Even if buckets of cash are not readily available, you can still tackle some remodel and upgrade projects ahead of listing your property for sale. Naturally, you’ll want the edge you get from hiring a professional home stager, but you can attempt a few updates on your own to achieve the advantage styling your home deserves.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as you prepare to sell your house is to over-do your renovating plans. Sinking a lot of money into a house for sale can end up costing you. This is where the other members of your sales team come in. Your real estate selling agent and your home stager can let you know whether upgrade projects are necessary. If they are, you can count on good advice from them to keep you from investing money you’ll not get back at the end of the sale.

Too often, homeowners get carried away with upgrades that won’t pay off in the end. If you spend more money than you can reasonably hope to get back in the end, you’re wasting your time and your hard-earned cash. Instead, begin with making your home appear as good as new.

Prospective buyers are primarily looking for squeaky clean properties that are obviously well-maintained. Nobody wants to buy a house that has visible problems. They want the paint to be fresh and as neutral as possible. To the potential buyer, this means that the moving truck can be scheduled sooner rather than later.

The ‘move in ready’ item on a potential buyer’s must-have list is not one to ignore. Make sure the maintenance chores are well done. Be sure the air-conditioning unit is operating at peak and there has been obvious care taken in the mowing and trimming of your lawn and landscaping. These cause the buyer to mentally check items off his worry list and put your home in good position for an offer.

Buyers don’t want to have to plan for big expenses in the very near future. For this reason, if your current budget is limited, spend it on the things that are likely to wear out in the first year or so that the new owners are in residence. Replace the weathered front door, upgrade the ancient dishwasher with a newer used one, and spend a bit of money in the bathroom.

In the bath, replacing or repainting the vanity and/or updating the sink will make a world of difference in the way buyers see your place. Another low-cost facelift can come from simply replacing the drawer handles. An afternoon refreshing the grout lines in your floor or around the tub can make the whole room look magically new again. These things are low-cost and high-impact.

In the kitchen, a new benchtop and/or splashback can add interest and give your kitchen new life. Again, go neutral in colour choices. Pick a benchtop or splashback that will blend with your overall colour palette. Anything too bright or bold might make a buyer nervous.

Also in your kitchen, remember that new hardware can give an ordinary kitchen new dazzle. Accessorising there by adding new cupboard and drawer handles can make the buyers fall in love for a very small investment.

Another sure-fire way to give your place a new look without breaking the bank is an investment in lighting fixtures. Particularly in the bathroom, replace tired old fixtures with something that has a fresh and universal feel. If the ceilings are high enough, consider adding a chandelier there to increase your advantage styling. It will give the bath a spa look and feel – a big hit with buyers. (Plus, don’t forget to consider a similar statement piece in the entry. It will make a sensational first impression.)

The very best way to stretch your staging dollar is to recognise the importance of expert advice. Remember that a good home stager does this sort of work every day. The advice given in terms of advantage styling can double or even triple your investment simply because taken together the little details you’ve added look like the house is worth much, much more than the asking price. Everybody loves a bargain, even if it’s only a perceived one.

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