January 29, 2010, 5:34 am

Preparing Your House For a Better Sale

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Properties
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The other day, I was talking about how I picture my perfect house and what I would like to see in it. While I am definitely not convinced we will pursue the cause and purchase a new home in the next year, I thought I would upgrade a few details in our current home to improve it.  In this way, we will be able to sell it quickly and for a higher price if I ever need to.

We spend a lot of time in our house yet we are often ‘too busy’ to make changes; to paint or to keep it fresh and up to date.  We have been living in the same house for 3 and a half years and the rooms were last painted 8 years ago. While the choice of colors was great, it starts to lose its depth and freshness after so many years. Some rooms definitely need some improvements ;-). So before we sell our house, there are a few things to look at.

As is the case for most projects, I thought of sharing the changes we have in mind. The best aspect of all is that most of them don’t cost much to do and add a lot to the look of the property. Since most people buy because they fell in love with the house, you are best served making those small improvements so you can sell faster and make more money 😉


While fresh paint is often quite obvious, it is often ignored or abused. If you are thinking about selling, you want your house to look impeccable. Fresh paint gives this feeling of “new”. Instead of going with colors demonstrate your individualis, go with neutral tints that match the look of your house (classic, modern, etc.). A new look on the first floor should be your priority. Those are the first rooms your potential buyers will walk into. You want to create a good impression ;-).


Luminosity equals a feeling of space when you walk into a house. This is why you should select light colors on your walls and avoid heavy and dark curtains. You want to give the impression that there is plenty of light, and therefore space in each room. Don’t hesitate to add lighting if you don’t have many windows.


I’ll probably sell my old sofas and my dining room set and buy new ones before I move to my next house. While I take the risk they won’t fit into my new home, they will help creating a nice ambiance on the first floor. Since I am seriously done with my kitchen table (it is at least 25 years old and show the war wounds to prove it!)  I don’t really see this as an expense incurred to sell my house but more as a necessary upgrade to our lifestyle in any case.

Adding storage space

You can never have too much storge space! Think about unused areas of your house and look at ways to add a cabinet to improve its storage abilities while reducing clutter. I am exploring the addition of a second set of shelves over the existing ones I have in my laundry room. I have a high ceiling but nothing over the washing machine. This will help us by hiding the Christmas decoration boxes ;-).

One last point…

If I realized that I can pay back my parents on time, I will probably complete an overall facelift in my living room. I would like to add a fireplace and completely change the appearance of its decor. Since this is the first room to strike your eye when you enter the house, it will give an awesome first impression to the future buyers. However, if I want to do everything I want in the living room, the bill may approach $4,000… I’m not sure if it’s worth it or not…

What do you think?  Please offer comments, suggestions.  I appreciate any and ideas during this brainstorming period…

image source: mescon

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Nice thread.

I sold my first home on the basis that it needed a LOT of work/renovations and I figured if I could sell it and buy another that required less renovations, I would be saving big on renovations expenses and labor.

I flipped two homes until I finally got my third (and last one!) home with a paved driveway, siding, small garage, etc. not mainly with the desire to gain on the sale price wise (although it certainly helps) but to save on the work required to get it to the level you want it to be.

I think you’re right in that a good coat of paint can go a long way. Also, my wife scrubbed the house from head to toe before any viewers came and we removed all clutter to maintain a nice open concept for viewers so they could ‘visualize’ how they could see what their future home could look like.

One thing i would caution is to be careful on how much money you pump into the home. We just renovated our upstairs bathroom this year (the only thing we felt needed work since buying the home) and it doesn’t take long to blow 5K after its all said and done. if the goal is to sell it and get a new one, my only suggestion is to be careful how much gets pumped into it because you may not come out on top when it comes to flipping it.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 31st, 2010 (6:02 pm)

@ The Rat,

I know about renovation costs. We put 10K renovating our basement and 5K went into the bathroom which represent 50% of our budget but only 15% of our basement 😉

Yeah, it doesn’t take much for it to add up!

Those are the basic things needed to be remodeled so that your house will look worthy of the money to be sold. Painting is a rather great idea and would give a better appraisal value of the house and fixing the doors, walls is necessary if damaged. That’s what we do to here in our old house and it was given a good price.

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