10 Improvements You Can Make to Sell Your House Faster
written by: NicoleHarms•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/2/2011
Are you getting ready to sell your home? Consider focusing on one of these 10 home improvements to sell a house, including improving curb appeal, making your home more neutral and focusing on the kitchen and bath.
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When you are ready to sell your home, you want to sell it quickly. After you clean and freshen everything and place the “for sale" sign in the yard, you want to have interested buyers flock to the property and make competitive offers.
One way to help improve your chances of making this fantasy a reality is by focusing on some home improvement tasks that will make your property more appealing. Putting a lot of money into a home you are about to sell may seem counter-productive, but the good news is that many of these improvements do not cost much at all.
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The outside of your home is the most important factor in improving curb appeal to get potential buyers in to look. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the home is on the inside, if it lacks curb appeal, people will drive right by without a second look. Hire a lawn service to improve your lawn, and plant some flowers or shrubs to add some color to the front of your home. You do not have to do expensive and extensive landscaping, but you do need to make sure that it looks nice when people drive by.
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Fix the Front Door
Think of your front door as the “welcome" sign on your home. If it looks old, people may not want to walk through. Replacing a front door is not an expensive undertaking, so do so if it needs it. Otherwise, consider painting your door to make it more inviting. Make sure the path leading up to the door is in good shape, and also add potted plants, light fixtures, or other accents to make it welcoming.
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Update the Roof and Siding
The roof and siding on your home is not going to be a cheap fix, but if it needs to be repaired, you have a choice. Either you can repair it and get a better price or probably a faster sale for your home, or you can leave it and reduce the selling price, assuming the buyer will be fixing it later. Both of these can detract from curb appeal as well, which can make your home sit on the market much longer.
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Check the Tub
Bathrooms that are in bad shape are one of the top items that stop a potential sale. You might be used to the cracked grout and peeling caulking, but take a hard look at your showers and bathtubs. If you need to re-caulk or replace the grout, do so. You might be able to save some time by buying a one-piece shower or bath and doing away with caulking and grout altogether.
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Spot Check the Kitchen
Kitchens can also make or break the sale of a home. People spend a lot of time in their kitchens, and they want to see that the kitchen has enough space and is somewhat modernized. A full kitchen remodel may be out of the budget, but there are some smaller steps you can take to update that space.
First, if your counters are outdated, consider having them replaced or buying a counter painting kit to make them look new. Then, take a look at your cabinets. Replacing your cabinets may be an expense that you do not want to take on, although if you do, you can expect it to improve your chances of selling your property for a good price. Instead, why not paint them a bright white and replace the hardware? This can make them look updated without the expense of a full remodel.
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Refinish Those Hardwoods
If your home has hardwood floors, you are in luck. Everyone loves hardwood today, and often the floors just need a simple refinishing to look great. If you currently have carpeting, take a peek underneath to see if there is hardwood hiding there. You might be able to improve your chances of selling by ripping out the carpet and refinishing the hardwood.
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Linoleum has had its day, but today’s buyers are not interested in it, particularly if it is old, faded, yellowed or curling. Replacing flooring can be cost effective. You can install your own laminate flooring or use self-stick tiles to place on top of the linoleum. If you do have a professional do the job, you will pay more, but on the flip side if you do not replace the flooring, you can be almost guaranteed to reduce your selling price by that much in the end, so you will be out that amount either way.
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Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint
A home that sells well is often one that has a fresh coat of paint. Painting is a very cheap way to update your space. When you choose paint, make sure you choose a neutral color. You might love that shade of green that is the popular choice for kitchens in your area, but a potential buyer may have all blue kitchen décor, making the green something they would immediately have to fix. Instead, opt for neutral colors inside and out.
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Remove Personal Touches
This may not cost a single cent, but it will go a long way toward helping you sell your home. Go through each room of your home and remove the personal touches you have added through the years. Family portraits, your children’s artwork and anything else that is unique to you and would not be interesting to others should be removed. Your home should feel like it could be their home from the moment they walk in the door.
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Have Systems Inspected
Replacing your water heater, furnace or AC unit is not typically a cost-effective endeavor. Yet, this is one of the home improvements to sell a house that can make a big difference. If they need to be replaced, then you should replace them, but if they are old but still functional, you can save a little money by having them inspected and putting an inspection sticker on them.