In today’s real estate market, and especially with our current economy, most people who are selling a house need to do it on a tight budget. When a prospective buyer starts viewing potential homes, he will tend to show more interest in a home that has been properly prepared for viewing. If you are selling a house and have a limited budget, the key is to utilize your funds where it will make the most difference in appealing to potential buyers.
Since buyers are visual, start with the area they see first, which is the yard and the exterior of your house. Since you live there, you may not notice the things that potential buyers may find lacking. Try asking a close neighbor or friend to come by and critique the exterior area of your house and yard. You might also try:
• Making sure you lawn is always mowed.
• Trimming the shrubs.
• Making sure there are no weeds around the entryway.
• Using fertilizer to make your lawn green. Lush, green lawns appeal to all buyers, and an inexpensive fertilizer can make a difference.
• Planting some inexpensive, bright colored annuals by the front entryway.
• Cleaning the outside of your windows.
• If needed, using a pressure washer to clean the exterior of your house. If you don’t own one, borrow one from a relative or friend. As a last resort, one can be rented from a local hardware chain.
• Painting your front door to brighten up your entryway.
• Replacing the front door hardware, if it is old and tarnished.
• Purchasing a new, inexpensive welcome mat to go in front of the entryway.
• Making sure to wash any entryway light fixtures, or replacing them if they aren’t working.
As you work your way to the interior of your house, you might try the following:
• Remove all clutter. You want potential buyers to visualize their own furnishings in your home. If there is clutter everywhere, it’s hard for them to do.
• If you have excessive pieces of furniture, move some of it to the garage, or to an inexpensive storage facility. Less furniture will make your rooms appear larger.
• Don’t leave any personal items on the tables, walls or mantle, such as personal pictures.
• Be sure to patch all holes you may have in your walls.
• Be sure your closets are neat. Most women buyers always look in closets.
• Make sure you pantry and kitchen cabinets are organized and clean.
• Thoroughly clean the interior of your house, including windows and light fixtures.
• If you have inside pets, rent a carpet cleaner, or consider having your carpet professionally cleaned to eliminate any spots or odors.
• Paint the interior of your home in a neutral color. This will give your rooms a fresh, new look.
• You might want to update your kitchen by replacing any grout, repainting the cabinets, replacing the knobs and the faucet.
• Thoroughly clean the bathrooms and replace any old shower curtains or bath rugs.
• Hang fresh towels on the towel racks.
• Put all your personal items away.
All the above items can be done at a very low cost and can drastically increase your chances of finding interested buyers. If you are selling a house, we hope these suggestions will help. The best of luck to you!