Cheap Tip #2... Tip-Top Shape in 5 Steps

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty
Image by lane.bailey via Flickr

You are NOT a bank.  Your home isn't a foreclosure. Hopefully it isn't on its way to a foreclosure.  You need to maximize the price your home fetches on the market, and minimize the time it is on the market.  The problem is those foreclosures that your house has to compete against.  Foreclosures often have price going for them. That is a VERY powerful tool.  It can overcome a lot of issues.  But, you have to find a way to overcome the prices that banks are asking for their properties.

You are not a bank... so you probably don't have a pile of money to toss at your home to get it sold.  Even if you did, it likely wouldn't really pay back for you.  On average, renovations pay back half or less of their cost. Throwing a few thousand dollars at your house, while trying to sell it, usually isn't a great move.  But that doesn't mean that you just pack it in and give up...  It means that you have to be smarter than the banks.

  • Paint.  There is NO better, cheaper way to REALLY affect the look of your house than with a coat of paint.  Especially on the interior.  The foreclosure up the street likely won't have fresh paint and clean walls.  Use neutral colors that fit with the personality of the home.  If in doubt, talk with a Stager about specific colors.
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    Image by lane.bailey via Flickr

    Shampoo Carpets.  Unless they are in really bad shape, it should be worth it to get them cleaned.  A professional cleaning would be the way to go, but even renting a cleaner at the store and doing it yourself would be better than skipping this step.  Remember, the foreclosure up the street is likely to have stained or worn carpets.

  • Clean EVERYTHING.  And clean it well.  And keep it clean.  If you read Cheap Tips #1, you should already be in the process of getting rid of stuff and getting rid of clutter and extra stuff.  That means it is a great time to clean everything that is left.  Again, it isn't likely that the foreclosure up the street will be terribly clean.  My wife has been known to hit the sanitizer pretty hard after a cheap foreclosure.
  • While you have the paintbrush in hand, you might consider painting cabinets.  If they are a nice wood, especially a lighter wood, I would probably advise against it.  But, if they are painted, dull or dated, it might be a great way to freshen up the whole kitchen or bathroom for less than the cost of a nice dinner.
  • Drawer Pulls, Knobs and Hardware. For under a couple hundred dollars it can be the crowning touch on a kitchen or bath... especially the kitchen.  Oil-rubbed bronze, satin nickel and pewter are the finishes that are currently popular with buyers.  Don't go wild, but don't cheese out, either.  And keep in mind that the foreclosure around the corner is probably missing some of the pulls and knobs, especially if they were nice.
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    Image by lane.bailey via Flick
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Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Lane, great advice to those considering entering the market.  The one thing I find constant with buyers other than wanting an impossibly good deal is that most just want to move into a home with nothing to do.  For a home to sell in today's market it needs to look the best and have the least least that's what I see.

Feb 05, 2011 03:01 PM #1
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Lane - I always wonder why people put really nice homes on the market with some of the bedrooms painted with really wild colors, and carpet that would be so much better if it was clean.

Feb 06, 2011 01:32 AM #2
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Very good advise.  I find it funny how people will live in substandard conditions for years and only clean it up to move out.

Feb 06, 2011 05:30 AM #3
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