Mar
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Prepare Your Home for the Spring Market on a Budget

March 11, 2016
Fixing up your home for the spring market on a budget can be done!

Fixing up your home for the spring market on a budget can be done!

The spring market is in full swing in the Chicago area! Are you are putting your home on the market within the next month or so?  After speaking with your realtor, you might have realized that you don’t have the budget for all the ideas he or she has to help your home sell. For example, painting, replacing the carpet, new kitchen counters, and a new tile floor in the bathroom.

Don’t panic! A small budget shouldn’t discourage you from making your home appealing to potential buyers. Take a look around and prioritize which improvements are the most important. Bathrooms generally need the least amount of time because buyers usually don’t spend more than a few seconds glancing into it.

Once you’ve prioritized your improvements, ask a good friend or neighbor to come over and take a look around and tell you what they see. You need an objective opinion, and because you live in your home, you might not notice issues that potential buyers will focus on.

Start with the exterior:

As potential buyers come to your house, the exterior of your home gives them a first impression. Making sure your yard looks presentable is the first step. Start by trimming any bushes and trees, especially any that are blocking the windows. Here are a few exterior projects to help get you started:

  • Experts agree that the color yellow sells. Take the time to plant yellow flowers, such as marigolds, by the front door or along the walk.
  • Keep up with mowing the lawn.
  • Replace or paint the mailbox.
  • Make sure the exterior windows are washed.
  • Power spray the house to remove any cobwebs and dirt.
  • Replace the front door or get new hardware.
  • Purchase a new welcome mat for the front door
  • Replace or wash your front light fixture.
  • Buy a plaque displaying your house number and place it near your front door. Or paint the number on the curb. This will make it easier for potential buyer to find your home.

Interior cleaning:

Thoroughly clean the house before putting it on the market. Professional cleaners can be costly, so clean it yourself and save the money.Here is a list of areas to clean inside the house:

  • Dust the window frames and the tops of all the doorways.
  • Wash all the ceiling fan blades and the coverings over the light fixtures.
  • Rent a carpet steamer and clean all the carpets before deciding whether to replace them. After you have cleaned them, you might find that they don’t need to be replaced.
  • Polish all the floors throughout your house.

Removing any excess furniture and clutter can also make the rooms in your home look bigger. Almost everyone can say that they have too much clutter in their home. Instead of paying a monthly fee for a storage unit, neatly organize the excess items in the garage.

Once some of the items are removed, scan each room for any areas that need to be repaired. Patch any holes in the walls from pictures that you have taken down. If you prefer, hang impersonal artwork on the nails.

Cleaning out the closets is also important. Take out any items you don’t need to clear up some clutter.  Do the same in the kitchen cabinets and organize the remaining items.

The kitchen:

Even if your potential buyer doesn’t cook much, the kitchen is still the main room of any home. This is where you will gather with family and friends, making the kitchen the heart of any home. Here are some kitchen updates on a budget:

  • Replace the kitchen faucet if it is worn. This can cost between $100 and $200.
  • If you have wood cabinets that look worn, try stripping the finish and re-staining.
  • Kitchen counters and backsplashes must look clean and fresh, too. If new granite counters are not within your budget, consider re-grouting around the tiles. If you would like to freshen up the look, visit your local hardware store and get estimates on granite tiles.
  • Giving your sink a fresh look without replacing it can help as well. You can purchase new basket strainers for less than $25 each,..
  • Another way to update the kitchen is purchasing new hardware for the cabinets and drawers. Updated finishes can transform the kitchen and make it feel brand-new.

These are just a few ideas to prepare your home for the spring market when you are on a budget. These are some easy fixes for both the exterior and interior of your home that can be done in just a couple of weeks. These little touches can make your home appealing to any potential buyer.

Leave a comment below letting us know any other tips that you have for fixing up your home to sell when you were on a budget.

For more information on Chicago real estate, visit www.ChicagoRealEstateForum.com.

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Lauren Pond

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