By: Jessica Mai
According to Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of the HGTV show “Property Brothers,” it doesn’t take a lot to increase the sale value of your home.
In fact, there are two inexpensive, quick tricks you can use to potentially convince buyers to pay you more: Keep it clean and fix anything that needs it.
“Buyers associate dirt, clutter, disorganization and poor maintenance with serious problems they might not be able to see,” they write in their book, “Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House.”
“You can get an additional $20,000 or more for a house that’s neat and clean,” they write. “Why would you leave money on the table when it costs next to nothing to clean and declutter?”
Here are some suggestions from the Property Brothers to prepare your home for sale:
Keep it clean
The brothers suggest packing up all personal items and keeping only what is necessary to start your cleaning. This not only shows off the features of your home, but “removing a lot of personal items helps buyers picture their family in the home instead of yours,” they write.
Beyond personal items and a cluttered space, general poor maintenance can make buyers write off your property.
“We call it the Ick Factor: The more times a buyer says ‘ew’ in your home, the more likely they’ll just write off your property,” they say.
A quick vacuum is only a start. The Property Brothers suggest that you:
• Do a smell check to eliminate musty-smelling areas of your home. If you have become too accustomed to your house smells, bring a friend to your house for an honest second opinion.
• Scrub around doorknobs, which tend to get dirty easily.
• Sweep, weed, and wash paved walkways, patios, and sidewalks.
• Clean out the refrigerator — potential buyers are going to look.
• Tidy up the medicine cabinets and closets. Again, buyers will be looking.
Fix what needs fixing
The next step to getting more for your home is zeroing in on what might need to be fixed. The brothers suggest creating a list of what needs to be repaired, replaced, or updated.
If you don’t know what should be on the list, you can hire an inspector for about $300 to $500, depending on where you live and the size of your property.
“It’s money well spent if you can correct issues that may become points of contention for the buyer,” they write.
But fixing doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. The Property Brothers also suggest making a checklist of small items you might need to attend to, such as:
• Check all faucets for leaks, and make sure drains and toilets are working properly.
• Replace any broken or ripped screens in windows, doors, and porches.
• Check the baseboards for scuff marks you might want to repaint or go over with a Magic Eraser.
“Your house is only as strong as its weakest link,” they write. “Even the smallest of issues can become a huge concern for buyers.”