Home sales are expected to reach an all-decade high this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. So if you're about to sell your home, Consumer Reports has some thrifty tips that will help.
Start in the rooms that are most important to buyers: your kitchen and bathroom. Realtors surveyed by Consumer Reports said the costliest mistake a seller can make is ignoring grime, odors and clutter. So clean these rooms up and clear the counters. Tighten up any loose handles and fix drippy faucets.
If you have an outdated bathroom, the money spent there on a small countertop or new flooring can boost your sale price by two to three percent. A porcelain flooring is inexpensive and good-looking. Lumber Liquidator's Brazilian Cherry got top scores in CR's durability tests.
Realtors surveyed by Consumer Reports agreed it doesn't pay to paint all your rooms. Instead, just cover up bold colors and give your front door a coat of paint in a welcoming color. For about $40 you can buy a gallon of top-rated paint that will cover a small room in just one coat. CR says interior paint from Behr got excellent ratings for coverage and scrubbability.
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As for the rest of the house? Realtors say buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house, not you. Some things to remove are family photos, personal items, perhaps some specific reading material – you want to make the home as neutral as possible. Put as much as you can into boxes in the basement or garage, and get rid of any bulky furniture that's not moving to your new place.
Another free fix: before showing your house, open up the shades and curtains and shine some light on your space.