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Cheap Home Improvements for Sellers

By Conrad Bastable

Selling your home can be a tiring and demanding process, and many worry about which, if any, renovations they should undertake. There are no specific rules here, and this can add to the stress of the process.

Here we provide a rough guide to renovating and improving your home to help it sell more easily, without putting any undue pressure on your bank account. In general, you should use a home inspector to verify you have no glaring problems that need to be addressed. If so, fix those as promptly as possible and then you can dedicate your remaining efforts to improving the aesthetics of your home.

  • Search your ceilings for water stains; if you find any, make sure they are from old leaks that have been repaired, and if not you'll need to fix the leak first.
  • If you do find any water stains, doing the aesthetic work to cover them up properly with a fresh layer of paint is a must. Buyers will be turned off by a house that shows untreated stains, as it might indicate a lack of care from the seller, even if you've fixed every other complaint with your home.
  • Painting can actually become your best investment in this process, as it is relatively cheap but will help your home look newer and fresher, as well as replacing corners where dirt may have accumulated.
  • It's important to remember that you are painting to improve the appeal of your house to prospective buyers, not yourself. Most agents will advise a neutral color choice to have the maximum appeal, especially as standard cream colors tend to make rooms appear more spacious. This will make your house look bigger without costing you for any actual extensions.
  • If you have carpeting in your home, a thorough clean of it should be sufficient unless there are severe stains or wear in the material. If you aren't sure about the cleaning, hiring a professional carpet cleaner should be a much cheaper investment than re-carpeting.
  • Broken floor tiles should be replaced or repaired as best as possible, but don't forget you want to sell the house and move out, so be sure not to spend too much beyond what's necessary here as this can quickly run to be too expensive.
  • Hard wood floors are currently trending as the most popular flooring among buyers, so give yours a good clean if you have one.
  • The outside of your house will be the first impression upon your potential buyer, but landscaping costs can quickly spiral out of control. If you aren't experienced here, a well-trimmed lawn and tidy yard are usually satisfactory, letting buyers imagine the home as they want it to look.
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