If you’re one of the more than 5 million homeowners who’ll sell their home this year, don’t make the mistake of selling it “as is.” To get the top price for your house, start by decluttering and deodorizing your space. Store personal pictures and move extra furniture out so that potential buyers can visualize their own stuff in your house. Open drapes and blinds to let in natural light to make rooms look bigger. Sellers who follow those rules can up their asking price by 3 to 5 percent, according to Consumer Reports.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell the home. Small fixes left undone signal to a buyer that the rest of the house could be in disrepair. Take the time to fix leaks and tighten handles. A new suite of appliances that performed well in Consumer Reports’ tests can make for a good-looking kitchen and can increase your asking price by 3 to 7 percent. Consumer Reports recommends these Kenmore appliances from Sears: refrigerator (model #78892), gas range (model #74132), and dishwasher (model #13223).
Bathroom spruce-ups, like adding a new toilet, can up your asking price by an additional 2 to 3 percent. Caulking the gaps and cleaning the grout are cheap ways to freshen up the space.
Do not re-paint every room in the house. Touch up scuffed walls with a product such as Magic Eraser. Then consider painting only rooms that are brightly colored, and the kitchen if it needs it. And a fresh coat of paint on the front door in a great color gives you instant curb appeal.
About a third of the real estate agents in a Consumer Reports survey said that the roof is one of the more important things prospective buyers ask about. A typical re-roofing job on a $200,000 house can cost as little as $6,000, but the potential return can be up to $10,000.
Finally, be aware that most buyers use the Internet to explore new homes. So take high-quality pictures of every room, in natural light. Include interesting features, such as fireplaces or architectural details. And post them with your listing on a Thursday or Friday, ahead of the weekend open houses.