You’ve probably heard the adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Well, it’s just as relevant when you’re selling your house. If buyers don’t like what they see from the curb, chances are, they won’t be back. And since an open house is your chance to showcase your home — and all its attributes — to many buyers at once, you definitely want to make sure it’s looking its best. “An open house is all about exposure, getting people to talk about it and tell their friends,” says Marisa Menzel, real estate agent with Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Alpine, NJ. “You want buyers to have a good feeling about the house before they even walk in the door.” The best part? Getting your home for sale in Chicago, IL, open-house ready doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These tips can make a huge impact for under $1,000.
Paint (parts of) the exterior
We’re not talking the whole house here, but slapping a fresh coat of paint on your front door — or anywhere the paint is flaking or could use a touch-up, like garage doors or trim — instantly upgrades your home’s exterior. “If you have a ratty screen door, replace that as well,” advises Menzel. “A new door knocker and new house numbers are a good idea as well. You want people to easily find the house.”
2. Kick up your kitchen
“Buyers love stainless steel appliances,” says Menzel. “You almost always see that highlighted in a listing.” If you have an old stove or dishwasher, swap it out for a stainless steel model. Updating light fixtures, replacing old cabinet hardware, or painting older cabinets white also makes your kitchen appear fresh and new without breaking the bank.
3. Replace the vanity in your bathroom
If you have a powder room that hasn’t been updated, replace the vanity with a newer model. “You can easily do this for under $1,000, and it makes a big difference,” says Menzel. Add new hand towels, a rug, and a shower curtain to complete the “renovation.”