Updated: Jun 30
You wouldn’t show a car you’re selling without washing it first, would you? So you must know that selling your home requires a little bit of TLC. And for those willing to dig in... a little DIY too. There are definitely ways to help a home sell faster and for more money, here are 10 tips.
1. Freshen Up Your Paint
I know, no one really loves to paint. You might immediately think of hiring someone. But, honestly, it’s one of the easiest updates you can do yourself.
Though sometimes picking a color can be more challenging for some people than actually painting. There are thousands of colors to choose from. Since you don’t know the décor or styles of potential buyers, keep it simple. Really, you’re providing a blank slate for people to imagine this house as their home.
Don’t overthink it. Stick to contemporary neutrals. A popular and really great paint color is New York City Winter by Valspar. It is between beige and grey, or more popularly known as “greige”.
TIP: Since you are not a professional, painters tape is a must. Tape off the ceiling, windows, and trim. And use a satin or semi-gloss white paint for trim and doors to finish off the look.
2. Marie Kondo Your Clutter
You’ve probably been thinking about doing this for years but could never find the time. Why bother now? You want to sell your house! When buyers open closets, drawers, and cupboards they want to see infinite space – not how much stuff you’ve collected over the years. In the words of Marie Kondo items that “don’t bring you joy” should be “thanked and let-go.” After that, pack all the items that you are taking with you to your new home, but that you don’t need right now. These things should take a trip to storage.
You are moving anyway, so you might as well start packing. It will make it easier in the long run and your house is clutter-free. It’s a win-win.
TIP: You can move the boxes neatly into the garage or attic. But it’s best to get a storage unit if you end up with a lot of boxes. You don’t want to make your garage appear smaller than it is. Label your boxes and make sure to leave items upfront that you might need.
3. Add a Little Bling-Bling
This is a totally inexpensive project that anyone can do. Widely overlooked, new decorative knobs or pulls can completely change the look of cabinets and vanities. Consider the style of each room and make choices that complement the cabinets and décor. But, don’t discount functionality. Make sure you are taking into account the durability and size.
Get creative – there are hundreds of choices. From $2 knobs to custom made $200 pulls in every color, style, and finish imaginable. Not finding what you need at your local hardware store, get online.
... So stay calm and pull (or knob) on.
TIP: To avoid having to drill a new hole in your cabinet use the same type of knob or pull. And if you already have pulls measure the distance between the drill holes and pick ones with the same measurements.
4. Replace Cover Plates and Receptacles
I bet you have never even noticed you had any… Cover plates, you know, those things around the plugs. Not only do they collect dust and look worn after just a few years. But they can also harbor bacteria and even bugs! Yuck! Each plate costs as little at $1 and will set off your newly painted walls.
Depending on the age of your home you may also need to replace old receptacles. In the kitchen and bathrooms change out plugs near sinks with GFCI outlets. It makes buyers feel better knowing that you have taken good care to install safeguards.
TIP: When the cover plate is off the wall, vacuum around the receptacle before replacing, it will keep it dust-free.
5. Remove Family Photos
That gorgeous family beach photo with everyone dressed in white is definitely a keeper. But, pack it up and send it on vacation for now. Any other personal photographs and items should also take a trip to your storage unit. Buyers need to envision themselves, not you, living in the home.
Remember, less is more, you do not need to replace every photo or framed picture. Blank walls are encouraged. But where you do put art, keep it simple and use seascapes, colorful abstracts, and mirrors.
TIP: Keep artwork neutral avoiding anything that makes a personal statement.
6. Change Faucets
If you haven’t done a full kitchen or bath remodel by now, I bet you don’t plan on it. The kitchen and bathrooms are BIG selling points of your home – so don’t ignore them. You by no means need to do a full remodel now, but some superficial adjustments can make a big difference.
A quick and easy way to add a touch of class is with new contemporary faucets. Be sure to consider appliances and décor when making decisions on finishes. Buyers will appreciate the functionality too, so look at the features. Pick something you would love to have if you weren’t moving.
TIP: Before you go shopping snap a quick pic and make a note if you have a single or a double faucet. Also, look under the sink to see if you need to replace the connectors and hoses.
7. Home Décor Accessories Are Your Friend
Are you tired of hearing, neutral, neutral, neutral…? Home décor accessories are where you can let your creativity shine. This is where bold colors and textures are your friends. Have some fun with colorful throw pillows, bedding, books, bins, candles, lighting, and other fun elements.
But don’t go overboard! Remember balance is key so place items carefully. Group smaller objects together and make sure everything looks proportionate.
TIP: Hit your local discount home stores where you can get great display ideas and save money. Such as At Home and Home Goods.
8. Curb Appeal is Key
This is your home’s first impression, so make it a good one. If you have kept up with gardening over the years, now is when you will reap the benefits. If not, you can still create an impact with clean-cut grass and pops of color.
Plant seasonal flowers and shrubs and even use planters around the porch to add more color. Also, freshen the mulch. Pick one that will set off the flowers and other landscaping.
Revive the front door with a fun color. Most home stores now have a selection of popular door colors to help narrow down your choice. Choose a complementary color for shutters and planters if you have them.
TIP: Power-wash the driveway, walkways, and stairs. Repair gutters, windows, and other noticeable cosmetic issues then your home will shine!
9. Clean, Clean, Clean
This is so important! A clean house is a happy house – especially for buyers.
Floors should be swept, mopped, and should shine. Any carpets should be professionally cleaned.
Replace caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. Mirrors cleaned and streak-free. Furniture dusted and all wood should be polished. Refrigerators and ovens need a good once over too.
TIP: To get a shine on your hardwood floor there are several products, like Rejuvenate that will help. Although temporary, it will make the floors feel refinished and without the cost and hassle.
10. To Stage or Not To Stage
You do have a couple of options, you can get a quote from a local company, some are quite reasonable. If you have outdated furniture it will be less to hire someone than re-furnishing your home. And oftentimes staging companies can work with some of what you have to help you save money.
Or if you have an eye for design, staging yourself is a great option. Since you have cleaned, organized, and decluttered your home now it's much easier to stage. The placement, scale, and configuration of the furniture in the room are crucial. You want each room to feel spacious and livable but still decorated.
TIP: Removing televisions and replacing them with art can elevate décor. Keep in mind that details matter. Buyers look at cosmetic things to help them decide how well you cared for your home.
Did Your To-Do List Just Get Bigger?
That’s actually good – it means that you care about selling your home. Don’t think about doing everything all at once. That will get overwhelming. Rest easy knowing that if you break it down and do a single task at a time it will all be finished before you even realize.
Doing updates can increase the value of your home, so all that hard work won't be lost. And, if you decide you're just not a DIY-er then Designing Nashville can help with the rest. We will walk you through the process and all the steps involved in getting your home organized and ready to list!
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