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12 Improvements That Will Increase Your Home’s Selling Price

Selling soon? You’re about to learn that when it comes to selling a house, you can judge a book by its cover. Some call it curb appeal. I call it the little things that get potential buyers through the front door, and that’s what matters most.

If you have a limited budget — and these days, who doesn’t? — here are 12 home improvements to help you sell your house for the highest price.

No. 1: Refresh the landscape. Spread new mulch in flower beds and around the base of trees. Lay down new sod; swap out failing bushes with fresh ones. Introduce color, either in the flower beds or with potted flowers. Even a small touch can make such a big difference.

No. 2: Spruce up the entrance. Invest in a new front door or give the current one a fresh coat of paint. Make sure the porch is immaculately clean. If your house number and mailbox appear worn, consider replacing them.

No. 3: Swap your light fixtures and plumbing fixtures. If yours are no longer in style, change them out. Let your local home improvement store be your guide for what is most popular now. Updating old ceiling lights and bathroom faucets can give your home a modern look without breaking the bank.

No. 4: Clarify space to clear up confusion. Make sure to fix any areas that might leave potential buyers puzzled. If you have an unusual alcove, consider adding a desk or a dresser to show how the space can be utilized most effectively. Many homes have quirks or issues that can be fixed visually, so don’t leave potential buyers wondering.

No. 5: Think about removing popcorn ceilings. Some people may be deterred by these ceilings, but be cautious because those in homes built before 1979 may contain asbestos. This isn’t a DIY task, so you should hire a licensed professional to handle it. For newer ceilings, you can wet and scrape them. Alternatively, if the ceilings are high enough, consider placing drywall over them to create new ceilings.

No. 6: Take down window treatments, unless they’re modern and of high quality. This reduces the chance of discouraging potential buyers with different tastes. Uncovered windows also allow more natural light into the rooms. As Christian advises, you can’t predict what buyers prefer when it comes to window coverings. If you have a contract, you can always offer the window treatments you removed.

No. 7: Opt for partial renovations. Instead of completely overhauling an outdated bathroom, think about getting a new vanity and updating the current bathtub’s appearance. In the kitchen, keep the existing cabinets but swap out the countertops and hardware.

No. 8: Revert rooms to their original purposes. If your dining room has become an office, convert it back to a dining room. If your third bedroom serves as an office, transform it back into a bedroom. You can still showcase a photo of the room’s alternative potential use.

No. 9: Replace the stained or shabby carpet. You can attempt cleaning it initially, but buyers are usually put off by dirty carpets. In certain situations, it’s more advantageous to remove the carpet if it’s covering up hardwood.

No. 10: Remove personal touches. This involves storing family photos and clearing the refrigerator of children’s drawings (and any other personal items). You want prospective buyers to imagine their own family living in the house.

No. 11: Clean meticulously. Give the entire house a thorough cleaning before listing it to make everything sparkle. Don’t forget to clean the windows.

No. 12: Repaint. While your daughter may adore her pink room, potential buyers won’t. Choose neutral colors for all rooms. A fresh coat of paint also gives the house a more contemporary and updated appearance.

It goes without saying, but let me say it anyway: You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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