5 Low-cost Tips to Prepare your Home for Sale

By: Nef Cortez

Real estate is sold throughout the year but when spring and summer
roll around, one begins to see yard sales going up as homeowners
prepare their homes for sale. The following is a list of tips that are
low in cost and usually require nothing more than a few weekends and
some elbow grease to get the job done.

As a general rule the best time to prepare your home for sale is at
the very earliest point in "spring" (actually early March or even late
February), the time when seasonal buying interest is just starting to
build. However, this rule is not written in stone and these tips
apply throughout the year.

Here are the "Top 5" things a seller can do to increase the final
selling price without spending too much money out-of-pocket.

1) Clean it. Home buyers, it turns out, hate dirty homes more than
just about anything else. So, give the home a thorough cleaning from
top to bottom, inside and outside.

2) Organize it and Declutter It. If the home is too cluttered for the
seller, it probably will look too small for the buyer. Store away all
belongings that aren't regularly used. Store furniture that isn't
necessary for comfortable living. A sparser, less cluttered room
always makes an area look more spacious. This whole process of
cleaning, decluttering, sprucing up homes, and even bringing in
designer furniture to prepare homes for sale has begun a new real
estate industry called "home staging". But a homeowner can duplicate
some of these things by paying close attention to these low-cost items
he or she can do as a seller.

3) Repaint it. Real estate surveys find that a homeowner gets their
biggest bang for their buck by repainting the interior of the home in
bright white or off-white paint. Painting the house in neutral colors
is always a good idea.

4) Landscape it. Mow it and plant it. The exterior of the home is the
first impression that a buyer will get, and it will be a long lasting
one. Now with so many listings being made available on the internet,
pictures of homes on the internet are what many buyers will see first
of a prospective home and the exterior's condition will determine if
they want to take a look inside!

5) Fix it. If it isn't working properly, it usually ends up costing
more at the negotiating table than at the hardware store. Make sure to
pay close attention to any plumbing problems (i.e. a broken garbage
disposal) that may exude musty or foul smells. Today's buyer, with
their busy lifestyles, just wants to move in and get on with their
day-to-day business. If they have to spend time in repairing, they
will subconsciously factor in more than the actual cost at the
negotiating table. Statistics usually show that these costs amount to
about two to three times more.

As the homeowner busies himself with his to-do list of household
chores, keep in mind that the better shape the home is in, the more a
prospective home buyer will be likely to pay for it.

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