10 low-cost home improvement tips

Thinking of selling your home? You don’t need to spend a fortune to make it attractive for prospective buyers.

Home Improvement Tips: Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Before you spend tens of thousands of dollars remodeling or building a new deck, try these simple, affordable improvements to draw in buyers — and they may help boost your selling price.

Inside your home

  1. Hire a house cleaner. Pay a professional to scrub all the nooks and crannies, floors, walls, and windows. This is also something you can do yourself if you want to save money.
  2. Add ceiling fans to bedrooms or replace old wobbly fans. New, attractive ceiling fans with added light fixtures are affordable and an easy DIY project. Especially consider fans if you live in a warm area or if your bedrooms need more overhead light.
  3. Replace outdated or broken faucets. Experts say updates to kitchens and bathrooms yield the biggest returns. But you needn’t go overboard: Even small updates will add big value to your home.
  4. Swap out one or two key items in your kitchen. Swapping out a stained sink or ancient appliance can update the whole look of your kitchen. Consider stainless steel for accents on a new stove hood or microwave.
  5. Take on easy fixes. Imagine you’re the buyer. What imperfections catch your eye? Worn vent and light switch covers can be painted or replaced, and chipped baseboards can be repainted.

Curb appeal

  1. Replace or paint your front door. By replacing a plain front door with a high-quality steel or fiberglass model that features decorative glass panels or a metallic-finish lockset, you could recoup more than 70% of your costs when you sell, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report. A cheaper option is to paint your front door a bold, tasteful color with top-quality exterior paint.
  2. Install a new garage door. This quick, relatively inexpensive fix can dramatically improve the look (and perceived value) of your house.
  3. Add new house numbers. High-quality numeral signs that are easy to see from the street hint at a well-kept home. Consider different styles, from shiny brass to wrought iron, to see which looks best.
  4. Pressure-wash your house. Clean up the outside “envelope” of your home by hiring professionals who specialize in pressure-washing. Do research and ask questions before accepting a bid, as the wrong detergents or too much pressure can damage bricks and paint.
  5. Perform basic landscape maintenance. Trim branches, and keep the lawn mowed and planting beds free of weeds. Replace mulch that has worn down or been washed away. A well-maintained yard suggests the same for the home itself.