Simple and Inexpensive Home Improvements That will Help Sell Your Home
When you agree to list your home for sale, while it is still your home, it is also a commodity and should be viewed as one in order to launch a successful marketing campaign that will maximize its return. In most cases, preparing your home for market doesn’t have to cost a lot and it doesn’t mean that you have to undertake major home renovation projects in order to sell it. It makes good sense to clean up both the interior and exterior of your home before listing it for sale and with little effort, you can increase the perceived value of your home by respectable margin.
Perception is reality. If your home looks like it is worth more than others then the likelihood is that buyers will pay more for it as well. We only get one chance to make a first impression so make it count. The following is a list of simple and inexpensive things you can do to increase the perceived value of your home and make the perfect first impression.
Exterior of Home
- Keep lawns cut
- Trim hedges and bushes
- Weed and edge gardens
- Clear driveway and clean stains
- Clean out garage
- Power wash home exterior
- Touch up paint
- Plant colorful flowers
The Front Door
- Clean porch and foyer
- Ensure door bell work
- Repair any broken screens
- Fresh paint or varnish front door
- Repair any damages to the door and/or locks
- Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
- Turn on lights
- Turn on air conditioner/heater
- Open the drapes
- Light the fireplace
Maximize Open Space
- Clear halls and stairs of clutter
- Clear kitchen counter and stove top
- Clear closets of unnecessary items
- Remove empty boxes and storage
- Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs
- Repair leaking taps and toilets
- Clean furnace and filters
- Tighten door knobs and latches
- Repair cracked plaster
- Apply fresh coat of pain or touch up where necessary
- Clean and repair windows
- Repair seals around tubs and basins
- Replace defective light bulbs
- Oil squeaking doors
- Repair squeaking floor boards
Keep it Clean
- Clean and freshen bathrooms
- Clean fridge and stove
- Clean around heating vents
- Clean washer and dryer
- Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
- Eliminate pet odors and stains
If you've decided to do some renovations on your home to make it more sellable, it's time to look for a credible contractor. Before anyone begins work on your home, it is important to do your homework.
1. Ask for Referrals
Your architect will make recommendations and your sales representative may be able to offer some suggestions as well. Contact friends or neighbours who have had similar work done or perhaps you may be able to ask your local builder supply store for recommendations.
When you're interviewing contractors, ensure their credibility. Contact their references. Ask to see some samples of the contractor's work and speak to his clients to ensure that they were satisfied with the price, length of time in which the project was completed and overall, how the project was handled. Also, check with your local Better Business Bureau.
Once you have the names of a few contractors that look promising, arrange to get estimates from them. By arranging for three quotes you'll get a good idea of the costs and quality of work.
When going over the project with your contractor, ensure that he understands your needs and your budget. Each contractor will have a different idea on how to approach the work and they should inspect your home before giving an estimate. If contractors are bidding based on an architect's plans, be certain that they have detailed their approach to the job based on the drawings.
What's more, if there is a significant difference in the price, ask the contractors to explain their estimates. And keep in mind that the lowest price is not always the best. A price that's too low may mean that the contractor has undercut to get the project and then may submit additional project costs once the project is underway. As well, a high price doesn't always mean that you're getting gouged. The contractor may have budgeted for higher quality materials and may offer workmanship that is of an overall better quality.
In every case, before you sign the contract, be certain that it is as detailed as possible to the point of noting the specific finishes and brand names of the products to be installed.
2. Evaluating a Quotation
- Are the specific details of the project outlined?
- Are the specific costs detailed?
- Is there a provision for extra costs?
- Has a cap been set for the total project?
- Is there a firm project timeline?
- Has the contractor allotted time for inspections?
- Have you indicated that you wish to see all material receipts?
- Will the work be subcontracted?