Friday, September 1, 2023

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Home Repairs and Improvements to Boost Value and Prepare Your Sacramento Home for Sale

Whether vacant or occupied, most homes will benefit from cost-effective minor repairs or improvements that will enhance your home's appeal to potential home buyers. Preparing your Sacramento home for sale doesn't have to break the bank. In my experience helping Sacramento sellers prepare their homes for sale, here are the top 10 budget-friendly upgrades that can help you maximize your home's value and make it more enticing to prospective buyers

As a note -- as you work through the to-do list to prepare your home for sale, maintain a running record of what you have done to add to your property disclosures. Also, it is worth mentioning that while these cosmetic improvements go a long way to help your home visually appeal to buyers, I strongly recommend performing some pre-listing inspections as well for the sake of disclosure -- I wrote a separate post about that. I welcome your call (916-342-1372) if you have any questions and to see if we are a fit to work together. I also have a full slate of professionals who can assist in tackling a lot of pre-listing to-do's.

(1) Deep Cleaning: Let's start with the basics. A sparkling clean home is just flat out more appealing to home buyers. At the most basic level, roll up your sleeves and thoroughly clean the house. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to tackle those hard-to-reach spots and ensure your home is spotless for showings. 

(2) Declutter and Depersonalize: A seller client I recently met with said she was going to try to make her home look like an "AirBnb" unit - stylishly minimalist. This is the perfect way to think about it. Decluttering is really key and costs little to nothing just to pack and put things away (something you will need to do anyway eventually) -- or you might even make a few bucks if you have a garage sale. Less is more. Remove excess furniture and personal items, or rearrange furniture if necessary -- creating a clean, open space that allows buyers to envision their own belongings in the home. 

(3) Refresh Interior Paint: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in transforming the look and feel of your home. It is usually not necessary to paint the entire interior of a home. Typically I would suggest focusing on high-traffic areas and possibly neutralizing loud colors -- painting rooms entirely white is actually the trend at the moment and will create a crisp, clean look. If you think just a simple touch-up may work well, test a small area first and let it dry before you invest a lot of time with touch-up. Oftentimes touch-up will be more work than just repainting an entire wall and may look muddled or worse than before. 

(4) Enhance Curb Appeal: First impressions matter. Spend some effort to improve your home's curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint on the exterior of the front door or on the front window trim goes a long way to brighten things up. Planting colorful flowers, trimming overgrown bushes, and adding a fresh layer of mulch to your garden beds can significantly enhance your home's exterior. 

(5) Touch-Up Exterior Landscape: In addition to curb appeal, invest in small landscaping projects like trimming trees, mowing the lawn, and filling in any bare spots with grass seed. A well-maintained yard adds value. 

(6) Update Plugs and Switches: Replace your dingy almond colored light switches and plugs with new white ones. The before and after appearance will really shock you (pun intended). 

(7) Replace Fixtures: Replacing outdated light fixtures, faucets, or doorknobs and hinges can give your home a more modern and cohesive look. You'd be surprised how much of a difference this can make. 

(8) Minor Kitchen Updates: While a kitchen remodel can be costly, there are budget-friendly ways to refresh this crucial selling point. Consider painting or restaining cabinets, updating cabinet door and drawer hardware, or adding a backsplash for a more contemporary look. 

(9) Repair Leaks and Drips: Fix any leaky faucets or running toilets. Do not forget to look at your exterior hose bibs and sprinkler heads as well. These minor plumbing issues may seem insignificant but can signal to buyers that there are larger maintenance problems lurking. Plumbing leaks can also be the cause of future damage, so best to knock those out as soon as you can anyway.

(10) Enhance Lighting: Nice ambient lighting can make your home feel more spacious and inviting. Replace burnt out bulbs with new ones. Replace old bulbs with brighter, energy-efficient ones, and consider adding inexpensive floor or table lamps in darker areas. Note -- ensure all of the bulbs in each room emit the same color temperature. "Soft White" tends to be warm and yellowish. However "Daylight" tends to has a more bluish tone. If you combine different colors in the same room, the lighting will be distracting to look at.

Preparing your Sacramento home for sale on a budget is entirely possible, and these 10 cost-effective strategic improvements are a great place to start. With a little time and effort, you can significantly increase your home's appeal to potential buyers and potentially raise its value. Ideally, sellers should strive to present a well-maintained, clean and inviting space. 

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