Getting your home ready for potential buyers takes a lot of work but it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Sharpening up the look of your home and modernizing the floors, walls, ceilings, and appliances can go a long way in making your house stand out on the market. Here are some tips on how to get your house ready to sell without breaking the bank.

Kitchen and Master Bathroom

Most real estate agents will tell you to fix up the kitchen and master bathroom before making any major changes to other rooms. That’s because a good kitchen and master bath are sometimes enough to sway a buyer. It’s already sounding expensive, right? It can be, but there are things you can do on a budget that will liven up the rooms.

If your kitchen appliances still work well, try updating the hardware. Putting new knobs on your oven or handles on your cabinets is sometimes all you need to freshen things up. For the bathroom, put in a new mirror and shower curtain, and update the old ceilings and fixtures to give it a modern and well-maintained look.

Replace Floors

Another priority should be to replace any carpet, vinyl flooring or any other dated and/or cheap flooring. While hardwood is a favorite among buyers, it costs you. You may be able to make back the money you put down, but it’s not a guarantee. Porcelain tile is another option that costs you but it’s more likely to look great for decades; it comes in many different colors and styles, it’s liquid and stain resistant and it’s especially durable. Possibly the best bargain is to go with laminate flooring because of its lower price, comfortability, low-maintenance and easy installation.

Clean Everything

What you want more than anything from a prospective buyer is for them to visualize themselves in your home. The first step in doing this is deep-cleaning and decluttering every room. Even if your house is full of dated ceilings, wallpaper, appliances, etc., seeing a clean and open space will enable them to visualize designing the home to their liking. It also shows that you have cared for and maintained the home.

Paint, Paint, Paint

Throw a fresh coat of paint on every wall in the house. Neutral colors such as white, cream and gray are effective in making your house feel more spacious. They also work with any style of home and they’ll always be classic. Furthermore, neutral colors give your future buyer the opportunity to add more bold and expressive colors in the room through other design elements.

Calculating What You Can Make

When making decisions about the work you should put into the kitchen, master bath, floors, etc., it will help to calculate what you can make from selling your home. Your asking price will change according to the repairs and renovations you make. After getting the house inspected, you should figure out how much you can make back from the money you pour into repairs and renovations. For instance, you can recover over 50 percent of the costs of important bathroom repairs and renovations, and 91 percent when you put in hardwood floors. If you have the budget for it, installing a new roof can make you back 105 percent. One of the most cost-effective renovations is installing vinyl windows throughout the house, as it can add up to $12,000 to your asking price.

There’s a lot you can do on a budget to prepare your home for resale. Make the kitchen and master bathroom a priority and look into replacing old carpet or vinyl floors. Also, deep clean every room in the house and consider painting all of the walls neutral colors. If you calculate your expected profit and plan the other steps accordingly, you’ll be putting yourself in a good position to receive the price you’re asking for on your home.


Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

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