Easy updates before selling

Posted on 01 Mar 2007 at 4:30pm
By Ryan Short

Making your home marketable doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money



March comes in like a lion, but goes out like a lamb. So warm weather is on the way, and the streets are full of prospective home buyers.

How do you make sure your property stands out above the rest? Here are a few ways you can update your home to make sure it shines to its full potential and help you receive the largest return on your investment.

Fresh paint. Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable improvement you can make. Even if your home doesn’t need a new coat, painting the interior walls a neutral color and the ceilings white can make rooms look bigger, brighter and cleaner. For around $20, you can give a tired and dingy-looking room a complete makeover.

New flooring. New flooring will increase the market value of your home, while shabby floors can nix a sale. Instead of spending money on carpet or hardwood, try laminate instead. The new laminates imitate the look of expensive hardwood, but will never fade, scratch or dent. Brands like Wilsonart Flooring come with a glueless tongue-and-groove installation process, so they install quick and easy without making a mess. If you decide to install carpet, make sure to choose a neutral color.

New lights. Replace outdated light fixtures. This inexpensive improvement can update old decor that might have discouraged buyers who don’t want to put any effort into a new home. If your existing lighting looks “flat,” consider track lighting, which can give a room a dynamic flair by spotlighting various areas.

Don’t forget the garage. A clean garage will help make a good first impression to a buyer and shows that a home is in move-in condition. If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. Paint the interior white and sweep the floor. If your garage is unfinished, install wallboard or build storage shelves on the back wall.

Create curb appeal. Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Keep the lawn mowed and trim all shrubs to keep the yard looking clean. Plant some trees if the yard is barren or add new flowers to give some color. A local nursery can help you find the right types of plants for your lawn.

With very little effort, you can transform an average house into an above-average property that is sure to get second looks from potential buyers. And when you are out looking for your new house, don’t forget to look for these steps in the properties that you view as well.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 2, 2006.

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