Preparing to sell a home on a budget can be difficult. It seems like every repair and staging activity costs at least hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, not every improvement or renovation has to break the bank! While it can be tempting to want to go all out with a huge bathroom or kitchen remodel because of everything you've seen on TV, these updates rarely fit in the budget or give the desired return.
Each of these seven home fixes can cost less than $100, and will really make your home shine in the right way.
1. Replace Your Baseboards
Painting your walls before selling is a no-brainer, but you should also consider your baseboards. They encounter a lot of dust and dirt from the floor, and the paint will chip over time. Instead of spending several hours repainting them, you may want to purchase new, pre-painted baseboards at around $0.75 a foot. New baseboards make your paint job and flooring fixes or replacement look more cohesive. With some patience, you can install the new baseboards for a room in a couple of hours.
2. Vary the Lighting
Lighting makes an enormous difference in the way that your home appears to buyers. If it feels too dim, it may seem smaller. You must select your light bulbs carefully. Aim for softer lighting in smaller rooms, such as the bathroom or a foyer. This keeps the space from feeling too much like a hospital exam room.
Choose brighter light bulbs for larger rooms. A combination of bright white and soft white or even yellow bulbs can set off a nice contrast. However, you should make sure that each fixture with more than one socket has the same kind of bulbs, so that the effect is not distracting.
3. Oil the Door Hardware
There is a reason that creaky door hinges feature in plenty of classic horror films: they convey a sense of neglect. If you want to keep your home selling efforts out of the horror genre, you will spend a few extra bucks on lubricant for all your door hinges. The project should not take more than an hour or two, for all the doors in your home. Add just a bit of extra cash and time to put some WD-40 on the door locks, and you will be ready to go.
4. Add Some Greenery
Purchasing some pots and plants contributes a nice pop of color, particularly if you are selling a home in winter. You do not have to have the rarest flowers or plants to make the space look fresh and alive. Select native flora that has been grown locally, because it will be hardier, easier to care for, and often less expensive.
Indoor plants should be positioned in a place where they will get adequate natural lighting each day. If you worry that you might inadvertently kill the plant with too much care, ask a gardening expert about species that are more forgiving.
5. Improve Energy Efficiency
You may not have the means to beef up your heating and air conditioning before you sell, but you can put an energy-efficient face on the whole system. Old thermostats are easy to spot. The plastic on the exterior of the thermostat can fade or accumulate dust. Fortunately, you can add an entirely new programmable thermostat for as little as $25, although you may choose to spend up to $100 for higher-end models that may offer some smart home features.
As an added bonus, programmable thermostats will actually increase the home’s energy efficiency. That way, you can present it as a genuine, not superficial, home improvement.
6. Paint Your Doors
Home staging involves a lot of decisions about repairing or replacing certain items. Sure, you could replace all of your doors or your home’s exterior, but that costs many thousands of dollars. A few coats of paint on your doors might be all you need to really change up your home’s appearance inside and out. Take the time to clean each door, sand down any chips, and spend a little extra for some primer. The end result may update your home more than you expected.
7. Make or Buy a Rug
If your budget supports it, you might have already removed your old carpet and replaced it with hard flooring like wood or tile. However, sometimes this makes the floor feel like it needs something a little softer to stand on. In this case, select a piece of carpeting and have it made into an area rug. You could even have this done with a portion of your old carpet, if the carpet is in good condition and coordinates well with your home staging design. The best part is that if you move, you can take this improvement with you if you want.
Staging your home is all about making sure that the investments you make will suit your budget and maximize the benefit they provide. With these seven cheap home fixes, you make real home improvements without forking out too much for them. If you are looking for more ways to make your home stand out, speak with your real estate agent - they have the knowledge and experience selling similar homes in your area, and will be able to refer you to helpful professionals and resources!
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
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