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7 Selling Improvements For Under $500

The housing market is seeing some extraordinary activity, and, even though values are rising, buyers are out in force. With distressed properties making-up a smaller percentage of active listings, that too, is causing home prices to rise. Home buyers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates, a variety of new loan products, loosened lending requirements, new FICO credit modeling, and still relatively low prices. All of these factors are causing more homeowners to put their properties up-for-sale, attempting to time the market in a smart way.

However, just because the market is heating-up and lenders are more eager to approve mortgages, doesn't necessarily mean that your particular property will sell. That is, sell in its current condition. Buyers are critical by nature, after all, it's a purchase that comes at a high cost, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Research demonstrates that over 90 percent of all home searches begin on the internet, and, buyers form impressions of homes in just 7 to 10 seconds.

While the listing photos might be enough to put your property on their "must see" lists, it can quickly become one that doesn't pique their interests when seen in-person. You must put yourself in a buyer's frame of mind. This notion might not be a welcome one, but it's completely necessary. Home sellers, understandably, incur enough costs, and don't relish having to spend more. However, if you are sincere about selling, you do need to make improvements. Fortunately, there are seven key fixes that come at under $500.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

One of the most important aspects of getting buyers through the door is to price your home to sell. Not necessarily to sell quickly at a small or deep discount, but to actually entice qualified buyers to make genuine offers. Some homeowners believe that it's as simple as basing their asking price on similar homes that are currently on the market. The problem with this thinking is, it doesn't take into account similar homes that recently sold. There might be a price difference, significant enough to warrant an adjustment.
While curb appeal gets buyers in the door, sellers who want to move their homes quickly need to take other steps. The strategy varies by neighborhood and market conditions, but staging a house to appeal to the maximum number of buyers can make a difference in how fast the home sells. --U.S. News and World Report

It's also important to understand the dynamics of the local market. If a particular neighborhood is hot, the prices will likewise rise along with the market. In other words, your listing price should be based on more than one thing. Speak with your listing agent to learn about current local market conditions and what's likely ahead. You might just be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.

7 Selling Improvements for Under $500

To sell your home for the most money and sell it faster than the competition, it has to be in its best condition. Fortunately, there are seven easy fixes you can do for under $500, and, without a lot of time and effort:

  1. Clear and clean (cost: $0). For a little effort and no cost, you can declutter, depersonalize, and deep clean your entire home from top to bottom. Clear the closets and cabinets down to about 30 percent full, depersonalize every room, and, clean every nook and cranny.

  2. Brush on a fresh coat of paint, at least in a couple of rooms (cost: $200). A fresh coat of neutral, light colored interior paint will go a long way and give your home a more open, welcoming look. Take you time and do a neat job so it isn't a waste of money.

  3. Refresh your curb appeal (cost: $50). You can usually find free mulch at the county parks or from the city to give your landscape a bit more color. Better yet, is to buy a few colorful flowers and plants to make the curb appeal really pop. Top it all off with a pressure wash and a new welcome mat for maximum impact.

  4. Cozy-up the living room (cost: $50). Patterned pillows and super-soft throws won't cost much, but will have a big effect. You can also purchase a couple of baskets for easy and aesthetic storage of remotes and magazines and books.

  5. Refresh the kitchen (cost: $75). New pulls and hinges on the kitchen cabinets will do a lot to transform the space. Purchase a few new towels and clear the countertops as much as possible to give a sense of plenty of space. A vase with fresh flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit are also nice details.

  6. Fluff the master bedroom (cost: $100). Get out to the nearest discount store and dress-up your master bedroom with new bedding and some throw pillows. These small changes will do much to make the master bedroom look cozy.

  7. Freshen the bathroom (cost: $25). Clean every inch of your bathroom and then add some simple touches. A few new decorative and colorful soaps, along with a new shower curtain and liner, and, new towels, will do the trick nicely.