13 Cost-Effective Ways to Get Your House Ready for Sale

Looking to Sell? Here are 13 Cost Effective Improvements:

You have deep cleaned, de-cluttered, put away personal items,  spruced up your landscaping, placed slipcovers on your worn sofa, cleaned the carpets, washed the windows, put out a new welcome mat, now:  what else can you do to get your house ready for sale  within a reasonable budget?

  1. Door Handles- If you have brass, tulip-shaped doorknobs from the 1960’s, they are probably dull and corroded by now. Replacing them with modern satin nickel lever handles is quite easy, as  you can use the existing  holes to install them.
  2. Paint Kitchen Cabinets- If you have  older flat panel oak doors on your kitchen cabinets, you can paint then white or gray. It’s not hard.  First give them a light sanding with  fine grade sandpaper. Then, after removing the cabinet pulls, using a small roller with a 1/8 inch nap, prime the cabinets with Zinsser shellac primer, and after they dry give it two coats of a white or gray oil base paint. Be sure to paint the edges of the doors, and any part of the cabinet fronts that show. Whether you a paint the interior is optional.
  3. Kitchen Cabinet Pulls-  You can get new pulls in a great variety of styles on Amazon or Ebay.  Just be sure to measure the distance between the holes on the cabinets. The most common distances are  3 inches and 3.5 inches.
  4. Painting the whole interior is usually desirable, but if your budget does not allow it,  cleaning smudges off the walls is a viable alternative.  One product I have found that works well is “Magic Eraser Extra Durable” by Mr. Clean. It should be available in any hardware or big box home store. If you do decide to paint, not painting the ceiling can save you up to 1/3 of the cost.
  5. Do you have a long corridor that leads to the bedrooms? Why not make that into a picture gallery? All it takes is installing a track light along the corridor, with individual light heads spotlighting each picture.  You probably already have a ceiling light there, and the track light can use that electrical box as a feed.
  6. Check your electrical outlets.  If some of them can only accommodate 2-prong plugs, they need to be updated for 3-prong plugs. This is a job for an electrician, but it is an easy fix.  You might also consider changing all of them to the modern “Decora” style outlets and rocker switches, or at the very least change the outlet and switch cover plates, if they are worn or painted over.
  7. If your kitchen floor is worn, you might consider re-tiling with modern vinyl tiles that look very much like ceramic tiles,  even  to the point of imitating grout lines. They are self-stick, very easy to apply, and can go right over the existing tile.  Available at  tile stores or big box home stores.
  8. If you have a vintage home, with ornate door hardware, consider  having the knobs professionally cleaned, and then            lacquered, for a lasting finish.
  9. 9.     If your kitchen cabinets have no under cabinet lights,  this might be the time to install LED battery                 operated lights.  It’s an easy DIY project, as they attached with a glue strip.  No electrician needed!
  10. Paint or refinish your front door. First impressions are important. If you’re in a house,  planters                 with flowers on  either side of the door  will brighten things up.
  11. If your walls are bare, consider buying some inexpensive framed posters.  If you are doing a picture gallery down your main corridor, they’ll be perfect.  Some are carried by Michaels, Ikea, and the big box home improvement stores.
  12. If you are selling a vacant house, and don’t want to go to the expenses of buying or renting furniture to “stage” it, consider  just putting in some inexpensive rugs and large potted plants, such as carried by the  big box home improvement stores.  You might also put some posters on the wall.
  13. Take a look at the house numbers on the front.  If they are worn or faded, it is very inexpensive to replace them. Also take a look at your mailbox  with an eye towards replacing it also.

So there you have it.  For a cost of from $1,000 to $1,400 if you do the work yourself, or a cost of from $4,100 to $5,900 if the work is all hired out,  you can greatly increase your chances of a quick  and trouble free sale.

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