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Tips on Getting a Home Ready to Sell

Prepping a home to sell can feel like an insurmountable makeover. What’s an ordinary person to do without the help of a TLC or HGTV film crew? You’ll need a proactive approach to get a house sale-ready. Here are four things you can do to get started.

1. Clean Up

While major renovations can boost a home’s value, a thorough cleaning can make the biggest difference. If people find your home online, they’ll probably do a drive-by inspection first. If there’s trash on the lawn or it’s overgrown with weeds, they are less likely to want to look inside. Mow the grass and clean up the yard, or even plant some flowers. Don’t forget to organize in the garage and on the porch, too.

If your budget is too tight for a cleaning service, do it yourself one room at a time. Start packing away unnecessary clutter into boxes to put in storage or take to Goodwill.

2. Freshen Up

Lightening and brightening rooms with fresh paint and updated lighting can increase a home’s appeal. Repainting the interior costs an average of $967 but has a value of $2,001 when it comes time to sell, industry surveys show. Simply replacing the knobs on kitchen and bathroom cabinets can help modernize their look at minimal cost.

3. Add Accents

It’s not the dog-hair tumbleweeds on the floor that make a home feel welcoming. Accents such as fresh flowers on a table, new bathroom rugs and towels, or shower curtains are great ways to stretch dollars while prepping your home for showings.

4. Update Kitchen and Bathrooms

Remodeling a bathroom can be expensive but adds 70% of that cost to the value of your home, according to industry surveys. A minor kitchen makeover can return 79% of the expense by raising the sale price. If you’re going to renovate, consider the most financially beneficial projects to ensure a good return on the investment.

Financing Fix-Ups

Larger projects, such as replacing kitchen counters with stone, can make a huge difference in a home’s price. But they can also be harder to finance out of pocket. Using a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, from a lender such as NuMark Credit Union may be a good option. This sort of financing opens up a revolving credit account you can draw on as needed, similar to a charge card. You pay interest on the money you take out, but that interest may be tax deductible.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay off the debt before the title to the home can transfer to the buyers.

Cait Klein, NerdWallet


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