Real estate prices can skyrocket when not enough houses are being built to keep up with growing demands. But that does not mean homeowners can just sit back and watch their property values go up. Managing a home is a lifelong endeavor, after all.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple fixes which anyone can do to ensure that potential buyers will be awed. And even if you are not looking to sell, it’s better to put in the work now rather than frantically put up a patch job later.
Here are five simple (and reasonably cheap) things that anyone with any skill can do to make their home look fresh and increase its valuable.
1. Do some gardening
Selling a house is all about presentation, and that starts well before the buyer ever enters the house. If a buyer drives up and sees overgrown or wilting plants or grasses, they will not have a good first impression. Think of it like a job interview where you show up wearing flip flops and shorts.
While there are landscaping companies which will charge you a fortune, there are tons of things you can do for a low price. Plant some low-maintenance perennials, which will be easier to maintain than buying annual plants which flower and wither every year.
Also, consider planting a tree. There are plenty of good trees to plant, but my personal favorite is a good, strong oak. An oak tree looks beautiful and provides shade if you live in a warmer climate.
2. Fix up the entrance
The shrubbery will not be the only thing a buyer sees before they enter your house. The door is another potential liability. If the buyer walks in and sees a frayed welcome mat and the doorbell does not work, then that is a poor start.
You can get a new welcome mat for just $20 at Home Depot, and you can also get a new doorbell for around the same price. If your doorbell does not work, I would recommend just getting a new one instead of calling a repairman who will almost certainly overcharge you. Also, make sure that the lock is solid, but at the same time easy to lock and unlock. A solid doorknob indicates a solid home (and this applies to indoor knobs as well).
Furthermore, paint the door an appealing color, like red. The result should be a solid, secure but inviting door that, when combined with your landscaping, will create a good first impression.
3. Paint (but be careful about it!)
A good coat of paint can make your walls look new – assuming that you do it correctly.
First, do not let your artistic sense run wild. You want a color which can appeal as many homebuyers possible, so pick neutral colors which will not scare anyone off. If you really want to pick more vibrant colors, then the kitchen is probably the best place to do so. A color like yellow or red will work here.
One of the key points in painting your walls is to note scratches and other repairs you may have to make, so keep track of that. And while you are painting the walls, get rid of any wallpaper.
4. Repair the plumbing
A lot of homeowners aim for renovating the bathroom, but HGTV notes that this can often cost more than $10,000. You may be able to recoup the costs, but getting new tiles, improving sink fixtures, and fixing up a bathroom can be difficult.
If you don’t have the money or expertise, just focus on your plumbing. Check for leaks, remove mildew stains, and generally try to keep the pipes clean. You don’t need to be a total plumbing expert to fix mere leaks, but be careful as failure could mean spending thousands of dollars to get a plumber. Most repairs for homeowners that involve plumbing should be done by experts. But for simple jobs, here are some basic tips which any enterprising plumber should know before they take a good look at the pipes.
5. Clean the carpet
I’m not much of a fan of carpets. They absorb all sorts of fumes and liquids, attract carpet beetles, and are a pain to clean. But that does not mean that removing your carpet is necessarily a good idea, and I would only replace it with tile or hardwood floors if you plan to stay in your house for a long time. In the short term, just clean it. A professional carpet cleaner is not that expensive, but if you want to handle it yourself, just get your own cleaning machine and a vacuum. Regular treatments will ensure that the funky carpet smell you have noticed at your friends’ houses does not appear in your own.
Featured photo credit: Bernadette Gatsby via unsplash.com