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If you’re getting ready to put your house up for sale, you’ve picked a great time. Real estate remains hot, and you should have no problem finding an eager buyer for your space. But, no matter how in-demand your neighborhood, it never hurts to make minor improvements that will help your home stand out.
A few small repairs can help you get more money out of your property and will likely reduce the time it waits for its new owners. If you want to know how much you can expect when selling your home, check out Redfin’s home sale proceeds calculator. Take this number minus your home improvement budget to see exactly how much you’ll receive at closing. Ask your real estate agent for comparable recent home sales for a more accurate estimation.
It can be daunting to consider DIY improvements and the associated costs. But here are some great ideas to consider.
For less than $1,000, you can:
Update light fixtures throughout the home. The quality of light inside your home is essential in showcasing its best features. Bright light – and especially natural light, will make a home feel open and airy, even if the rooms are small. According to Money, a high-quality light fixture will set you back around $200. Additionally, you can replace the shades or update outdated fixtures with a coat of paint. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and consider adding a dimmer switch to overhead lights.
Update the curtains. It might not sound that way, but adding the right curtains to your living room or bedroom can drastically alter its appearance. For example, if you add drapes that are both wider and taller than your windows, you can make the room seem much larger. However, it’s important to use neutral colors so you don’t draw too much attention to your curtains!
Boost your curb appeal. Curb appeal is how attractive your home looks from the outside. Start by mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges. Forbes also recommends painting exterior doors and trim, including the shutters and eaves. New hardware on the mailbox, a front door kick plate, and a few solar path lights are also simple additions that will stand out. If you do the work yourself, you can completely transform the look of your landscape for $300.
Spruce up the bathroom. While a full bathroom remodel can cost $10,000 or more, $500 is all you need to bring a loathsome lavatory into the 21st century. A fresh coat of paint, large mirror and new caulk around the tub and sinks will make your bathroom look clean and relaxing. If your bathtub has seen better days, your local hardware store should have plenty of options for re-glazing, which costs around $300. HGTV notes that larger bathroom renovations actually can pay for themselves (and then some), so it may be worth it to spend a little extra money here.
Clean and organize. If you’re looking for projects that don’t cost a dime, look no further than your cleaning caddy. Financial advisor Dave Ramsey advocates cleaning, decluttering and rearranging the furniture and reports that a properly staged property can sell up to 90 percent faster than one sporting the lived-in look. Keep in mind, however, that your standard Saturday morning cleaning routine won’t do. If you want your efforts to pay off, you’ll have to get down and dirty, roll up your sleeves and clean like your livelihood depends on it. Sweep, mop, clean behind the appliances, organize the garage and clear the vast majority of personal items from your closets. You’ll also want to eliminate large pieces of furniture and store your knickknacks and trinkets, which can be a distraction to buyers.
The average buyer looks at 10 homes before finding “the one.” Don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive an offer after your first few showings but ask your real estate agent for advice on things you might be able to change to expedite the experience.