7 Home Improvement Projects That Help Your Home Sell

As we venture into the spring and summer seasons, the housing market reaches opportune conditions for sellers (as we've recently mentioned).  In preparation to sell your home, you may be thinking of doing some home improvement projects to help better sell your home.  Which home improvement projects yield the best results without breaking the bank?  

As a home seller, there are two paradigm shifts that will make you successful on the market:

  • You are turning your home over to the market.  Act like it is no longer your residence, but your product. That will make home life a little more difficult, but will result in money in your pocket.
  • Start "moving" on now.  You're going to have to box up all of your things to move, start by packing three to six boxes before you go on the market, to reduce clutter in your home and create negative space.

Here are 7 specific projects we recommend.

1. Update your bath with quick, inexpensive fixes

Updating your bath rarely needs a complete gutting and replacement of fixtures.  Something as simple as replacing your dated toilet seat for $30 and 10 minutes of your time can do wonders for a buyer's first impression of the room.

Consider replacing your shower curtain and liner if they're worn (no one likes seeing any mildew when they're house hunting), and recaulk around the tub for a cleaner, more finished look.  An updated shower head will also add a luxury feel to your bathroom.

2. Clear out (or hide) unwanted clutter

Old newspapers, unread mail, and old shampoo bottles lining your bathtub are only some of the many ways your home has likely accumulated clutter over time - and will not win you any favors showing your home.  Take some time and analyze the clutter level of each room in your home.  Do I really need to have all of those papers on my desk?  Are there too many coats and shoes in the foyer?  Box, donate, and toss.  The more the better, usually.

3. Hide personal items

On the same vein as #3, having too many "personal" objects laying around your place doesn't bode well for selling your home.  While family photos and wedding invitations covering the fridge may feel homey and inviting to you, when a potential buyer enters a space for the first time, you want them to be able to visualize the space as their own, not like they are in the presence of someone else's well loved home.

"Personal" objects also extend to artwork, and occasionally furniture.  While a home staging expert will be able to help you identify these objects with a trained eye (and help sell a home in their own right, as we've previously mentioned), you can look at your space with an editing eye as well.  Leave objects that complement the space in a neutral and inviting way.  Just because you love that 4ft wide painting of Elvis doesn't mean that everyone will.

4. Improve the lighting throughout the home

Not every home is blessed with an ample amount of natural light (and if you are, make sure the blinds are up to show it off.)  A simple and highly effective way to boost the initial appeal of your home is to instal either improved lighting fixtures in place of your old, or to add more lighting throughout the home (including floor lamps and table lamps).

An even simpler fix is to make sure all of your lightbulbs are bright, new bulbs, avoiding halogen lights in recessed fixtures.

Installing a dimmer switch in living room areas and bedrooms can also be a fantastic touch, and will show the house well.

Maybe most importantly, wash your windows!  Clean windows allow in substantially more light than dirty ones

5. Get a new doormat

First impressions start even before your potential buyers enter the home.  While you may not have the finances or patience to improve the "curb appeal" of your home - that is, the exterior of your home, including landscaping and front facade of the home - replacing your old doormat with a nice new one gives a great impression.  Buyers subconsciously connect a new doormat with a feeling of newness in the home itself, and an image of cleanliness.

6. Paint over your not-so-subtle paint choices

Magenta, orange, lime green... while these paint colors may make a positive statement to you in your living environment, bold colors can turn off buyers.  Replace these colors with more neutral ones in the lines of beige, tan, even a light yellow.  This will make your home appear more as a "clean slate" than tickle-me-pink walls.

7. Fix up your floor finishes

Floors can take a beating.  If you have hardwood floors that look a little scruffy, you most likely wont need to resort to any kind of expensive refinish job.  Instead, go ahead and try out some water-based floor cleaning products that are available in home maintenance stores.  These will help make your hardwood floors shine, giving your home a great first impression.

Undergoing all of these procedures will probably only cost you a couple hundred dollars and a few days of work, and is sure to give you results when listing your home.

Thinking of selling your home, and need some help?  Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call, and we'll be happy to help you with your process.

Real Group Real Estate

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2526 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

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