Real Estate: Home Improvement Tips (1/2)

8 ways to help sellers make quick and affordable home-improvement fixes to appeal to buyers

Low-Cost Home Improvements for a Quick Sale

In a very competitive real estate market, one of the things that's vital to your success is how well your home shows in relation to the rest of the inventory for sale. There are simple things that you can do to improve your chances, and maybe put a few extra dollars in your pocket at the same time.

Maybe you're not even thinking about selling your home right now. When the time comes, however, these lost cost improvements could make a difference.

First impressions are always important so you want to make sure the entry to your home shines. As the buyer approaches the front door, the last thing they want to see is an old, worn door with cobwebs hanging from above.

Right off the bat, most buyers are going to assume that if the home is not well maintained on the exterior, the interior won't be much better.

1. The Entryway
Painting the front door or even replacing it if it's beyond help can make a real difference. A nice shiny door set always stands out. If you have vinyl siding and haven't cleaned it in a while, mildew, dirt and grime can accumulate. Giving it a quick spray can surprisingly make a big difference in your home's appearance.

2. Plant Some Color
Planting some flowers around the entryway can really make your property come alive. Choose a variety of colors that really stand out. Adding a few potted plants in a covered entry or a large enough stoop is always a nice touch, too.

3. Fix Up the Baths
While remodeling a bath is one of the best home improvement projects to get the most return on your investment, it may not work in your current budget. But if you have gold toilets and sinks from the 70s, it may be time to let go and move on to something that 99 percent of the population likes better.

Have a gold shower too? There are low-cost alternatives to ripping out the shower. There are specially made bath fitters that are designed to go over a shower. New faucets are another low-cost item that can make a difference. Silver and nickel are "in" right now; brass is less popular. Changing towel racks, toilet paper holders and shower heads are also nice touches for little expense.

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