Renovate to Sell (Part IV): Small Fixes That Make a HUGE Difference

Image by Fran Gambín

We have learned why you should never undertake a large renovation.  We have also addressed the large fixes that you might consider doing prior to marketing your space.

Here is a list of things that every space benefits from, even the most pristine.

1)  Brighten it up with a crisp coat of paint.  Check out my painting tips here. I beg you to paint over wall paneling from the 70s and 80s.  Brighten it up. Sometimes you can ignore this tip if you have painted in neutral colors within the past year.

2)  Declutter and depersonalize!  Remove half of your belongings.  Make your closets look nice, as if there’s too much storage in the apartment.  There should be one-to-three inches of space in between your hangers!  Decluttering could also involve removing or replacing furniture to open the space up.  You can borrow smaller furniture or purchase inexpensive Ikea solutions so that the space makes more sense.  Remove traces of your life.  A buyer should never see family photos, monogrammed towels, etc.  To make the place feel more alive, add lots of healthy plants, maybe some fish, fruit on the counter, a newspaper.

3)  Buy something nice to function as a catch-all.  You need a space in which to toss your belongings before last-minute showings.  Good options are storage benches, ottomans, and under-the-bed storage containers.

4)   Deep clean your space and keep it that way.  Clean windows will make your home sparkle!

5)  Reconfigure the space to make it multi-functional.  Is your dining room large enough to accommodate a home office or a wet bar?  Set it up that way.  Don’t presume that a buyer can use her imagination to fill in the blanks.

6)  Make it smell neutral.  If you can’t do that, make it delicious.  Some fragrances can turn some people off.  It is best to use natural scents.  Potpourri on the stove can work wonders.  You live in the house and may not be aware of any smell issues.  Ask a painfully honest neighbor with a “fresh nose” to come over and give it a sniff.

Image by Fran Gambín

What must-do tips do you have for sellers?