Everyone wants to get their home on and off the market as soon as possible. While you can’t always directly affect the speed of this process, you can make small upgrades and changes around the house that can subtly encourage buyers to move fast. Add these six upgrade ideas to your selling to-do list and take care of a few every weekend until you hit them all.
Install a Home Security System
A home security system will give the new homeowners better peace of mind, especially if they’re new to the area. Luckily, a home security system is easy to install and inexpensive—the best part: it sounds like an awesome bonus when you say you’ll throw it in for free with the purchase of the home.
To save money, but provide the new homeowners with a sufficient system, go the DIY route, which is inexpensive and allows you to add only the components you need. For example, with the home base installed, you can add outdoor security lighting, which every homeowner can appreciate as a simple, yet effective safety feature:
“Outdoor security lights offer a simple, yet effective way to protect your home by literally shining a light on the problem. And with the recent proliferation of solar, LED and motion-sensor security lighting options, you don’t have to rack up a high electric bill to feel secure,” says David Artman, CEO of The Home Security Super Store.
Other components to add include a window or door sensors—when someone opens either one, and the system is on, an alarm will sound. You could even install a smart lock on the front door; most brands can connect with wireless security systems.
Invest in Eco-Friendly Features
Everyone wants to save money wherever they can, and eco-friendly features can help homeowners significantly reduce energy bills. If you’re not ready to splurge on expensive upgrades like a new toilet or water system, try these ideas instead.
- New fireplace doors: Fireplace doors are both decorative and functional, stopping air from going out the chimney or coming down into your home, says Sam Wilhoit, of Brick Anew.
- Glaze and calk old windows: This is another simple way to reduce airflow and therefore the cost of heating and A/C. Glaze around the glass and calk the framing for a simple afternoon project.
- Insulate your attic: While this is a time-consuming job, it’s one you can do on your own and all for less than $1,500. The best part: you can tell potential buyers that the new insulation will cut their heating and cooling bills by as much as $600 per year, according to HouseLogic.
Boost Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is everything when selling your home and can boost the perceived value to the tune of $4,750 to $5,000, according to a 2016 report by the National Association of Realtors.
Here are a few ways to boost your home’s curb appeal:
- Siding: Add a fresh coat of paint to your home or make it look new by renting a power washer for the day. Sometimes you just need to get rid of accumulated dirt and grime to let your home shine.
- Mow the lawn: A simple trip around the yard with a mower and weed whacker will make your home look more put together. Don’t forget to clean up any toys in the yard to reduce the clutter.
- Install a fence: “Not only does it add visual punch to your property, appraisers will give extra value to a fence in good condition, although it has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community,” according to 8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home.
Add New Detail Elements
An updated look can go a long way in speeding up the sale of your home, especially if the home is older—and this won’t take a lot of time or money to execute: “If your kitchen and bathrooms are older, you can give them an updated look with a few inexpensive upgrades, including new light fixtures, faucets, and cabinet pulls. Don’t spend more than a few hundred dollars on updates to make your home more attractive though, as it’s unlikely that you’ll see a return on that investment,” according to What to Fix Before Selling A House.
These small details are often what buyers remember most because they see and use them in their everyday lives.
Build a Patio (Or Upgrade Your Existing One)
Buyers want to envision themselves living in the home, and a patio is a great way to set the scene for them. If you already have one, re-stain or re-paint it, to give it a fresh look. Also, consider investing in new furniture. While you’ll take this with you to your new home, the idea is to give potential buyers that luxurious and comfortable feeling.
If you don’t have a patio, consider building one. You can add a traditional patio or deck, built with wood or create a stone “deck” like the one you see below. You can line it with bushes or flowerpots to boost aesthetic and appeal. Don’t forget to add seating and other accessories like a table or outdoor fire pit, even if you plan to return it after the home sells.
Open Up Small Spaces
Impress buyers who are reluctant about the square footage of your home by making small upgrades that open up the home, all without knocking down any walls. For example, mirrors help make a space feel much bigger, along with light-colored paint, think pastels and various shades of white.
You can also swap out your current curtains for a sheer option. This lets in more light, which also increases how large the home or room feels. Exacerbate this effect with the right amount of indoor lighting as well:
“The starting point of any room is to make sure you have at least three working lights in every room. This doesn’t include a small, dim, renter grade bulb sticking out of the center of the ceiling. The light should be low down, indirect and allow your eye to move about the room,” explain experts at Apartment Therapy.
Making the Sale
These small upgrades can make all the difference when selling your home. If you want to get out fast, add them to your to-do list, and make sure you or your realtor points them out as potential buyers tour the home.