There's no need to spend a ton of money remodeling your home before you sell. A few key improvements could significantly increase your selling price and make for a faster home sale.

Key Improvements

The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 sq. ft. of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Furthermore, improvements should reflect community preferences.

Cosmetic improvements - paint, wallpaper and landscaping - help a home "show" better and often are good investments. Mechanical repairs - to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition - are required to get a top price.

Ideally, you want to be sure that your property is competitive with other homes available in the community. Your local Coldwell Banker Welcome Home Realty Real Esate Agent who has seen numerous homes, can provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.

Curb Appeal

Below is a concise punch list with key items that could significantly increase your selling price and make for a faster home sale:

  • Keep your front entrance well-maintained
  • Repaint your front door
  • Repaint or replace door hardware
  • Repaint or replace house numbers to make them easy to see
  • Repaint the mailbox
  • Make sure the doorbell works
  • Repaint or replace stair railings
  • Do a little landscaping
  • Garden beds need to be well defined and freshly mulched
  • Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees
  • Add a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near the front entrance
  • Take care of other exterior features
  • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint; keep the windows clean and free of spider webs and vines
  • Clean, align and secure the gutters
  • Inspect and clean the chimney
  • Keep shutters in good condition, freshly painted and hung straight
  • Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles
  • Repair or repaint loose siding and caulking
  • Keep the garage door closed

Walk into Something Wonderful

  • Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the carpets and wash the walls.
  • If the walls and carpet are especially dingy or brightly colored, repaint or re-carpet with a neutral shade, such as off-white or beige.
  • Get rid of the clutter and make your house appear bigger and brighter.
  • Rent a storage unit
  • Have a garage sale!
  • Donate your excess "stuff" to charity
  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint and tiles
  • Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork
  • Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems
  • Repair dripping faucets and showerheads
  • Re-caulk bathroom shower or tub if necessary
  • Spruce up a kitchen or bathroom with new cabinet knobs, curtains and towels
  • Repair anything that could be construed as dry rot
  • Repair a leaking roof or wet basement
  • Make sure every electrical outlet and light switch is in working order
  • Replace all lightbulbs with the maximum wattage bulb permissible. Light sells!