Most homeowners have a lengthy list of chores and bit projects they intend to accomplish around the house. Oftentimes, those to-do items are completed piecemeal over a long stretch of time, or else sometimes not at all. However, when it comes time to prepare a home for market, all those tasks begin to pile-up and overwhelm. The list of things to do before the photographer comes or the first open house is held might seem endless, but not if you tackle just a few things here and there as you go. These sorts of projects—easy, DIY, at-home tasks you can accomplish in a few hours or less, with tools you most likely have on hand—go a long way with marginal effort.
Many agents advise clients to declutter and depersonalize their spaces ahead of professional photography and home showings. The idea is to provide prospective buyers with a neutral palette. Not only does this allow them to imagine their own lives unfolding within those four walls, but it also helps make a home’s square footage stand out. One way to add visual space to your home without calling in the contractor is to declutter common storage areas and closets. When buyers can get a complete look at a closet’s capacity, or a pantry’s depth, or the garage’s full functional potential, they get a better sense of a home’s potential and thus, its value. In that vein, consider decluttering and cleaning your high-traffic storage spaces: the garage, pantries, closets, attics, and basements. Besides, organizing and discarding unwanted items help you prep for a move anyway, while giving potential buyers a peak at how spacious your home really is.
Sure, curb appeal can arrive in the form of a new mailbox, pathway lighting, or updated house numbers, but it can also come cheaper than that. Curb extends to the upkeep of your lawn, landscaping, and home’s façade, and there are plenty of ways you can give these zones a refresh without spending anything but time. Keeping your front and back yard green and uniform adds a lux layer to exterior square footage. Likewise, polishing the outside of your windows, trimming hedges, and sweeping the walkway can make a tidy and well-cared for first impression. There are other measures you can take too. Planting wildflower seeds in empty beds, or collecting some landscaping rocks to frame mulched areas can add a bit of character to your residence. Repainting the front door, ensuring trees are trimmed, and keeping back patios neat and uncluttered also underscore a home at its finest, which is ripe for buyers to snatch up.
Bathrooms and kitchens are where sellers can stand to add plenty of value in the process of selling a home. While pricey renovations might be out of the question for some, there are still affordable and time-effective ways you can transform for these spaces for the better. Cleaning, bleaching, or redoing your tile grout—in either kitchens, bathrooms, or other tiled spaces—can give these high-trafficked areas a new lease on life. Ensuring windows, mirrors, stainless steel appliances and backsplashes are streak-free and polished also demonstrate to buyers that your home is well-cared for and practically move-in ready. Sometimes, the devil is in the details. You might consider relining drawers, changing out knobs and fixtures, or else decluttering cabinets and shelves for a fresher look.
No matter the challenges ahead as you prepare your home for sale, completing a few small tasks every weekend or so can put you miles ahead of the competition. Without spending a dime, you can add serious value to your home’s bottom line, setting you up for success as you begin your own home-shopping adventure.