Home for sale? Try these 4 free DIY prep tips

If you are listing your home for sale, I have some good news. For most of the country, it’s a seller’s market.

With the demand for affordable housing outpacing the available supply, even if your house is the neighborhood’s diamond-in-the-rough, there’s a potential for multiple offers.

If you don’t have a renovation budget, realtors say there are things homeowners can do to make a good first impression, if they’re willing to put in a little elbow grease.

Here are four free DIY options.

Clean up: Do a deep clean. Take care of those neglected areas including baseboards, windows and blinds. Now is the time to shake out or even remove those dusty curtains, degrease the vent above the stovetop, wipe down all cabinets and make sure every inch of your home, both interior and exterior, shines like a diamond.

Declutter: Potential buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your space. That’s hard to do when navigating a maze of furniture. Pick up those area rugs and bathmats, and put extra seating, knickknack collections and anything but the basics into storage. The goal is to allow uncluttered floors to make the home’s square-footage the star. Closet space is an important must-have on the home buying checklist, so make sure your closets are organized and clutter-free.

Ramp up curb appeal: Sweep those cobwebs and tame overgrown lawns and shrubs. Have a few planters filled with colorful flowers by the entryway. Mulch the flowerbeds. Consider powerwashing your home’s exterior and driveway.

Set the Stage: According to a National Association of Realtors 2017 Home Staging survey, 62% of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market.Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents reported that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1% to 5%. The most commonly staged areas are the living room, kitchen and master bathroom. When it comes to staging, less is more. Clear tabletops and shelves of family mementos and replace them with just a showcase item, a scented candle or a vase of fresh flowers. Organize other decorative items in groups of three, arranging them by color, shape and texture. Remove all personal pictures that include any children (for security purposes). Don’t push furniture up against the wall. A small sofa or two chairs and a side table in the middle of a room not only create a cozy zone, they actually open up a room.

Myriam DiGiovanni

Myriam DiGiovanni

After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help ... Web: www.financialfeed.com Details

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