Spring is almost here and you may be thinking about putting your home on the market.
But is it really ready for buyers to see? Kiplinger has some quick ways to assess what needs to be done to get your home ready for the market.
4 steps to take before listing your home
Get an evaluation from a listing agent. They’ll have the best sense of what updated features buyers want to see. Ask for a comparative market analysis (CMA) to see what similar homes in your area sold for, what kind of condition they were in and what kind of features they had.
Work with a professional stager. A professional stager will help you declutter and depersonalize your home. The more you do that, the more easily a potential buyer can picture themselves in your home.
Make necessary preemptive fixes. We’re talking about things like roofs or HVAC systems. Sure, these are major expenses, but here’s the thing about buyers: They tend to inflate in their minds the cost of needed repairs — and they will deduct that imaginary figure from your listing price. So get those fixes in place and have the receipts available for buyers to see.
If you are selling your home ‘as is,’ be sure to at least get estimates for the work to share with potential buyers. That way they don’t let their imaginations run away with them as they deduct dollars from their offer!
Buy a home warranty. Although Clark has said these are basically worthless if you need to use them, he loves the idea of paying for a 12-month home warranty if you’re a seller and then giving it as a freebie to your buyer. A home warranty is just one of those things that make a buyer feel better psychologically. Wrongly or rightly, it reduces anxiety about getting into a money pit of a home.
5 ways to freshen up your home’s look on a budget
Here are some simple improvements that really are worth the little bit of money they’ll cost you…
Paint your front door
Want to spend the least amount of money for the most ROI on your home? Paint the front door! It’s the single simplest and easiest way to enhance curb appeal.
This is an easy fix that will cost you $40 on average. Just be sure to pick a conservative color; you don’t want to be the one homeowner in a traditional neighborhood who paints their door in some crazy color.
Touch up the high-traffic areas in your home
While you’re at it with your paint can and paint brush, be sure to paint high traffic areas in your home. They’re easy enough to spot; just look for the scuffs and dings throughout all the usual parts of your house.
Expect to spend between $40 and $80 for paint and supplies. And remember, when somebody comes to look at a home for sale, they are trying to buy their dream — not the reality where you scuffed up the house!
Get new curtains
If you’re happy with the quality and look of your curtain rods, all you need are some new curtains to transform the look of key rooms in your home.
While there are many styles and options out there, a lot of home-improvement bloggers seem to favor these Ikea curtains that will run you about $60.
Choose your kitchen upgrades frugally
Marble counters? Ceramic floors? New cabinets? They may sound like the makings of a dream kitchen, but these upgrades could be big mistakes.
Yet if you plan to sell in the near future, having a great kitchen is very important. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay big bucks to get a look you love.
Did you know it’s possible to pay as little as $20 for an LG stainless steel microwave if you shop at this store?
Don’t forget the backyard
Sometimes making your home into a buyer’s dream starts on the outside. If your grass is plagued by brown spots, consider Pearl’s Premium for your lawn. It’s a new blend of ultra-low maintenance seed that can save homeowners money and is environmentally friendly.
According to the product’s website, ‘Pearl’s Premium rarely, or never, needs watering; grows very slowly and thrives without chemicals. The secret: roots that can reach 12 inches deep, tapping into naturally-occurring moisture and nutrients to produce a healthy, barefoot soft lawn.’
You can get a bag of this seed for around $35, but you’ll save much more on mowing, watering and chemical treatments.