Here are some tips for potential sellers:
Rev up curb appeal – A green lawn and fresh exterior paint are sure ways to attract potential buyers. Plant colorful flowers or hang flower boxes from windows, repair cracked walkways and choose a neutral, pleasing exterior color to maximize your home’s appeal.
Upgrade the kitchen – This is where you’ll get the best return on your investment. Buyers want granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, modern cabinets and hardware, and updated light fixtures. Think IKEA kitchen: modern and functional. For the average kitchen in a 2,000-square-foot home, you’ll spend $8,000 or more for basic upgrades.
Redo the bathrooms – After kitchens, bathrooms are the next places to get the best bang for your buck. Granite countertops, modern faucets and light fixtures and tile floors are popular with buyers. The more you can do yourself, the more money you’ll save. Expect to spend about $3,000 or more. You can save even more by buying store floor models for sinks and vanities, or going to granite bone yards for materials.
Add space – If you have the money, consider adding square footage to your home by finishing your basement, expanding the master closet or knocking down some walls to create a more open floor plan.
If you don’t have time or a ton of money for major renovations, don’t worry, says Laura Smith, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX First in Baton Rouge, La. A clean, clutter-free home goes a long way for many buyers, says Smith, who has appeared on HGTV’s "Bang for Your Buck."
Here are Smith’s tips:
Make your home smell incredible – Get your air-conditioning unit professionally serviced and cleaned. Most companies charge under $150, and it goes a long way in removing household odors and allergens. Also, use plug-in fresheners and fabric deodorizing sprays.
Steam-clean the carpets – Instead of replacing carpets, call a professional to have them steam-cleaned and watch the transformation! You will be delighted to see that steam cleaning the carpets (price depends on carpet area) is money well spent.
Remove clutter – Check your closets and donate old clothes, shoes or other items that you haven’t used in the past year. Buyers want to see storage space; this goes for the other closets in your home, as well as garages. If you’re having showings, remove all personal photos and clear off all appliances and knickknacks from countertops and display shelving.
Create an outdoor living space – Adding a sense of comfort to your patio, deck or backyard adds value to your home. Stage your patio or deck with a table and chairs, as well as an outdoor rug, lively plants, some colorful flowers or a small fountain. Get rid of unsightly weeds and keep the lawn mowed and presentable.