Last week I introduced Part I of No Cost Ways to Improve a Home.  To recap, they were:  

  • Curb appeal enhancement
  • Decluttering
  • Clean, clean and clean some more
  • Lighten and brighten
  • Eliminate odors

In Part II of this series, here are FIVE more things that can be done at no cost:

  1. Depersonalizing – You may be proud of photos of your children, their artwork, your trophies and diplomas, as well as your collection of antique salt and pepper shakers, but buyers will not be able to imagine themselves living in your home if your home reminds them too much of YOU! 
  2. Define the space – while the dining room works perfectly well for you as your home office, once the home is on the market, you don’t want buyers to be left to figure out that the space with the desk and computer in it is actually a dining room or dining area.  And the living room should be just that, a place to entertain and relax – not a play or storage area for children’s toys. This will lead buyers to think there’s inadequate space or storage for theirchildren. 
  3. Basic maintenance and repairs – don’t think that buyers won’t notice a light switch that doesn’t work, a drip in the tub, or a cabinet door that doesn’t shut properly.  Buyers will think two things: 1) “If the owner can’t fix these minor things, what larger problems does this house have?” and, 2) “I wonder how much I can deduct from the asking price because of all of these needed repairs?”. 
  4. Master Bedroom – Bedrooms should feel like sanctuaries for rest and relaxation.  Think HOTEL when reviewing and enhancing yours. Make sure it’s easy to walk around the bed, so get rid of excess furniture.  Clear nightstands and dressers of clutter.   Make sure linens are clean and fresh and the bed neatly made.  Closets must be clean, organized and as sparsely filled as possible. Let in the natural light.
  5. Kitchens and bathrooms   …sell houses.  We’ve all heard this before. Both should be sparkling clean.  Clear the kitchen counters of clutter, including appliances.  It will make the counters appear to be more spacious. Go through the kitchen cabinets and discard or pack away unused items, neatly place remaining items and even go so far as to organize pantry items such as jars, boxes and spices by type and size, with labels all facing out.  Take the magnets and everything underneath them off the refrigerator. Bathrooms should appear as if they belonged in a hotel, so that means storing away your shampoo and toiletries during showings, and displaying the nice, fluffy show towels. Toilet lid down and wastebaskets emptied.  Plungers and cleaning supplies off the floor.

Staging a home for sale doesn’t mean money has to be spent.