Selling a home in market like this one -- filled with foreclosures and crowded with other sellers -- can be tough on your mental state and on your finances. That's why it's essential to do all you can to get your home looking good and drawing in buyers. Most homeowners will be happy to learn that you don't have to invest in a whole home renovation to spruce it up. In fact, many fixes that are a big help in selling your home can be done on a budget and require little besides some time and elbow grease to do. If you're looking for some ways to make your home stand out and get sold, here are some simple hacks you can try.
These basics are something every homeowner needs to do when putting their house on the market.
- Paint your walls a neutral color. You might like bright and bold colors, but potential buyers might not. Paint the walls a light, neutral color that will allow anyone viewing your home to picture themselves in it.
- Clear out clutter. Buyers don't want to see closets that are overflowing, garages that can't house a car and kitchen counters littered with spices and appliances. Clean things up before putting your house on the market for better success.
- Get rid of big furniture. Overly large furniture can make a room seem small and crowded-- the opposite of what you want buyers to feel. Sell or store it to make more room.
- Fix any broken items. Whether it's a busted doorbell or a leaky faucet, make sure your home is in good repair so buyers won't have any hesitations.
- Use what you've got. You likely don't have the time or money to mount a full-on renovation if you're trying to sell your home, so use paint, simple fixes and things you already have to make your home look great.
- Stage your rooms. You don't have to be a professional to take some steps to stage your home. Clean up, change a few items of decor and rearrange your rooms to give things a clean, streamlined appeal.
- Take down some personal items. While you don't have to make your home look like a showroom, removing personal items like photos, trophies and memorabilia can help buyers better picture themselves in the space.
- Don't take on big renovations. When you've put your home on the market isn't the best time to undertake major projects. Not only is it expensive, it makes your home difficult to show, so focus on small fixes instead and let buyers handle the renovations if needed.
- Imagine you're the buyer. Try taking a look at your home from an objective point of view. What would you change or fix up? Use this information to help spruce up your space.
- Make your home stand out. If you live in a neighborhood with several homes for sale, you'll need to find a way to make your home stand out. Highlight the best aspects of your home and make sure buyers see what it really has to offer.
- Make sure rooms have an obvious use. You might use your dining room as an office, playroom or storage space, but potential buyers might be put off by that. Set up rooms for their intended purpose instead and move your stuff to another space for the time being.
- Minimize the pet effect. Not all home buyers are big animal lovers, so make your home friendly to them as well by cleaning up toys, pet food and supplies before your home is shown.
- Make the space easy to walk through. Remove any furniture, clutter or boxes that might be blocking or impeding buyers from walking through the space freely.
The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see, so use these hacks to make sure it wows them.
- Pay attention to curb appeal. First impressions can go a long way, so make sure your home makes a good one. Step out to the curb to see just how your home holds up and what you can do to help it.
- Mow the grass. A well-trimmed yard will make your home look nice and well taken care of, so keep your grass in check. Mow it regularly yourself or hire a service to do it for you.
- Plant some flowers. Flowers are a pretty, inexpensive way to add some color and life to your home. They're simple to plant and buyers will love them.
- Power wash your home and decks. Sometimes all decks, porches and siding need to look clean and new is a good, hard scrubbing.
- Get rid of weeds and any outdoor clutter. It might not be fun, but it's essential to keep flowerbeds and outdoor spaces just as clear of clutter as indoor ones.
- Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Choose a nice color to paint your door to help it look clean, nice and kept-up.
- Get a nice welcome mat. It not only helps pull together your outdoor space but will introduce buyers to your home on the right foot.
- Repair or replace your mailbox. If your mailbox is weather-beaten and tired-looking, repair, paint or replace it.
- Make sure the house number is nicely displayed. Not only is it a safety issue, it makes your home look charming and nice to boot.
- Clean out gutters. You don't want water overflowing in places if buyers see your home on a rainy day. Get up on your roof and clean out your gutters ahead of time.
- Stage outdoor spaces. Staging isn't just for indoor spaces. Make your deck and outdoor entertaining areas as appealing as possible with plants, paint and great design.
- Clean and maintain any outdoor furniture, pools or entertainment spaces. Buyers are going to look at your outdoor spaces critically as well, so make sure everything you have out there is in good repair and as close to move-in condition as possible.
- Clear any plants blocking windows. Big bushes and trees that are blocking windows should be trimmed back or removed. Not only do they make the house look bad from the outside, but they block light to the inside as well.
Keeping your home clean and tidy when you're trying to sell is essential. Use these hacks to make sure you're covering all your bases when it comes to cleanliness.
- Keep your home as clean as possible. That way you'll be ready for buyers to come see it at any time they'd like to.
- Don't leave dirty dishes out. Wash them right away or stick them in the dishwasher.
- Pick up your clothes. You might be in a rush in the morning, but don't leave pajamas, shirts and especially not underwear lying around. You don't want to make buyers uncomfortable and you want to keep the space clean.
- Clean the windows. It's amazing what a good cleaning will do for windows. You may not have even realized how much light was being blocked by years of dirt and grime.
- Make sure ceiling fans and lights are dust free. These are places you might not often check for dirt, but buyers may notice.
- Clean any carpets in the home. You want to make the carpets in your home look as nice as possible, so have them professionally cleaned or rent a steamer, especially if you have pets or young children.
- Wash and press window treatments. You might not realize how much dust and dirt your curtains are collecting. Take them down and give them a wash and press to keep them fresh and nice.
- Put away toys. Buyers shouldn't have to trip over toys to see your home. Keep toys and other items out of the way as much as possible.
- Wash any walls you do not wish to paint. You don't have to totally paint a room to make it look nice. Sometimes just wiping down a wall can make a big difference.
- Wipe down light switches and door jambs. These are places that collect dirt and grime from hands, so a quick wipe down can do wonders for a room.
- Focus on the bathroom and kitchen. These are spaces that buyers are most concerned be clean, so focus your attention on them first.
You want to make your home appear as spacious as possible, and if it's filled with junk, well, you're going to have a hard time doing that. Use these tips to help get your home clutter-free.
- Have a garage sale. It can help you make some money to use for renovations and get rid of things you don't need at the same time.
- Clean out closets. You want them to look spacious, so keep them emptied and organized.
- Organize all storage spaces. Invest in some bins and boxes to store your things and help them look nice and neat.
- Only have what you need in a space. When you're selling your home, it's best to pare things down to essentials. Clear out anything in a room that you're not using on a regular basis.
- Consider a storage locker. If you don't have a place to put all your extra things, rent out a storage space for a month or two. It could pay off big time if you sell your home.
- Clear off all counters. Cluttered counters can make a kitchen or bathroom look dirty and small, so keep the space open instead.
- Hide personal items. Photos, memorabilia, personal care products and other items shouldn't be out on display. Put them in a drawer or cabinet instead.
- Keep drawers and closets only partially full. You want to make it look like there is abundant space, so only utilize about 80 percent of the space in your storage.
- Don't forget the garage. Clean out the garage and make sure there's room to put a car in. If you want to go all out, hang up bikes and yard equipment to fully organize the space.
While you want to work on your home itself, being smart about the business end of real estate can be a big element in your success when it comes to selling your home. Learn more with these tips.
- Don't volunteer information to buyers. You never know what answer they're expecting to hear and you could do more harm than good. Let your realtor handle the situation.
- Choose a great real estate agent. Finding a real estate agent who will work with your interests is essential. Shop around or use recommendations from friends.
- Go outside when buyers are touring your home. It can make buyers nervous to have the sellers in the home when they are touring it, so step out when your home is going to be shown.
- Compare prices with other homes in the area. You want to make sure you're not charging too much or too little for your home. Your real estate agent can help you come up with a good figure.
- Figure out why buyers aren't choosing your home. If your home has been on the market for a while, contact buyers and agents to see why they chose another and not yours. There may be something missing or detracting from your home that you're not aware of.
- Have a for-sale sign in the yard. Many potential home buyers see homes they're interested in simply by driving by. You'll increase your chances of attracting their attention by displaying a for sale sign.
- Advertise on the web. There are numerous websites out there where you can advertise your home as being for sale. Take advantage of them and do all the self-marketing your can.
- Take good photos of your home. Whether you're putting an ad in a paper or online, make sure the photos you take of your home are well-done. Blurry or dark photos aren't going to sell anything.
- Don't overprice. It can be tempting to want to get as much as possible out of your home, but in a market like this one, competitiveness is key.
- Ask for advice. If you're struggling with selling your home, look to friends and real estate professionals for advice on how to tackle any issues that come up.
- Do your research. Don't settle on a real estate agent, home price or anything else without doing a little groundwork first. The more you know, the better off you'll be.
- Look at the bright side. A crowded market doesn't have to be a bad thing if you look at it from a different perspective. For instance, if there are several other homes for sale on your street, you may get buyers looking at your home who wouldn't have otherwise stopped in.
- Don't severely restrict showing hours. While it can be hard to balance, work, life and selling your home, make sure to be fairly flexible when it comes to showing your home. You don't want to turn away any buyers who want to see the space.
Is your home an inviting, cozy and nice place to be? If it isn't quite there yet, help make the atmosphere perfect for a sale with help from these tips.
- Get some new accessories. New throw pillows, candles, and matching home decor can give a room new life without costing a bundle.
- Get some fresh flowers. Even inexpensive flowers on the table can make a room look much nicer and more inviting.
- Pay attention to lighting. Especially if your home is being shown at night. Have good lamps and room lighting to show your home in the best possible light.
- Keep the temperature comfortable. In the summer, make sure your home is cool and comfy. In the winter, keep it warm and toasty.
- Make your home smell nice. You don't have to bake cookies or bread to make your home smell nice. Getting rid of garbage and pet odors and using a spray air freshener can help.
- Keep pets out of the way. If you've got dogs or cats, make sure to keep them out of the way while buyers are walking through the home.
- Light some candles. These can help set the mood of the space and will smell nice to boot. Just don't light them and leave!
- Remove any pest control devices. Ant, mouse and fly traps will seriously turn off buyers and make them think there's an infestation. If there is, it is probably a good time to call the exterminator.
- Stop smoking in your home. If you're a smoker, start smoking outside if you aren't already. Cigarette smoke smells can linger and make buyers unwilling to buy your home.
- Open windows or light a fire. In nice weather, open windows can give your home a good feel. In colder months, show off your fireplace with a cozy fire.
- Keep it real. Your home doesn't need to look like it's ready for a magazine cover. Buyers know you live there, so while you should take care to keep things clean and nice, don't go overboard.
- Make some throw pillows. This is a cheap and easy way to spruce up a living or bedroom.
- Remember that you're not decorating for yourself. Decor shouldn't be about what you like but what will appeal to the general public.
These hacks will have your home looking its best in no time.
- Consider new handles. New handles on old cabinets can provide a cheap and easy update.
- Replace light bulbs. This is one of the simplest ways to fix up your home, but it will make it seem that much more well-kept and maintained.
- Make cosmetic updates. Filling in holes, fixing small things and cleaning up stains, spills and scuffs are all projects that can be completed in an afternoon but that will make you home look leaps and bounds better.
- Re-grout tiles. Re-grouting tiles is a fairly easy task and can make a tired, dirty bathroom look brand new.
- Strip old wallpaper. If you've got dingy, peeling wallpaper in your home, take it down. Most buyers aren't looking for wallpaper these days and would prefer to have the work taken care of ahead of time.
- Consider a new toilet seat. If your bathroom is older, a new toilet seat can make things look nice and new for only a few bucks.
- Refinish a stained tub. Old, stained tubs can get new life when you call in a professional refinisher to paint them.
- Get a new shower curtain. Shower curtains are cheap, so replace any old curtains in your home with nice, fresh new ones.
- Replace leaky faucets. Got a leaky faucet in your home? Buyers are sure to notice, so get the problem fixed or buy a new faucet.
- Fix leaks, creaks and holes. With a little WD-40, spackle and elbow grease you can reduce the ambient noises in your home.
- Have any water leakage problems repaired. Few things will turn off buyers faster than signs of water damage. If you've got a leaky roof or basement, get it fixed, stat. You'll also want to repair any interior damage it has done as well.
- Add some plants. Giving your space some pretty plants is a great way to spruce it up and can cost only a few dollars.
- Consider new light fixtures. Outdated or broken light fixtures aren't going to charm buyers, so invest in new ones to make things look neat and nice.
Staging can go a long way towards making your home look great and getting buyers to go for it. Learn the ins and outs from these hacks below.
- Update furniture. Outdated furniture can make your home seem outdated as well. Get a few pieces of more modern, updated furniture to put in your space instead.
- Create warm and inviting spaces. Your home should be a place that makes buyers feel at home there as well. Use warm colors, cozy setups and accessible styles to make it appealing to the widest range of buyers.
- Go for minimal. Less can be more when it comes to selling your home. Work at striking a balance between your home feeling empty and too full of your personal items.
- Pay attention to flow. The flow of a room can be a big deal with buyers. If you have a room that is a pass way between two spaces, make sure there's no furniture in the way making it hard to navigate.
- Design for spaciousness. You want your home to look as big as possible to buyers, so do what you can to make spaces look big and bright. That means small, light furniture and brighter wall colors.
- Make it happy. A happy space is one that buyers will fall in love with. Forego dreary colors and tired furniture and opt for bright, light and clean instead.
- Choose light colors. Light colors will help a space look bigger and will give a better feel to potential buyers than dark colors.
- Remove any controversial decor. This means nixing any mounted animal heads, sexy photos or political memorabilia that could turn buyers off.
- If you don't have good furniture, rent some. There are many places where you can rent a nice couch or a dining table for a few months while you are selling your home. It can be cheaper than buying and you won't have to worry about the pieces when your home is sold.
- Talk to a professional stager. He or she can help you to figure out just what would be best to do in your home and where you problem areas are. If you're on a tight budget, have them create a plan and do the work yourself.
- Focus on the main rooms. These are the rooms that buyers will be most concerned about, so make sure spaces like the kitchen, living room and master bedroom look the best.
- Be creative. There are numerous ways to make your home look appealing to buyers, so be creative. You may find a theme, color scheme or layout that is great when you're open to new ideas.
- Use what you have. You may not need to go out and buy new things to furnish your home. Use things you already have around the house and revamp them to make them work in your space.