Selling your home can be a thrilling and very lucrative experience. But for the first-time home seller, it can also be nerve-wracking and deflating. That’s because selling the largest investment of your life can be counterintuitively expensive. Getting your home ready to be scrutinized by strangers takes a lot of cash and elbow grease. As the saying goes, it takes money to make money.
However, there are some easy ways to cut down on your front-end expenses to make your home sale more profitable. Let’s look at three of the best.
Low Cost Repairs
Even if your home doesn’t require any major repairs, freshening it up a little can pay huge benefits when it hits the market. And we’re not talking about a new roof or an in-ground pool; some of the most effective repairs are also some of the cheapest.
The front curb is one of the easiest and lowest cost areas to make your home inviting to buyers. Weed and mow the landscaping, and appy new plants or mulch - or a combination of both - to the bare areas. Nothing says "I don't care" more than a messy front yard.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
A new paint job can make a home look warmer, cleaner, and brighter; it’s also a job that can be done in a weekend, for the cost of paint, some drop cloths, and a few rollers. If you decide to paint the interior of your home before you put it on the market, choose your colors carefully. Though white may seem like the obvious choice, it can seem harsh and institutional, and shows dirt easily. Opt for a softer, off-white tone for more aesthetically pleasing walls. White does work for ceilings, though. Painting the ceiling a lighter color than the walls makes the ceilings seem higher, which makes the entire room seem larger. Just remember to invest in high-quality paint; the smoother, more uniform texture makes a big difference.
Carpets can take a beating in a busy, family home, and worn or stained carpets can make a hugely negative impression on prospective buyers. But a lot of staining, matting, and apparent wear can be cured by a thorough cleaning. Even if your carpet still looks good, it might have a faint odor that you’ve become nose-blind to, so a deep cleaning is always a good idea. The easiest way to thoroughly clean your carpets is to rent a steam cleaner. Make sure you follow the directions, and don’t use too much cleaning solution, which can leave unsightly residue. Afterwards, opening windows and using fans can speed up the drying process.
Fixing the Roof
A new roof isn’t exactly “low cost,” considering it can be the single most expensive home repair of all, but if you do have roof problems, it’s better to deal with it before you put your home on the market, rather than let it become an issue down the road. In 2017, the U.S. Census found that Americans spent an average of $6,800 to replace their roofs. Considering that 50% of that cost is labor, you could assume that the materials for replacing your roof cost about $3,400. If it’s a relatively simple matter of replacing shingles, you can cobble together the expertise from YouTube and some DIY books, you could probably repair your roof yourself. You could do the first part of the work and remove the old shingles yourself, before having pros install the new ones. Either way, you could get yourself a shiny new roof far below the average sticker price of $20,000.
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