Which home improvements will make your home sell better and at the highest price? The answers could fill a library!

The survey from Realtor.com reports that sellers and Realtors agree that improvements help in getting both a higher sales price and a shorter marketing time.Kitchens, baths, landscaping are all mentioned as hot areas. Realtors, according to the survey, recommend painting, organizing, and landscaping.

On every listing appointment, I’m asked by the sellers what I would recommend. I seldom recommend high-priced improvements. So much can be accomplished with very little money, as long as it’s well spent.

Remember, you’re not going to sell for significantly more than the comparable sales in your area. Sellers’ goals should be to sell at the TOP of the comparable range, and in as short a time as possible.

How do you accomplish that?

And how do you do it for as little money as possible?

Here are my 5  tips for getting ready for sale:

1. Repair all broken items in the home – windows, doors, appliances, wood floors, etc

2. Paint!  Giving a fresh coat on the outside,  like window trim, handrails, or doors, can make a huge difference. Inside, paint can neutralize a room, making it possible for buyers to visualize their belongings in the home. Paint makes the home clean and fresh, and it can minimize dings in the doors and moldings, making them appear newer.

3.  Stage the home. Staging includes de-cluttering, organizing, moving furniture.  Usually, we work with what the seller already owns, moving it around to show off the home’s space, light, and best qualities.

4. Clean! This seems obvious, but you would be surprised just how important and overlooked this step is. If you can’t do it, hire a professional. The home should sparkle — including ovens and refrigerator.

5. Get rid of all smells! If you have read The Power of Habits, you know that P&G discovered that homeowners don’t realize what their homes smell like – they’re used to it. Visitors smell what homeowners don’t, so sellers need to proactively get rid of smells, even if they think their home isn’t an offender.

I highly recommend AGAINST traditional smell cover-ups — too much lavender, bleach, or gardenia – like scents will hurt your cause, too. Instead, I suggest using Fresh Wave or odor-free Febreze. Neutralize odors – don’t add more on top. Odor-free is “IN”, and while you may be tempted to overwhelm your house with bread or cookie baking smells, it’s just best to keep it simple.

Other sources for home staging:

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