they might sleep with blackout shades on their bedroom windows, they’re not in the mind frame to sleep when they’re looking at your house. Keep the mindset of creating light everywhere.
If the blinds are broken, replace them. You can find some fairly inexpensive options at Home Depot or online. Go with at least a middle of the road blind and try to match it to the other windows. Remember, selling a house is all about the details. When a fix is as inexpensive as a blind replacement, it generally makes sense to repair it.
Use High Wattage Light Bulbs
To supplement natural light, use light bulbs to create more light. Replace low wattage bulbs with high wattage, soft light bulbs to generate as much light as possible. This way, the house looks bright, even at night.
Declutter and Pack
This one is key. How we live in a house and how we sell a house are two different things. Buyers are used to looking at model homes, where they look like someone lives in them, but doesn’t have the day to day stuff out cluttering everything up. Create that same illusion in your house. Keep furniture and the bare essentials, but put away everything else. If that means you have to rent a storage space, do it. The investment will be well worth the return. Plus, you’re moving, so you have to pack anyway. Remove absolutely everything you don’t need in the next few months. Less cluttered spaces look bigger and more inviting.
Pay Attention to the Details
Do all the locks work? Are they sticky? Is the door hardware secured? What about the cabinet hardware? Little things count. Check every single door and cabinet. Anything that opens and closes. Make sure it does so smoothly.
Fill the Holes
Check grout lines in tubs and showers. Are there any holes that need to be filled? Stains that need to be cleaned? If so get those covered. Next, check all walls. Any holes or blemishes on walls that can be repaired? Touch them up and repaint.
Replace Broken Windows
Check every window in every room. If there are any cracked panes, have a glass company replace the glass.
Deodorize and Sanitize
This is especially important if you have carpet and pets. Carpets hold on to many smells that you, as the home owner who lives there everyday, can’t smell. Have a professional carpet cleaning company steam clean and sanitize all carpets. If they can’t be cleaned, replace them. Your home will not sell for top dollar if it has an unpleasant smell. Even if you have to replace the carpet, the cost will be less than what you will lose if you have an unpleasant smelling home.
Preparing Your Home to Sell with a Limited Budget?
If you’re considering selling your home and have a limited budget to prepare your home to sell, focus on these low or no cost ways to improve your home’s condition. For more tips, check out 88 Low or No Cost Ways to Sell Your Home Faster and for More Money.
Thinking of Selling Your Austin Home?
Don’t wait until the last minute to find a Realtor to sell your home. Homes that sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time have one thing in common – sellers who prepared their homes to meet the market. Start interviewing Realtors at least a month before your target list date. If you’re 3 months out, even better. The more time you have to come up with a strategy and prepare your home’s marketing materials, the higher the likelihood your home will attract more buyers and more money. Check out our Austin Home Seller page for more info about our team and why we are uniquely qualified to sell your home faster and for more money than any other Realtor in Austin. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.
How Much is My Austin Home Worth?
Our Market Snapshot tool can help you estimate what your Austin home might be worth. Unlike most other online home value estimators that base their estimates on unreliable public records, our Market Snapshot tool bases the analysis on the same data Realtors use, making the value much more accurate. If you’re curious to find out how much your Austin home is worth, all we need is your address and your email. Simply fill out the form below and we’ll get the Market Snapshot for your home sent to you right away. Need a more detailed analysis? Try our Qualified Home Evaluation.
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