Whether you’re trying to sell your home or you want to spruce things up, a little bit of effort can go a really long way. You could either spend a lot and have someone else do it all for you or you could muster a little bit of elbow grease and do some home improvements to make before selling.
Either way, here’s a list to help you out.
1Take Care of the Exterior
Not many people will start here but addressing the exterior of your home is pretty significant. Impressions matter and the outside is the very first thing visitors and potential buyers will see. Invest a little bit of time to take care of little details.
If you have a yard, this may be the best time to mow it. After this is complete, check on the overall health of the lawn.
Does it have a mostly uniform appearance? Are there brown spots or has crabgrass begun to take over?
Buyers who have maintained a lawn before can quickly spot an unhealthy lawn, so you may have no other option than to kill these weeds rapidly.
In addition to the lawn, trimming other plants like shrubs, bushes, and hanging tree branches can make a huge difference.
After addressing outside greenery, start looking into cleaning the exterior. One of the best tools you can turn to is an industrial style power washer which you can rent at a decent price.
Power washers that utilize pressurized, hot water are the most effective way of removing impressive amounts of stains and dirt. These machines are best suited for blasting away stubborn stains on concrete.
Driveways and walkways are the best places to start but be extremely careful when using a power washer on the actual exterior of the house. They are quite powerful and have the ability to cause unintended damage.
2Easy Cleaning Hacks
Of course, if a listing is squeaky clean, it has a better chance of selling than a “kind of clean” house. This isn’t groundbreaking but you need to visit every single room to be entirely sure that the rooms are spotless. At a minimum, every separate room should be as clean as possible to entice buyers.
Don’t go crazy with cleaning supplies. Here are a few cleaning hacks to tackle some problems you may run into:
- Grimy showers: Residual soap scum isn’t exactly the best way to sell a bathroom. It looks terrible and is painfully apparent on showers with glass doors. Combine ten parts water to one part muriatic acid. Then, pick up some steel wool and you can wipe away soap scum with ease.
- Cleaning mold: Mold is both unappealing and potentially unhealthy to be around. By combining one part water with one part bleach, you can effectively wipe down surface mold. If you aren’t the biggest fan of bleach, you can also try a blend of vinegar, sugar, and water to clean surface mold.
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: One of the most useful and innovative cleaning products ever released is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Able to scrub away stubborn stains better than traditional sponges without being as abrasive, it’s a must for any deep cleaning job. Strong enough to tackle wall stains like scuffs, crayons, and markers, they’re pretty cheap if you get them on Amazon.
3Treat Bathrooms with Care
Like it or not, bathrooms are a huge deciding factor for home buyers. This may come as a shock to first-time home sellers, but it is one of the most important rooms to address.
Upgrading bathrooms is an investment of both time and funds. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to maximize your investment without sinking too much cash.
- Replacing hardware, fixtures, etc. – A sure sign of a dated bathroom is how old the toilet and other fixtures look. Painting is easy but updating the stuff future homeowners will be using on a daily basis will not go unnoticed. You don’t have to get the best available but this investment will pay off nicely.
- Mirrors and other small upgrades — Replacing cabinets and countertops can be an expensive, exhausting job. You can look at other cosmetic upgrades instead to save some money. Your best bet is to shop around for stylish, contemporary mirrors to replace what is in the bathroom right now. These mirrors – as well as towel bars – can be easily mounted to the wall for a fresh, modern look.
4Strategic Painting & Staining
Your ambition may get the best of you when considering what to paint. There’s no sense in going overboard when you can be strategic with your painting targets. With intelligent application and just a few coats, the impact new paint can have on a room is impressive.
Before diving face first into painting the exterior or large rooms, consider a few smaller jobs to try out first.
- Kitchen cabinet revival: This could potentially save tons of money, removing the need to replace older kitchen cabinets. By stripping and staining old cabinets, you can spruce them up at a low cost. The trick here is to also swap out any cabinet hardware (knobs, handles) with contemporary selections.
- Minor cover-ups: Keep your eyes peeled for areas of the house where minor touch-ups can be applied. It may seem superficial, but you never know how detail-oriented buyers might be. In particular, try to find opportunities to cover up cracked or chipped paint. Bonus tip – paint the garage door! If you think about it, this isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking unless you’re trying to take on a six-car garage. With some fresh paint, you may be blown away at how much of a difference it can make.
- Ugly fireplace: Fireplaces can be a great feature to promote. There are times where an existing fireplace has become outdated and unattractive. One remedy for unappealing fireplaces is to slap several coats of paint to the surrounding room. Another option is to paint the fireplace with a contrasting color to make it stand out.
- Ceramic tile painting: No matter how you slice it up, replacing tile can get pretty expensive. Not to mention it’s a labor-intensive endeavor. As a significantly cheaper alternative, consider simply painting over old tile. It does require a special technique, so make sure to do it right.
Preparing a home for sale doesn’t have to be a costly effort. By making these home improvements to make before selling, you can whip your home into shape in no time.
You could go to the extreme by taking on substantial renovation projects or buying brand new appliances since these activities will always pay off. Just make sure that you put into account what you can afford and get a feel for the local housing market.
Even if you aren’t selling your house, these tips will make your pad shine and instill a sense of pride. Putting in just a modest amount of effort will prime your home for guests, future homeowners or for your own satisfaction.