Tips for Selling a Fix Up House

Sometimes it's better to sell your home "as is" than to spend money on expensive fix up costs.

Looking to sell your home but worried about the condition it's in? You may be better off reducing the price than paying for expensive upgrades. And by making a few minor improvements, you may even be able to get close to market price. Here's how to attract potential buyers:

Tidy up
Get rid of distractions to the main draw -- your house. Clean up clutter on counters, tabletops and floors -- including family photos and collectibles. Organize your closets. Put away children's toys. And get rid of excess furniture to make rooms appear more spacious, even if you have to put it in storage for a few weeks.

Keep it clean
Make sure your kitchen, bathroom, appliances, windows, skylights and floors are spotless. Have the carpets professionally cleaned (or remove stained area rugs, if there's solid hardwood underneath). Clean dingy curtains, or take them down and put plants in the windows. Allow plenty of room for natural light to flood in.

Make minor cosmetic improvements
You'll be amazed how much more appealing your place will look if you repair cracked drywall, replace broken light switches, put a fresh coat of neutral color paint on all the walls and install light bulbs with the maximum wattage your fixtures will safely allow.

Add curb appeal
Welcome people in with a light over the door, clean drain gutters, a well-tended garden, a mowed front lawn (or shovelled driveway) and a front walk and steps in good repair.

Create a pleasant atmosphere
Light the fire, bake cookies and put out fresh flowers. Offensive odors can turn potential buyers off instantly. Pleasant smells have the opposite effect.

Make sure the plumbing works
Fix any broken faucets or defective toilets. You needn't spend a fortune on expensive bathroom upgrades but make sure the basic plumbing is functioning properly.

Get rid of infestation
You should do this for your own health and safety, not just to sell your place. Call in a pest-control company if you have termites, cockroaches or mice. And keep the documentation for potential buyers.

Ask your real estate professional for more advice
A real estate agent may be able to suggest ways you can "stage" your home to make it look as appealing as possible. He or she may also be able to provide tips on how to invest a few hundred dollars to get thousands more back in your selling price.

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Hiring home inspectors has advantages for both home buyers and home sellers. Home sellers that hire a home inspector can be proactive about making the repairs necessary to help their homes sell more quickly. Home buyers can feel confident that the home they buy is not in need of any major or minor structural work. 

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