Help Selling Your Stark / Summit County Home

25 Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

Make your home more appealing for yourself and for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:

  1. Trim bushes so they don't block windows and cut down on light.
  2. Buy a new doormat.
  3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
  4. Put new doorknobs on your front door.
  5. Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
  6. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
  7. Keep your garden tools out of site.
  8. Be sure kids put away their toys.
  9. Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
  10. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.
  11. Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression that the house isn't well maintained.
  12. Buy a new mailbox.
  13. Upgrade your outside lighting.
  14. Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs. Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel.
  15. Polish or replace your house numbers.
  16. Clean your gutters.
  17. Put out potpourri or burn scented candles.
  18. Buy new pillows for the sofa.
  19. Buy a flowering plant and put in a window you pass by frequently.
  20. Make a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers.
  21. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
  22. Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.
  23. Buy and hang new towels.
  24. Put a seasonal wreath on your door.
  25. Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale

  1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property's realistic price range.
  2. Get your house market ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
  3. Be flexible about showings. It's often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you'll find a seller.
  4. Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you'll find acceptable.
  5. Don't refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price.

Remodeling

Upgrading your home is always appealing, but which enhancements really get you a good return for your money when it's time to sell? A 2003 survey by Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR® Magazine has the answer.

12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

  1. Get at least three written estimates.
  2. Get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.
  3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
  5. Make as small a down payment as possible so you won't lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
  6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
  7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn't. Also remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
  8. Ask if the contractor's workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do part.
  9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
  10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
  11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.
  12. Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the work.

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