Cheap Repairs, Big Profits
You want the most profit you can get for that property you sweat blood to buy. Is there anyway to improve your chances, without investing a lot more? Fortunately, there is.
Even a person not very skilled in carpentry, plumbing, and other traditional trades can improve the saleability of a property with modest effort and a few common tools.
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice when viewing your property is the condition of those around it. Encourage your neighbors to clear away children's toys, junk cars, or other unsightly objects before buyers come looking.
Offer to mow the lawns of those to the left and right, or take their trash to the dump as an incentive. A small cash offer on successful sale will also motivate cooperation.
At the same time, show them you're getting your own house in order. Mow the lawn carefully and repair any bare spots. Trim the edges. And invest in a few dozen inexpensive flowers and plants if the season permits it. The exterior is always what is seen first and first impressions linger.
Since a home inspection will almost always be done prior to a conclusive bargain being struck, take the opportunity to make those inexpensive plumbing repairs BEFORE showing the house. Some of the more expensive ones might wait, to be used as a bargaining chip. But fix that leaky sprinkler head that sprays the sidewalk and replace that dripping bathroom faucet.
Replacing carpeting throughout an entire house, or even one room, can be expensive. But getting it cleaned costs very little, typically. And repair any small damage or try to cover it with a piece of furniture. Eventually, you'll have to show every flaw when you have a concrete deal. But it needn't be the first thing they see. Replace those old welcome mats and small entrance rugs with new ones.
New screens are low priced and can make the exterior look fresh and new. To save even more, you can remake the screens with mesh and rubber kits, provided the frames are still in good shape.
Replace any cracked or broken windows. You'll usually have to do this anyway as part of closing the deal. Of course, all the windows should be cleaned thoroughly to give that shiny new feel. Even a brand new house that's dirty will fetch a lower price.
If you have air conditioning and heating ducts, replacing defective or worn conduits can get very costly. But many parts in a house that are not seen use silvered duct tape anyway, so patch any holes carefully to give a professional look. Replace old filters to give the appliances a newer look and the air a fresher smell.
A bit of spackle and a coat of paint on those rooms that have seen accidents needn't cost a lot and don't take a lot of effort. Be sure the work is done carefully, though, or it can come out looking worse than before you started.
A buyer that sees that you've made efforts to keep the property up will be more inclined to offer a better price. Think of the last time you bought a car. Didn't you favor the one that was well maintained? You were probably willing to pay a little extra to get that one. They will be too.