Whether due to personal reasons or situations beyond your control, there are times when you need to sell your house quickly and move on. However, this can be extremely difficult, particularly if your house is older or in poor condition. The good news is that there are a number of relatively simple home improvement projects you can undertake that will help you make your home more attractive to buyers. Here are some of the most effective projects in order of cost.
Free Projects to Improve Space
Some of the best projects cost nothing but time. Regardless of its location, every house put up for sale should be clean and as free of clutter as possible. Wash and stack your dishes, pick up and put away any clothes or shoes strewn about, and organize and file paperwork on desks. If you’ve got larger pieces of furniture or bins and yard equipment taking up too much space, look to rent a storage unit. A 10’x10’ unit rents for less than $100 in Nampa, and can be a worthwhile investment in the sale of your home. Don’t neglect the yard, either; perform some basic yard maintenance by mowing the grass at a height matching the rest of the neighborhood, trimming hedges and trees, and pulling weeds.
Stage Your Home in a Natural Manner
One of the most important things you can do is to stage your home -- houses that have been staged tend to sell 81 percent more quickly at sale points 1 to 5 percent higher than unstaged homes. While you can hire a professional stager to do the job, you can just as easily make your house look appealingly move-in ready to buyers with a little time and effort. Staged homes generally will not be convenient for daily living. Details as small as hairbrushes and pet food should be hidden away, and not just in a drawer -- potential buyers frequently will look in drawers, closets, and cabinets as part of their walkthrough, and an unpolished “junk drawer” could lessen the appeal of the house. Similarly, personal touches like family portraits, refrigerator artwork, or religious symbols should be put away as well. A well-staged home should be depersonalized so potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the space. Finally, do a deep clean beyond simple decluttering -- clean and sanitize every possible surface (like doorknobs, switches, and baseboards), replace filters and light bulbs, and clean both the inside and outside of light fixtures. To get a truly thorough cleaning, bring in a professional cleaning service. A one-time cleaning in Nampa only averages $163, but you could spend less depending on the size of your home.
Modernize the Interior
If your home is older or in less-than-perfect shape, staging will not be enough -- you’ll have to take on some larger projects to sell your house. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders, particularly in older houses. Less personal, neutral colors appeal to the widest variety of people, so stay away from overly bright color palettes. Similarly, worn cabinetry and doors can date your house, so refinish or repaint them to make them look fresh again. (As with any other parts of the house, if they are damaged, consider replacing them entirely.) Other elements that date your house include popcorn ceilings, heavy draperies, and wallpaper. If certain renovations are beyond your scope, don’t hesitate to call in a handyman. Someone with experience is worth the time and money, and can save you from making a costly mistake.
Keep Your Expected Profit in Mind
As you’re working through these projects, keep your budget and expected profit in mind. Before beginning each step, try calculating how much you can make from your sale, taking into account the house’s current condition, the neighborhood’s baseline price, and any necessary repairs. Subtract your personal costs, like the price of home improvement projects, your real estate agent’s fees, taxes, and the cost of the moving process itself, from the expected sale price. Use this number to gauge how much money to put into your renovations.
In any market, selling a house can be difficult. It can be even more time-consuming if the house is cluttered, dated, or in disrepair. However, with proper planning, you can take care of these projects by yourself, without breaking the bank on contractors and professional home-stagers.
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