Improve Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, so make your home stand out the instant buyers pull up to the curb. Some upgrades can be done in a weekend and will cost more in sweat equity than actual dollars. A few suggestions: rent a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime from your siding, roof, fascia and gutters. Paint the front door and/or shutters a bright color, but make sure it coordinates well with the rest of the home’s colors. Replace old house numbers, lighting, the mailbox and welcome mat. Clean up the edging around flowerbeds and lay down fresh mulch. Fill in empty beds with small shrubs, seasonal flowers and greenery. Even if it’s the dead of winter, get a pair of urns or large planters and fill them with small evergreen shrubs and cold-hardy annuals. If you have window boxes, fill them with fresh greenery too. If your porch or stoop has room for furniture, add a couple of chairs to expand your outdoor living space.
Give Kitchen an Facelift
Kitchens sell houses, so any updates you make have the potential to go a long way. And they don’t have to be expensive; some upgrades can be accomplished with mostly elbow grease. Start by showing off your storage. Pack up the seldom-used small appliances and holiday dishware for your next house and use up all the dry goods in the back of the pantry. Clear clutter off the countertops. Consider giving your cabinets a facelift with paint; go for classic white or try a dark neutral like gray or slate blue. At the very least, change the outdated hardware for an easy DIY. A corroded faucet or one caked with hard-water stains can be a big turn-off; swap it out for one with style and added function. Instead of replacing the dishwasher, check with the manufacturer to see if they sell replacement panels for your model. If not, peel-and-stick contact paper can be used to make your dishwasher and your other appliances look like stainless steel. To update a backsplash on the cheap, try peel-and-stick faux tile, tin tile, beadboard paneling or try painting the existing tile.
Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves in your home, and that’s hard to do if all they see are your personal items. Remove family photos, your kids’ artwork, framed diplomas and personal collections. Pack these items up to take to your new home and replace them with generic artwork.