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Home project: Why increasing value of home won't cost fortune

The latest forecast for buying and selling homes this year declares that it is a "buyer's market." That bodes well for those attempting to sell their house this year, but that doesn't mean closing the deal is as easy as posting a "For Sale" sign in the front yard.
For most areas, buying homes begins in the spring and continues through summer and fall. Prospective buyers have increased in recent years and that trend is expected to continue in 2015. Sellers might have the delusional idea that because buyers are primed and ready to pay that they shouldn't or don't have to take stock of what their home looks like from top to bottom and inside and out to see if there is anything they might want to change or at least spruce up.
Luckily for sellers, getting your house in tip top shape isn't going to cost a ton of money or dig into too deeply to the would be profit you want to make when you sell your home. Of course, that doesn't mean that slapping on a coat of paint or tossing down some mulch means you're in the clear, but rather adding value is about pleasing the eye but also practicality at its highest points.
A perfect example might be a finished basement that includes an island or bar as part of the d├ęcor. Let's say you haven't bothered to replace those stools or the ones you have don't exactly complement the bar or overall scene of what buyers see. For less than $100, you can find stylish bar stools or chairs with backs that do more than complete the set. Part of what makes a staging of a home so crucial is giving buyers the feel that they can see themselves in the home, so having something as simple as a bar stool could do just that.
Landscaping is paramount as well along with simply keeping the house clean. Some sellers might assume the latter is important but also don't worry if the house looks "lived in." No one is asking that you scrub out your fridge or mop behind the washer and dryer but rather focus on key areas to keep spotless and tidy: the kitchen and bathrooms. If your tub and sink are covered with toothpaste, soap scum or rings, get busy cleaning that so that it looks as perfect as can be.

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The outdoor area as you walk into your house is essentially the first impression. So if the deck needs stained or porch painted, those are high priority items. You'll also want to pay particular attention to the front door. Chipped paint or scuffs need to disappear, too.
Chances are if your house is in fairly decent shape it won't take too long for it to fly off the market. But not paying mind to the little things that are easily fixable is going to quickly ground thoughts of making a sale.

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