Yesterday, I wrote a blog entitled, Ten Cheap Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale.
There are definitely some things, however, that it is worth spending some money on (provided you have it). Most of these you will get back in the sales price or in the speed with which your house sells.
You might not think any of these things is s a big deal, but working extensively with buyers, I can assure you that these things get mentioned all the time!
- Remove Wallpaper: You don't want to do it and neither do the buyers. Even if it is nice, and neutral, it often becomes an objection.
- Paint the interior: A freshly painted house presents well. Do it yourself (but don't do a sloppy job--or don't bother) or hire someone, but do it.
- Replace the carpet: Most sellers object to this, 'But the buyer is likely to rip it out.' Do it anyway. It makes a difference--and most of the time they don't rip it out for a number of years.
- Update the light fixtures: No more Hollywood lights in the bathrooms or brass 5-arm chandeliers in the kitchen. These scream 'builder basic,' and buyers hate them. The big-box hardware stores offer inexpensive contemporary lighting. It is worth the investment.
- Get the HVAC systems serviced: Even if you don't do this regularly, do it before listing your home. This will give buyers assurance that your system is in good shape.
- Replace damaged exterior trim: Wood trim rots--it is a fact of life. If you have wood trim on your home, replace any damaged trim prior to listing your house.
- Clean and Stain the Deck: If you have a deck, make sure it is clean and in good condition--even if the wood is old.
- Fix up the bathrooms: It is worth getting someone in to skim the tile, to make sure the grout is in good condition, and replace the caulking. If you are handy, you can do this yourself. If you are not, it is worth spending the money.
- Freshen the Landscaping: Remove overgrown trees and shrubs, plant annuals for color (if seasonally appropriate) and re-mulch.
- Make sure the basics are working: If you have broken light switches or doors that don't work properly, hire a handy-man (or the appropriate specialist contractor) to fix these items. You might be used to the work around, but buyers will be put off by these deficiencies.