8 No-Cost and Low-Cost Ways to Tweak Your Listings
Got a listing that needs a new look? Here are some inexpensive ways to make it shine.
February 1, 2009
Chances are the decor in that listing you just took is a lot like most people's wardrobes: There are a few items that went out of style a decade ago, but they're so comfortable that it's impossible to see them go.
"We grow accustomed to our space, and we stop seeing it," says Melissa Birdsong, vice president of trend, design, and brand for Lowe's, the home improvement giant. "People tend to become blind to their own things."
But everything needs updating eventually. Birdsong suggests home owners cast a fresh eye on their living space, pretending that they've just moved in and are assessing the previous occupant's design choices.
Betsy Westman, a broker-owner with Westman Realty in Grand Rapids, Mich., says real estate professionals can have a big impact on updating a home's look by helping clients brainstorm new ideas and by being straightforward about outmoded design elements. The following tips can help get a home up-to-date without breaking the bank.
1. Move it.
2. Plant it.
Group plants of differing heights, fullness, and color for the most dramatic effect. Jettison the scraggly specimens, Westman says. "It's important to have plants that are well maintained and in tip-top condition."
3. Paint it.
4. Organize it.
5. Hide it.
"These days, it's pretty user-friendly," she says. Caution: Your intent should never be to mislead buyers; be sure to disclose flaws that would affect home value.
6. Replace it.
"And don't forget the toilet seat," adds Westman. "Fresh towels and a new toilet seat go a long way toward making a bathroom feel clean and new."
7. Light it.
"Light is such a mood setter," Westman says. "You can create a cozy feel just by turning down the lights." Add dimmers in the dining room, bathrooms, kitchen, and even the hallways for less than $4 each. Then adjust the lighting to create the mood you want.
8. Clean it.