4 Updates For Home Sellers on a Budget

Improving your home will help it sell more quickly -- but this makeover doesn't have to cost a bundle.
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By: Dona Dezube
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Time to sell but tight on cash? These quick fixes add the most value for the least money:

  • Interior paint
  • Flooring
  • Curb appeal
  • Light fixtures

1. Paint Your Way to Profits

Painting your home before you put it on the market is one of the cheapest ways to get the highest possible price for your property. Use soft olors like pale green or muted beige. They can still be neutral while greatly improving the look and feel of each room. Add white baseboards for additional style.

2. Install Higher Quality Flooring

If you’ve got hardwood under old carpet, rip up the carpet and refinish the floors. Sanding hardwoods is physically demanding. Make a mistake and you ruin the floor. Hire a pro to sand for $1 to $1.50 a foot and then do your own staining and sealing to save money. When carpet is your only option, buy the best padding. Mid-price carpeting will look and feel fine if the padding below it is thick.

3. Add Curb Appeal

First impressions make a huge difference. Perspective buyers tend to make up their mind before they walk into the house. So:

  • Trim your shrubs
  • Cut your grass
  • Place potted flowers at the entryway
  • Paint the front door
  • Invest in new doorknobs, a mailbox and house numbers

4. Upgrade Lighting

Update old light fixtures in the kitchen, bath and hallways. Buyers like brushed nickel, stainless steel or blown-glass light fixtures. Recessed lighting is also a huge selling point because it brightens up the room and creates a natural-looking light.

Copyright 2007 Hanley Wood, LLC. Reproduced by permission. 

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