By Gary L. Kelley
Several Realtors share this space and go on and on about what you can do to get your house ready for sale. Most suggestions cost money and some readers simply may not have the wherewithal or energy to execute on these suggestions.
The TV shows demonstrate how a perfectly finished home will often sell faster and at a higher price. While you can wait for HGTV to pick your house to “Love it or List It,” there are many things you can do without a budget. If you don’t have a TV series budget, you should not despair.
If you’ve lived in your house over a month, clutter is accumulating. It accumulates in closets, attics, basements and garages. In extreme cases, it begins to accumulate under beds and in the corners. Take a garbage bag worth of stuff each day and either donate it or toss as appropriate. Just one bag a day will make a huge difference.
As needed, rearrange furniture encouraging an easy flow through the house. Our stagers really want nothing in front of windows so you can see outside. It’s all about open and airy.
Speaking of open, raise your shades and consider removing window treatments. Yes, you may have spent a small fortune on your window treatments and today the minimalist approach is in. Remove the 20-year-old drapes!
It also doesn’t take much to clean. Yes, you can hire it done. We are talking about a budget. Grab some inexpensive vinegar and start cleaning. A 50:50 mix with water will do the trick. Or for a serious stain, use vinegar straight. The 50:50 mix can be used on windows, too. Vinegar is non-toxic and anti-bacterial.
Vinegar can also be used as a weed killer. Combine one-gallon white vinegar, one cup salt and one tablespoon liquid dish soap in a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day. It will also kill grass so be careful where you spray. Vinegar won’t kill the roots, so you may need to re-spray.
While outside, mow the grass, and trim the bushes. Sure, you can buy mulch and spread it…and when on a budget use a hard-tined rake and “mix up” the existing mulch. You want to improve the curb appeal.
Make sure your front door is freshly painted. I’m going to guess you have the paint in a can from the last time you painted it. Mix it up good and put on a fresh coat. You will increase the curb appeal and while the Realtor is fiddling with the keys the buyer will see fresh paint!
My colleague Sue Gordon wants me to mention one more thing….and this may cost a little money for a can of paint. If your cabinets are old and tired, spruce them up with a coat of (gasp!) paint. Yes, you’ve lovingly used Murphy’s Oil Soap for years keeping them clean. Often the doors begin to look banged up or the sun has damaged the finish. Sure, you can refinish. Painted cabinets are the rage. A little sanding and some fresh paint will help whether the cabinets are wood or laminate. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help guide you.
These are a few suggestions for getting your house ready to sell without breaking the bank. We have many more.
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call.
Kelley is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) and award-winning Realtor.
He invites you to follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithGary/.