Getting Your Money’s Worth

You love your home. You’ve raised a family in this home. You’ve celebrated Christmases, birthdays, and anniversaries here. In the backyard, you’ve nurtured tiny saplings into big, shade-giving trees.

And now it’s time to sell.

You hope that the new owners will love the house and take care of it just as much as you did.

And you worry that you might leave money on the table.

Here are a few things you can do that will be worth your time, help your home make a great first impression, won’t break the bank.

Clean

We’re not talking a quick pass with a Clorox wipe here, but a deep down, honest-to-god scrubbing. Clean those things that are easy to overlook on the weekly chore list — blinds, sconces, baseboards, and the sliding door tracks. It’s amazing what a difference sparkling clean windows will make. If you don’t feel like you can do this on your own, a cleaning service is money well spent.

Declutter

Don’t worry, it isn’t necessary to remove every single personal belonging or family picture. I’d recommend boxing up out of season clothes, most knick-knacks, and everything you can live without for the next few months. You’re going to be packing it up anyway, so think of it as a head start! Make sure that the amount of furniture you have in a room is reasonable, as well. If you need to turn your body to access an area of the room, chances are, there’s too much furniture!

Paint

A fresh coat of paint can work miracles. You might notice those chipped and grungy baseboards, but I can guarantee that a buyer will. And a note about exterior paint — even if the outside of your home is in good shape, take a close look at your front door. It is one of the first things a buyer will see, and a quart of paint can make a huge difference in curb appeal.

Repair

You know all those pesky little tasks you’re planning to get around to someday? Well, someday is now. The closet door that’s off the track, the leaning fence post, broken cabinet, the trim the dog chewed up, all those things will be noticed. Don’t let the buyer wonder what else you let go.

Leave It

Whew! Good job tackling that list. Now, are there things I’d tell you to skip doing? Absolutely. If your laminate countertops are in good condition, it’s probably not worth replacing them with granite. Those white appliances when everyone wants stainless steel? Leave ’em alone. It’s true that a buyer might want to change those things, but you’re probably not going to recoup the money you’d invest.

What are some other ways you’ve increased your home’s appeal without spending a lot of cash? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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