Getting A House Market Ready on a Budget

(July 8, 2016)

There are many reasons a homeowner may choose to sell their house (upgrading, relocating, downsizing, and so on)  Another common reason we see a lot is affordability - the home is just too expensive to stay.  If that's the situation you're in, the last thing you have is pocket change to get the property "market ready".  But trust me, anything you can spare will be worth it.  Not only do spruced up properties sell faster, they usually sell for more.  If you're on a tight budget, here are a few inexpensive maintenance ideas that every homeowner should do before listing their property:

  • Clean - And I mean, really clean - so clean you could eat off the floor (but please don't).  Don't forget to look high (fan blades, cob webs, and windows) and low (dust bunnies, dirty grout, and carpet stains) Other than the cost of some cleaning supplies, which you most likely already have under your kitchen sink, this is free.  Cash for Your House
  • Landscaping - Do the best with what you've got.  Pull all the weeds in your garden and trim overgrown landscaping.  If Home Depot or Lowe's is having a sale, which they commonly do, pick up a few plants that will add color and life to your yard.
  • Paint - Nothing says new like a fresh coat of paint.  You can save a lot of money by painting rooms yourself.  To save even more money, keep an eye out for sales at local hardware stores.  You may not have a lot of experience painting, but anyone can do it.  Just take your time and don't forget that painters tape is your best friend.  Also, choose neutral colors - whites, creams, and light grays.  These colors are people-pleasers and make a space feel large, light, and bright.  

Click Here to Watch the Video - Step by Step: How to Paint a Room

  • Carpet Cleaning - This may run you a few hundred dollars, depending on how many rooms need to be cleaned, but it's worth it.  Carpet collects dirt, smells, and stains - none of which are appealing to prospective buyers.  
  • Box up the Clutter - When buyers walk through the door, they need to envision themselves living there.  That 1980's glamour shot on the wall isn't helping; in fact, it's distracting.  Box up personal photos and heirlooms (especially those you don't want stolen), trophies, and other knick knacks you've collected over the years.  The house will soon feel big and open. 

These maintenance tips can work within any budget and will be worth every penny invested.  Buyers will see the love and care you've put into the house and will feel confident in the product they're buying.  

Final Note: If you'd like to skip these steps and sell your house as is, you should consider selling your property to an investor.

Jennifer Shenbaum

Written by Jennifer Shenbaum

Jennifer Shenbaum is a real estate investor based in Southern California. She is a veteran of the housing market crash of 2007. Best of all, she offers free remodeling ideas to all who ask.

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