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Homeowners Save Money by Doing Own Improvements


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Preparing a home to be sold can sometimes take a big budget. But with the popularity of HGTV's show Designed to Sell, consumers are learning that fixing up before selling adds value to your home now that you can enjoy today and for not a lot of money. Here are tips on adding value to your home - before it's time to sell it. . . . .

What is the most inexpensive way to add value?

De-clutter. If you have a lot of stuff, use a POD storage unit to go outside your house.

What kind of value can you add to your home?

It depends on how much you invest. Home staging increases your chance of receiving a quick contract. In this buyers market competitive houses sell quickly no different than a sellers market, so do what it takes to be competitive and you will recoup your investment at the closing table. Figure out the budget and prioritize your projects. Any improvement is a good improvement.

Is playing up a marketable feature a secret of good design?

If you have a bay window or fireplace, show it off. A common mistake: People put a huge TV next to their fireplace. All you see is the TV. It is one thing if you put a plasma TV over the fireplace, but you don't want them to compete with one another.

How important is paint?

A fresh coat of paint is not expensive - especially if you do it yourself. - and it is the biggest payoff you can get. Give your home a fresh, clean look. The goal is to appeal to everyone, so leave the crayon-colors for your next home.

What is the advantage of Neutrals?

The nice thing about neutrals is you can punch them up with accents: Throw a funky rug out, install some cool window treatments. You can do a beige wall and add oranges and hot pinks, or soft blues and chocolates. Don't forget: Modern means updated, not contemporary. Make sure your home is current.

What about Hardware?

Simply change the hardware on your cabinets ($3 and up per knob). Change out your faucets and your light fixtures to chrome or bronze. Fixtures are the accessories to the outfit.

Where do countertops stand in the priority list?

Granite is quickly becoming the industry standard for kitchen upgrades. It pains me that this is the expectation, because of the expense but the kitchen and bath can make or break a sale. Here are the basics: There are different stone cuts available. A 3cm is the thick cut that most people have. You can go with a thinner one, usually three-quarters of an inch thick. It's easier to crack, but first check with a wholesaler to see if they have any specials which may lower the cost. Get advice on colors so it works with your flooring.

Bottom line is that people get accustomed to eyesores. What has become invisible to you? Change is doable! So make a list of priorities and slowly check them off. Give yourself some time and budget to get one thing fixed at a time. You will be glad you did when you see your bottom line.

Kelly Stevens is one of the best Orlando real estate agents and a 2007 Top Producer. Whether you are buying a home in Central Florida or selling a home in Orlando, Kelly Stevens’ goal is to meet your real estate needs. Please visit for informative real estate articles, a free home analysis and a complete home search at your fingertips. Email Keller Williams at the Parks.


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