Many home sellers often overlook easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that not only increase visual appeal, but may also add to a home's selling price. While major remodeling is costly and may not address the needs and tastes of prospective buyers, these repair and maintenance suggestions have universal appeal and may help a home sell more quickly - and for a better price.
- Bathrooms and the kitchen must get a deep cleaning. Sellers should consider a cleaning company that offers "move in / move out" cleaning services to do the job.
- If kitchen cabinet exteriors are in bad shape, refacing may be an option. Far less expensive than new cabinetry, refacing can give old and worn cabinets new life and can visually renew a kitchen. Alternatively, many cabinet materials can also be painted, for an updated look without costing a lot.
- Consider replacing kitchen or bathroom counters with a neutral colored laminate surface if the current material is badly worn or stained. This gives the room a fresh appearance and, most importantly, prevents potential buyers from focusing on an eyesore.
- Fresh paint on the walls and ceilings will do wonders for all rooms in the house. Stick to neutral tones so that buyers aren't distracted by colors that make a statement. They'll be able to imagine themselves and their furniture in the space much more easily.
- If carpet now covers up hardwood floors, consider having it removed to expose the hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are desirable, so they should be shown off. If carpet is to remain, it should be thoroughly cleaned.
- If the home's exterior needs painting, get it done. Buyers notice if paint is faded and peeling. If the paint is in good shape overall, renew the doors and trim with a fresh coat.
- Clean the windows inside and out so they sparkle. It's amazing what a difference this can make in a home's appearance. Hiring a professional window cleaning company is the easiest and safest way to get the job done on a multi-story home.
- Clear clutter from the yard, keep the lawn mowed, and trim any overgrown shrubs that detract from the home's appearance. The home should look well maintained even at first glance.
- Place pots of bright, colorful flowers along an entry path and near the doors to add a cheery, welcoming touch.
Homeowners should save major remodeling projects - and the budget required - for their new home, not the one they are about to sell. But implementing some of the steps above can increase the appeal to prospective buyers without a huge investment in time or money.