16 Cheap and Easy Ways to Sell Your Home for More Money

16 Cheap and Easy Ways to Sell Your Home for More Money

Would you like to sell your home for more money? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? But getting your home ready for sale can be a daunting task. For some sellers, the work just seems too much or they don’t want to spend a lot of money, so they decide to do nothing and simply sell their home as it is. This is like leaving money on the table so please don’t do it! You don’t have to spend tons of money on granite countertops and hand-scraped wood floors to make your home more appealing to buyers.

Here are 16 cheap and easy ways to sell your home for more money. Some cost next to nothing, others cost just a few hundred dollars. Pick as many as you can and you’ll be well on your way to selling your home for more money!

1. Neutral Paint Colors

There’s nothing wrong with having unique taste. It’s your home, right? But now that it’s time to sell, that lime green family room and the rooster wallpaper in the kitchen isn’t going to appeal to many buyers. Some may immediately cross your home off their list. Others will start deducting the expense of getting rid of it, and they will always estimate high.

If you have rooms in your house with loud paint colors or outdated wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint can completely change how buyers look at your home. To appeal to most buyers, stay neutral by using colors such as beiges or grays. It may be one of the more costly items on this list, especially if you need to paint multiple rooms, but it can pay big dividends in the form of more buyers making more offers.

2. Depersonalize

When touring your home, buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there. It’s difficult to do that when they are constantly seeing reminders that it’s your home. Remove pictures and other items that are specific to your family. That means the family pictures you have on the walls, sofa tables, and night stands all need to be put away. I know you love your family but it’s time to sell your house and buyers need to be able to picture their own family living there.

Oh, and that guest room you have with your collection of antique dolls and cuckoo clocks isn’t going to cut it either. Pack any unique collectibles or memorabilia away and put them in storage. In the bathrooms, put your personal essentials such as toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, and loofas in a plastic storage container and store in a cabinet or closet while your home is being shown. Think of what it’s like when you walk into a resort or hotel suite. That should be the feeling buyers have when they walk into your home.

3. Get Rid of the Clutter

When you’re selling your home, you want it to look big and spacious. Clear out as much clutter and unnecessary items as you can. Donate, recycle, or trash what you no longer need. For the items you want to keep, consider renting a storage unit. Clear off your counters, nightstands, coffee tables, etc. Pack up and store any collectibles, knick knacks, and other items that are specific to your family.

Store away any unnecessary furniture pieces to make your rooms appear larger. For example, a family room with a couch, love seat, and recliner can appear so much larger by simply removing one piece and then rearranging. Got a crowded bedroom with a dresser, chest, armoire, and two nightstands? Remove a piece or two and your bedroom will look so much more spacious to potential buyers. Even small houses can be made to look spacious and it helps people imagine their own things in the space, which can lead a person to buy.

When selling your home, you want it to look big and spacious. Clear out the clutter to sell for more!Click To Tweet

4. Clear Out Your Closets and Cabinets

You can never have enough storage space, right? Buyers touring your home will be peeking inside your closets to make sure your home has enough storage space for them. If your closets are crowded and overflowing, buyers will think your home doesn’t have enough available storage. Remove enough items from your closet so they are about half empty. Now when buyers open your closets, they will see plenty of available storage space.

5. Clean the Floors

Often times a good shampooing can restore carpets and rugs to near new condition. Consider renting a commercial grade carpet cleaner from a local home supply store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Also, clean and polish wood floors using a wood floor mop and a quality cleaner designed specifically for wood floors. Once you have all the floors clean, be sure to clean and vacuum regularly to maintain the floors while your home is on the market.

6. Lighten Things Up

Light can play a big part in selling your home. You will want to maximize any available light that is coming in. Good light is something nearly all buyers are looking for and you can help bring it in by taking down heavy drapes, cleaning windows thoroughly, changing out lampshades, and using higher wattage light bulbs. If you have a lot of bushes and trees around your home, consider trimming them back to allow more light in. A bright, cheerful house will appeal to more buyers, and more potential buyers means it’s more likely you will sell your home for more money.

Bright, cheerful houses appeal to more buyers, making it more likely your home will sell for top dollar.Click To Tweet

7. Fix the Squeaks and Jams

This one is an easy fix. Check all the doors in your house and treat any squeaky hinges with a few drops of lubricating oil such as WD-40. Also, test the drawers in kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fix any that jam or are difficult to operate. This can often be solved by simply adjusting the drawer tracks using pliers and adding a little lubricating oil.

8. Fix the Drips and Runs

Dripping faucets or shower heads and running toilets aren’t the best way to appeal to buyers. You can bet they’ll notice these things when touring your home and will start adding up what it’s going to cost to repair them. However, these issues can often be fixed at a minimal expense so it’s best to go ahead and take care of them before buyers start coming through the door.

Running toilets can usually be fixed by replacing the fill/flush valves and leaking faucets can often be fixed with new seals. If your toilet or faucet is both leaking and outdated, consider replacing it with a new one instead. This will not only solve the leak but will update your home at the same time.

9. Replace Your Thermostat

So you’ve painted your home, cleaned the floors and lightened things up. It’s beginning to look like a new house but that 30 year old thermostat on the wall just screams “I’m an old house” to any potential buyer. A new thermostat can be added for less than $40 and will help complete your home’s updated appearance.

10. Clean Out the Garage

Much the same as with the closets, buyers are going to be looking at the available storage space in your garage. A cluttered garage just tells buyers you don’t have enough room in the house. Empty it out as much as possible, trash or donate what you don’t need, and put those items you want to keep in storage.

11. Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen is typically the most important room in the house for buyers so having an updated kitchen can definitely help you sell your home for more money. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also typically the most expensive room to remodel. However, there are some relatively inexpensive updates you can do that will help bring your kitchen into the current decade. Start off with cleaning your cabinets. For wood cabinets, make sure you use a quality wood cleaner/polish. Top that off with some new hardware. This can be added for just a few bucks per door or drawer and can make your cabinets look completely different.

Replacing your kitchen sink faucet and overhead light fixtures can also be done at a relatively small expense. If you have a little more money available for renovations, consider adding a new tile backsplash for an even more updated look. This can be done in most kitchens for between $500 and $1,000. Doing all of these updates can totally transform your kitchen without spending the thousands of dollars required for brand new cabinets and countertops.

The kitchen is the most important room in the house for buyers. Update it to sell your home for more money.Click To Tweet

12. Easy Bathroom Updates

In the bathroom, consider adding a new sink faucet, light fixtures and towel bars. If you have a shower curtain, replace it with a new one. Re-caulk around the tub and sink and polish all metals. If your vanity is a small and old, you might even consider replacing the entire vanity altogether. A brand new vanity with a built in sink can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars and isn’t very difficult to install for most DIYers. When it comes to the toilet, it’s time to get rid of that shell shaped toilet seat or fuzzy seat cover. That’s not what buyers are looking for today. A new seat can be added for $20 or less so it’s really a no-brainer. If your toilet is really outdated (i.e., colored), consider replacing it with a brand new one for a nice clean look.

13. Stage Your Rooms

You’ve already de-cluttered your home in order to appeal to buyers, but now you need to add a few well placed decorative items in order to really sell the space and the lifestyle. A basket of fresh apples on the counter, lemons in a bowl near the sink, or a vase of cut flowers on the coffee table can be great little touches that make the home appear lived in without creating clutter.

Again, imagine what its like when you’re on vacation and you walk into a five star hotel suite. Everything is crisp and clean, just waiting for you to arrive and start relaxing. Your house needs to be inviting buyers to not to just stay for the weekend, but to make it their permanent home. Clutter-free counters and tables, freshly laundered towels hanging in the bathroom, and perfectly made up beds will help your buyers visualize the space and imagine themselves living in your home.

14. White Glove Test

When getting your home ready for its first showing, try to imagine your mother-in-law is about to show up for a visit. Think how clean the place will need to be…like an upscale hotel. Vacuum, dust, mop, wash windows, and even clean the baseboards and other areas you might not commonly wipe down. People will be looking in your closets and cabinets, as well as under the sink. If there are any odors in the house, those should be addressed as well. To get rid of unpleasant odors, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your HVAC’s air filter.

15. Liven Up the Landscape

This one is pretty easy. Keep your lawn mowed and trimmed. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a lawn care company to keep your lawn well manicured while your home is for sale. Trim your shrubbery, replace dead plants, and remove any unsightly weeds from your landscaping. Replace old much with new for a fresh and appealing look.

16. Create Curb Appeal

If you want to sell your home for more money, you’ve got to have great curb appeal. It can literally make or break the sale of your home. A lot of buyers who are thinking about taking a look at your home will drive by it first, to see what they think of it in person. When they do their drive-by, you want them to have a great first impression!

If your house numbers are rusty or missing, repaint or replace them. Power wash your walkways and siding and clean the front windows. Adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to your front porch is an inexpensive way to create instant curb appeal. Even if your porch is really just a tiny stoop, you can make it say “welcome” with potted plants that are blooming with vibrant colors. A clean, cheerful doormat and furniture (if there’s room for it) can also go a long way toward creating a great first impression.

In the evening, keep your porch light on in case anyone drives by to look at the house. Also consider solar lighting to illuminate the front walk, making your house safer and easier to show in the evening hours.

To sell your home for top dollar, you've got to have great curb appeal. It can make or break the sale of your home.Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

Now it’s time to get to work! If you can do all 16 items on the list, great. If you can only do a few of them, that’s fine too. Pick as many as you can do and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of a bigger check at the closing table.


More Ways to Sell Your Home for More Money

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Shawn Swisher

Shawn is an Affiliate Broker with Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you need help buying or selling a home in Knoxville or the surrounding area, just ask Shawn!
Shawn Swisher
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