Photo Credit: Past clients, the McMurray’s. They spent 16k on cleaning, painting, and carpeting their investment property. We sold their 198k home for 237k with multiple offers in one week.

Some things are too good to be true.  This isn’t one of them.

What if I told you that you can increase the value of your home by ten thousand dollars if you simply did a few things to prepare it for sale?  What if I told you that if you did not do these things your house would definitely be worth $10,000 less? What if I told you that so many of the homes on the market today do not meet these simple standards and are worse for it?

What items do you believe will bring about this increase? Landscaping? Paint? New light fixtures? New flooring? Of course these may increase the value of your home but what about the items you can have done inexpensively?  What about the things you can do right now?

Here is a list of simple things that will pay you in gold.

Wash your windows  

A clean window is the difference between a buyer saying “It’s nice” and proclaiming “I don’t know what it is about this house but it just makes me feel at home!”  It is because outside represents life and beautiful homes bring the outside in.  Buyer’s pay big bucks for natural light.  In Tulsa, water spots coupled with blowing sand and dirty will cake on a window with a white/ slightly brown film.  The sun bakes this on from the outside.  Simply cleaning them with a solution of Windex and scraping them with a sharp flat razor blade pours the natural light in from the outside and make the home feel like new.

Hiring it done? Budget: $200
Impact to your sale price: $2000 or more.

Clean your carpets and rugs and restretch them if neccessary

This low cost activity pays dividends even if your flooring needs to be replaced.  When carpets become “thread bare” it is most usually in door ways or up next to transitions.  Carpets can often be stretched in the transitions and the well worn parts cut away.  Steam cleaning lifts the piles up, removes most dirt and spots and gives a fresher odor to the room.

Hiring it done? Budget: $200
Impact to your sale price: $2000

Hire a staging consultant to give you the honest truth 

The right consultant is simply going to tell you which items you should display in your home and which items will distract a buyer from the beauty of your space.  This knowledge is some of the best dollars you will spend.  As a real estate agent, this will be one of the highest priority items I will purchase. I have seen thousands of homes and know what works. But understand this, I am too emotionally attached to my own things. I need an outside voice telling me what will make my buyers want to buy my home.

Hiring it done? Budget: $100
Impact to your sale price: $2500 or more.


Give it away.  Throw it away. Sell it.  That’s right, people probably are not in love with your stuff.  Go out to Craigs List or Facebook Marketplace and spend about twenty minutes looking through the things for sale.  This is what most buyers see as they tour homes on the market. Other people’s stuff.  See item #3.  Talk to your staging consultant if you have a question about keeping something.

Hiring it done? Don’t.  This one needs your involvement.
Impact to you sale price:  At least $2500 if not more. Have you stager sign off on your work for accountability.

Wash your walls

Dirt, jelly bread hands, dingy trim.  We see it every day walking through homes.  A well worn film of dirt and grime around door knobs, light switches and trim work. We love the Magic Eraser.  Even flat latex painted walls will clean right up with a magic eraser and warm soapy water as long as someone is willing to work at it.

Hiring it done? Budget $150
Impact to your sale price: $1000

Clean the bathrooms 

I know, seems obvious right? We see this most every day.  Mildew on old caulking.  Terrible caulking jobs around tubs and plumbing fixtures.  There is hair piled up in corners.  Dirty toilets.  Toothpaste, hair brushes, hair dryers, curling irons.  All these items need to be out of sight with the mirrors clean. Nothing devalues a home quicker than a dirty bathroom.  Change the shower curtains and invest in some new towels. Make sure there is toilet paper on the toilet paper roll and that the toilet flushes well.

Hiring it done? Budget $150
Impact to your sale price: $1000

If it is broken, fix it

Cabinetry that has broken handles and pulls say something of the pride of ownership.  Worn out door knobs or broken door stops are inexpensive fixes. Doors that do not open and shut good may mislead buyers into believing there are structural issues. If it doesn’t seal up tight, close well, or open good then take the extra time to figure it out.  These tiny fixes go a long way to say these sellers have pride of ownership.

Hiring it done $100 to $200
Impact to your sale price? $1000

Paying attention to detail

Doing two or three of these things yourself and paying for the rest can keep your budget below $500 and you could very well increase the sale price of your home by $10,000 or more. Here is an inconvinient truth, neglect the details and your house will go for way less than expected and may not sell at all.  

Simply doing these things will certainly put you on the path to getting top dollar for you property, however, you need a trusted advisor to make the most of your largest investment. We can increase your values more with a simple consultation. For an extensive plan to get the most from the sale of your home set up an appointment with us and we will give you a risk free evaluation of your property.

*Based on our experience with home in the 160k-200k price range.