Selling a house can be stressful at any time, but perhaps never more so than during the month or two leading up to your listing date. At this point it’s too late to do any major renovations, but there are many little things you can do to increase the value of your house in those last minutes before it goes on the market. Read on to discover a few quick, easy, and cheap ways that you can get the best possible sale price for your home.
Freshen Up the Plants
Improving your home’s curb appeal is one of the best ways to increase the value of the property, but it doesn’t have to involve time-consuming or expensive landscaping. There’s a lot that you can do by yourself with minimal time and money.
Most importantly, make sure everything is neat. The grass should be cut, of course, but make sure your trees and shrubs are neatly pruned, too. Any bushes should be trimmed to fit below windows so that the house will appear as open and bright as possible.
Once you’ve got the trimming taken care of, add a little instant color with inexpensive annual flowers. Marigolds are a great bet for sunny spots, and impatiens work well in the shade. If it’s a bit chilly out, try pansies to brighten things up. If your beds are already full of evergreens, you might want to consider adding a pot or three of cheerful flowers to your porch or walkway, or even windowboxes if your house lends itself to the cottage look.
Maximize Your Curb Appeal
Once you’re done with the plants, turn your attention to the porch. A small seating area can do a lot to show prospective buyers how useful the space can be. Consider a patio set if you’ve got a large porch or a bench or swing for a small one. Even a tiny area can sometimes benefit from a simple chair, as long as it can be positioned so as not to impede any walking areas. Most of all, make sure the porch area is clean and well-lit.
Another often-overlooked aspect of curb appeal is your mailbox. Try painting it a bright color that coordinates with your house. A fresh, glossy red mailbox, for example, will provide the impression of a loved and well-maintained property.
If you really want to get the most out of your curb appeal, you might also consider resealing your driveway. It sounds like a hassle, but it can be a simple DIY project that takes less than a day and around a hundred dollars to provide a new-looking black surface that’ll freshen up everything around it.
It seems like an obvious step, but de-cluttering doesn’t just mean picking up all the toys. Take an hour to go around your home with a garbage bag and donation box, and throw away everything you can stand to part with. Pay attention to your furnishings, too. That rug in your living room might be a beautiful antique, but the room will look bigger without it. Removing floor rugs, ottomans, collections of family photos, and extraneous end tables will give the impression of a larger space without costing you a dime.
Don’t forget your storage areas, either. If your closets are stuffed to the gills, the buyer will think that she won’t have space for her things, so clean out closets and cupboards as much as you can. Leaving them half-full is a good goal, and it’ll help show how spacious your home really is. The same goes for the garage. Buyers have a hard time looking past stacks of boxes and old tools to see the space, so clear it out as much as you can.
Change Up the Hardware
Paint is the classic way to update a space, but it can be quite a pain. If your paint is neutral already, consider updating your hardware instead. A dated bathroom can look fresh again with new, matching faucets and drawer pulls, and it’s a very quick fix. You don’t have to go for top-end fixtures, either: Inexpensive ones in a modern brushed nickel or rubbed bronze finish will make your house look like new. If you’ve got the budget, new light fixtures and ceiling fans can also go a long way toward modernizing your home, and they can be installed in just a few minutes.
Even if you’re close to your list date, there’s no reason to feel useless. Try these simple ideas and see how little time and money it takes to maximize your home’s value.