It can be expensive to sell a house, and many potential home sellers do not have a lot of money for pricey home improvements. Fortunately, sellers can take inexpensive steps to make their house attractive to prospective buyers, from installing new door handles to cleaning light fixtures. Even the most cash-strapped of homeowners will make their houses look appealing by paying attention to some handy tips.
The front yard and exterior of the house are the first things the prospective buyer sees. Care should be taken to make the first impression a good one. The lawn should be mowed at least once or twice a week. Bright, attractive flowers such as marigolds are inexpensive and serve to brighten the yard and entrance.
Windows should be washed until they sparkle, while a good power-spraying will rid the house exterior of cobwebs and dirt. Dingy, tired doors benefit from a new coat of paint and the installation of bright new door handles. An inexpensive welcome mat adds a warm, inviting note.
Inside the house, it is important to convey a sense of space and light. Clutter is a major turn-off to prospective buyers, making the house seem smaller than it really is. Clearing excess papers, children’s toys, books and magazines costs nothing but a bit of effort on the seller’s part. Once the excess clutter is removed, it is a good time to dust and scrub. Particular attention should be paid to replacing light bulbs and cleaning fixtures since homebuyers love light.
Tidy closets will give the impression that the homeowner is the well-organised sort who has paid attention to all details of home maintenance. All cupboards should similarly be straightened to emphasise their storage capacity. Loose knobs must be tightened or replaced.
Clean floors are a must in a house that is up for sale. If the carpet is soiled, the seller should rent a carpet steamer. A little effort on the homeowner’s part may make costly carpet replacement unnecessary. Sellers should also consider removing one or two pieces of furniture from the living room to make it look larger.
If walls are anything other than white or neutral in colour, the seller should consider painting them. While many buyers like colour on their walls, most are particular and will not necessarily like the seller’s choice. Light colours also look clean and tend to open up the space, making rooms look larger. Most people are handy enough to tackle this job on their own, painting the entire house for the same amount they would pay a professional to paint one room.
One of the most important areas of the house to update and improve is the kitchen. Many sellers cannot afford to replace their countertops with granite; however, granite tiles are an option, and they are much less expensive to install. Even re-grouting kitchen counter tiles will improve the look of the kitchen. Worn taps can be replaced inexpensively, and new knobs and pulls will transform the appearance of dated cupboards.
Finally, sellers should take care that bathrooms appear bright and fresh. Peeling wallpaper must be removed. A badly stained bathtub does not require replacement, but it should be refinished by a professional. A new shower curtain and towels will not cost much and can make a big difference. Scented candles placed next to a basket of rolled face cloths create an attractive, spa-like atmosphere.
Even in the most competitive market, meticulous homeowners who attend to the small things will attract the attention of buyers. Fortunately, tackling these details does not require a large outlay of money. Close attention to detail and a willingness to perform maintenance tasks themselves can help many homeowners sell their homes on a budget.
This is a guest post by Michael Turner, interior design enthusiast and UK blogger who is currently doing research on behalf of a roman blinds supplier.