Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Many people see huge dollar signs flash like
neon lights whenever they hear the words "home
improvement," but there are many things you can
do to spiff up the old place without spending a
Here are 10 low-cost ideas that can pay high
dividends to get you started!
1. Make your kitchen really cook.
is still considered the heart of the home. For a
few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen
faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and
update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more
energy-efficient ones. If you've got a slightly
larger budget, you can give the cabinets
themselves a makeover. Rather than spring for a
whole new cabinet system, which can be
expensive, look into refacing the ones you have.
Many companies will remove cabinet doors and
drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add
brand-new doors and drawers at price
considerably less than new cabinets. Unless the
cabinets are mica, a fresh coat of paint can
also do the trick.
2. Give appliances a face-lift.
kitchen appliances don't match, try ordering new
doors or face panels from the manufacturer. Many
dishwasher panels are white on one side and
black on the other. It can be as simple as
removing a couple of screws, sliding the panel
out and flipping it over.
3. Buff up the bath.
Next to the
kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important
rooms to update. They, too, can be improved
without a lot of cash. Simple things like a new
toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy
for homeowners to install, and they make a big
difference. You can replace an old, discolored
bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or
a small piece of sheet vinyl -- often applied
right over the old floor. If your tub and shower
look dingy, consider regrouting the tile and
replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete
cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower
surround. These one-piece units may require
professional installation but still can be
cheaper than paying to retile walls and refinish
a worn tub.
makes everything look clean and bright again.
And don't forget the ceiling. Paint the trim a
contrasting color. Another option: Paint a wall
three different shades of the same color.
Measure equal sections and use painter's masking
tape to mark off each area. Do the bottom of the
wall first with the darkest shade. Once it
dries, do the middle section with the next
lightest shade and so on.
5. Step up your storage.
particularly, are notorious for their lack of
closet space. If you have cramped storage areas,
add do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet
systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets.
Some firms allow you to measure and redesign
your closets online. You can also get design
details and parts for these systems at many
large home-improvement stores. Most closets can
be updated in a weekend or less. In the end,
your closets will be more functional while
you're living in the house and will make your
home look more customized to potential buyers
when you're ready to sell.
6. Mind the mechanics.
Realtors will tell you that spending a few bucks
on nitty-gritty stuff is often very worthwhile.
Hire an electrician and plumber for a couple of
hours to look over your electrical services,
wrap or fix loose wires, fix any faulty outlets,
and check for and fix any water leaks. Those
details tell a buyer that someone has really
taken care of the home and can really influence
7. Look under foot.
is another detail that can quickly update a home
and make it look cleaner. A professional carpet
cleaning is an inexpensive investment,
especially if your rugs are in good shape and
are neutral colors. If your carpet is showing
serious wear, cover it with inexpensive,
strategically placed area rugs. Most real estate
agents don't suggest replacing wall-to-wall
carpeting right before you sell your house
unless it is truly hideous. The new homeowners
may want to choose their own carpeting.
8. Let there be light.
If you have
boring recessed lights in your dining and living
rooms, consider replacing one of the room's
lights with an eye-catching chandelier. Home
stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but
nice-looking, ceiling fixtures. Add accent
lighting, instead of sticking with the two
ordinary lamps that flank both ends of the sofa.
Spotlights that plug into existing outlets can
direct light to features you want to emphasize,
like art or plants. If you have a ceiling fan
and light, you can also buy replacement fan
blades (leaving the fan body in place) to update
the fixture's look.
9. Reframe your entry.
first thing you, and your guests, will see.
Repaint or refinish that front door and if you
have a basic steel front door that has gotten
dented, consider replacing it with either
another inexpensive steel door or a fiberglass,
wood grain door for slightly higher cost. Next,
replace that worn, flimsy little knob on your
main entry door with a more substantial-looking
handle-and-lock set. A nice, big piece of
hardware signals newcomers that this is a solid
home. Then, place two large planters on either
side of the front door, with a profusion of
healthy plants spilling out. Look for foliage
colors and blooms that complement each other. Go
for different heights and textures, mix
perennials and annuals, blooming and no blooming
varieties. If you want to add another touch, tie
it in to the front door with a coordinating
10. Consider curb appeal.
sounds obvious, a nicely mowed lawn, a few
well-placed shrubs and a swept walkway makes a
great first impression. As the saying goes, you
never get a second chance to make a first
impression. What buyers see when they first
drive by your home is tremendously important. No
matter how nice it is inside, they may never
come back. If you don't have a green thumb,
consider hiring a landscaper to install some new
sod, plant a few evergreen shrubs and give your
front yard a good cleanup. These kinds of
changes can instantly change people's perception
of your home and, therefore, increase its value
and your neighbors will love you for it, too.
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