You are NOT a bank. Your home isn't a foreclosure. Hopefully it isn't on its way to a foreclosure. You need to maximize the price your home fetches on the market, and minimize the time it is on the market. The problem is those foreclosures that your house has to compete against. Foreclosures often have price going for them. That is a VERY powerful tool. It can overcome a lot of issues. But, you have to find a way to overcome the prices that banks are asking for their properties.
You are not a bank... so you probably don't have a pile of money to toss at your home to get it sold. Even if you did, it likely wouldn't really pay back for you. On average, renovations pay back half or less of their cost. Throwing a few thousand dollars at your house, while trying to sell it, usually isn't a great move. But that doesn't mean that you just pack it in and give up... It means that you have to be smarter than the banks.
- Paint. There is NO better, cheaper way to REALLY affect the look of your house than with a coat of paint. Especially on the interior. The foreclosure up the street likely won't have fresh paint and clean walls. Use neutral colors that fit with the personality of the home. If in doubt, talk with a Stager about specific colors.
Shampoo Carpets. Unless they are in really bad shape, it should be worth it to get them cleaned. A professional cleaning would be the way to go, but even renting a cleaner at the store and doing it yourself would be better than skipping this step. Remember, the foreclosure up the street is likely to have stained or worn carpets.
- Clean EVERYTHING. And clean it well. And keep it clean. If you read Cheap Tips #1, you should already be in the process of getting rid of stuff and getting rid of clutter and extra stuff. That means it is a great time to clean everything that is left. Again, it isn't likely that the foreclosure up the street will be terribly clean. My wife has been known to hit the sanitizer pretty hard after a cheap foreclosure.
- While you have the paintbrush in hand, you might consider painting cabinets. If they are a nice wood, especially a lighter wood, I would probably advise against it. But, if they are painted, dull or dated, it might be a great way to freshen up the whole kitchen or bathroom for less than the cost of a nice dinner.
- Drawer Pulls, Knobs and Hardware. For under a couple hundred dollars it can be the crowning touch on a kitchen or bath... especially the kitchen. Oil-rubbed bronze, satin nickel and pewter are the finishes that are currently popular with buyers. Don't go wild, but don't cheese out, either. And keep in mind that the foreclosure around the corner is probably missing some of the pulls and knobs, especially if they were nice.
- Cheap Tips #1... Getting Ready to Sell. (lanebailey.com)
- The WRONG Top ten List to be on... (lanebailey.com)
- Renovation RoI Revisited... (lanebailey.com)
- Wayback Wednesday... Let's Freak Out Some Counties! (lanebailey.com)
- Wayback Wednesday... The Price IS Right (or it should be)... (gwinnettgarageguy.com)
- 13 Surprising Cities Wracked By Foreclosures Last Year (huffingtonpost.com)
- Foreclosure activity rose in 2010 in most U.S. cities, but not Memphis (commercialappeal.com)