Looking to sell your home? Trying to find some cheap upgrades to boost the value? I sat down with one of San Antonio’s best real estate agents, Pedro Martinez, to find out 9 of the biggest bangs for your buck when it comes to selling your home.
1.Replace Cabinet Hardware
Outdated hardware = outdated kitchen. Bring your kitchen up to date with a cheap makeover. Run over to your local hardware store and pick up some new handles and knobs for your kitchen cabinets. Costing only a buck or two each, this easy upgrade can add a “wow factor” to your kitchen.
Don’t get too picky trying to find knobs that fit your style. The goal is to pick hardware that will appeal to the majority.
2. Change those Outdated Faucets
While you’re updating hardware, go ahead and replace those faucets too. Even though this upgrade is slightly more expensive than replacing knobs and handles, it is still one of the cheapest things you can do to bring some added value to your home.
That means it’s time for that gold faucet to go. Out with the gold, in with the new.
3. What’s that Smell?
Wait- you don’t smell it? That’s probably because you’ve been living in it. As a pet owner, I know firsthand how animals can slowly take over a home. Just because you can’t smell them, doesn’t mean a potential buyer won’t.
A stinky house can cause a buyer to decide they don’t want your house the second they walk through the door. Hire a company to deep clean your home. Or, if you’re really wanting to save money, roll up your sleeves and scrub that house down! You can rent a steam cleaner for all carpeted areas.
I’d also consider asking a friend or family member if your pets can live with them while your house is on the market. It’s only temporary and will keep your house ready to be shown at all times.
4. Replace the Carpet
You can also skip the steam cleaning all together and just pull up the carpet. Adding new carpet may be one of the more expensive upgrades on this list, but you’ll most likely make your money back at closing.
Some stains just won’t come out no matter how much you clean them. Old carpet can appear dirty and completely turn a buyer the other way. Find a local carpet outlet store and see how much it would cost to change out your carpeted areas.
While you don’t have to buy the best carpet in the store, don’t get too cheap either. Make sure the carpet color matches your home and looks appealing. New ugly carpet is just as bad as old ugly carpet.
5. Slap on a Fresh Coat of Paint
Who doesn’t love painting? Ok, I hate it. However, this is one of the biggest bangs for your buck when it comes to upgrading your home. A fresh coat of paint will make your home look newer and well taken care of.
Try and stick to neutral paint colors that can appeal to a broad group of people. This isn’t the time to express yourself! Want to get creative? Buy a canvas. Want to sell your house? Get some neutral paint colors.
6. Spice up Your Curb Appeal
As the realtor’s car slowly pulls up to the curb, the buyers press their faces against the glass analyzing what could potentially be their new home. They’re envisioning themselves pulling up to this house after a long day of work, or playing with the kids on a Saturday afternoon in the front yard.
Your yard is your first impression; make it a good one. A buyer can decide they don’t want your house before they even step foot inside! Be sure to keep the grass freshly cut and the bushes trimmed.
You can run to a local nursery and pick up some flowers and mulch for your flower beds. If you don’t have time to keep up with it, consider hiring someone to maintain it weekly while you’re trying to sell it.
Go out to the street and look at your house as if you were seeing it for the first time. What do you notice? Are there crooked shutters? Is that tree out of control? If it catches your eye, it will definitely catch your buyer’s eye.
7. Take Good Photos
Most home shopping is done online. Through websites like Zillow and Trulia, potential homebuyers can walk through your house without leaving their couch. That means the pictures you take are important.
Make sure the house is well lit when you take your photos. Light gets rid of shadows which can make your home feel smaller. Choose good angles that show how much space your home actually has.
While hiring a photographer is a good idea, it may not be in the budget. Most of us have a high quality camera attached to our phones. Browse Zillow and look at pictures of other homes. What do you like about them? What angles were used and how was the photo framed? Try and mimic these tricks in your own pictures.
A cluttered house is a small house. A bunch of stuff on your kitchen counters tells buyers there’s not a lot of cabinet space. Too much furniture in your living room makes the living room look small and cramped. This is an easy fix that won’t cost you a lot.
Have a garage sale to get rid of a lot of those extra items. Not only can you use this money for other upgrades, but it leaves you less things to move when your house sells! This is a great time to purge!
Start moving things out of your house and into a storage unit. If it’s summer, move those fall clothes out of your closet. Big closets are a huge selling point, so make that baby look big! Box up kitchen appliances and dishes that you can live without for a little while. Buyers will open up your kitchen cabinets, so make sure they don’t look overstuffed either!
9. Hire a Realtor
There’s a statistic floating around the internet that says sellers that hire a realtor make 13% more on the sale of their house than those that try and sell it on their own. While there is debate on the accuracy of this number, one thing is certain; a realtor is a worthwhile investment.
There a few things a realtor can do for you. First of all, it is their job to know the market and your home’s market value. That means with a real estate agent, you are going to have a more accurate listing price. They know how much homes similar to yours are selling for and the best price to target.
Hiring an agent will also help your house sell faster. Realtors have access to MLS (multiple listing service). This is a database of homes for sale in any given area. This is what real estate agents use when helping a client find a home. If you want your house listed on the MLS, you need a realtor to list it for you.
87% of buyers use a realtor when searching for a home. That means the majority of potential home buyers are searching for homes through the MLS. Make sure your house is in the mix.
Choose a few of the items on the list that best fit your budget. “I know ‘cheap’ is all about perspective,” Martinez said, “but for a large purchase like a home, all of these options are pretty cheap.”
It’s never a good idea to go into debt in order to upgrade your home. If you can’t pay cash for the upgrade, look into a more affordable alternative or pick another item on this list.
Take action: Did we miss something? What else can you do to add value to your home?
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