How do I Spend Less Money on the Sale of My House and Receive More Return on Investment (ROI)?


When preparing your home for sale in this frenetic Boston real estate market and its environs, sellers generally have the same goal: earn the most money from the sale! This goal is typically coupled with the question: how do I spend the least amount of money to achieve said earnings? Here are 6 easy ways to prep your house to sell now!

Hire a Handy-Person

You know how the door handle on the front door sort of sticks and won’t open unless you turn the key just right? Or you know how the A/C sort of works, but you have to keep the heat on at the same time? Or what about the light in the bedroom that will work as long as you never try to turn on the fan at the same time? Just a quick FYI for everyone, these items that you think “still work,” do not!

If you bought a house and inherited these annoying quirks, you would undoubtedly fix them or expect the seller to do it pre-close ideally. Put yourselves in the buyer’s shoes for just a second. An inspector would notice these little items, a guest would notice them and you would notice them as the new buyer. Spend the extra $50-$150/hr to hire a handy-person to fix these long overdue items on the To-Do list. If you are capable and have the time, fix these items yourself. If you do not have the DIY skills to tackle the projects yourself, TaskRabbit or Takl are great websites and apps that offer lots of people eager to be hired to help. Of course, you might just contact me as well. I have a plethora of professionals that I work with often and trust.

Deep Cleaning & Decluttering

Nothing turns off a buyer more than a wall of Precious Moments’ dolls that have actually turned into a whole first floor of porcelain collectibles. (I had an Aunt that was obsessed. Just a quick side note, I think everyone who owns a Precious Moments Doll probably and most definitely has a stack of Chicken Soup for the Soul books stashed away somewhere too.) 

The point is, buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your space. They will never be able to see past the creepy bug-eyed dolls staring at them to add an extra zero to their offer. Just do yourself a favor and box them up, get rid of them or store all these items that you still love, but are in the way. You are planning on moving anyway, so get a head start on your packing. Most moving companies will give you a free month of storage, because they know you are going to use them to move when your home sells. 


The next item on our list, painting, is a fairly quick and inexpensive way to freshen up any home and attract more buyers to buy. Painting the outside and inside with attractive and trendy colors will immediately make a difference. Even if you can only get to the wood trim or the front door, there are plenty of inexpensive paint brands and online tutorials about how to properly achieve painting zen. Or you can always hire a painter. For $1,000-$10,000 for the entire condo or house you can net tens of thousands of dollars in value. This is a fairly small number of dollars to invest while accomplishing your goals; to sell the house quickly and without much fuss. 


Another easy but often overlooked job is landscaping. Since it is spring and we are in New England, it may not be the best time to plant yet, but there are lots of things that can and should be done to spruce up the home’s curb appeal. Put mulch down where needed. Visit the local hardware store to plant some flowers. Trim trees and bushes, and make sure the grass is freshly mowed. This should be done before photos are taken and before anyone tours the property.

Not only is the new landscaping a visual necessity, the smell of fresh mowed grass and ascetically pleasing flowers will tantalize the other senses too. This upgrade is extremely easy and buyers want the groomed look. Even if they do not have a green thumb, anything that brings Spring to New England a little bit earlier will be appreciated and this translates to happy buyers and more money in your pocket.

Modern Kitchen

A new kitchen and bathroom are definitely huge selling points for any home. This is nothing new. Instead of jumping into a lengthy and exhaustive remodel, try switching up small things like cabinet hardware or new appliances. You could even try re-staining the cabinets or adding glass cabinet doors to create an inviting and fresh look. Often the little things can go a long way too. Putting in proper ventilation such as a new stove top fan to the outside can be a little tricky, but can convince buyers to purchase if they do not have to take the time to do it themselves.

One thing that is really popular this spring is to mix and match metals. So, don’t go crazy getting all the same brushed silver. Maybe mix a bit of copper in with the stainless steel. Here’s an example from Joe Schmid’s photography. It will make your Kitchen look like a million dollars!

Modern Bathroom

Now last but not least is the other kind of porcelain, the toilet. Depending on your budget, something as small as a new mirror or cabinet in the bathroom can change the look and feel to be more modern. Re-grouting, caulking and a new shower head can make a shower look ten times better and almost like new! Switch out the outdated vanity and toilet for a new toilet, sink and faucet.

One of the best things to do for good ROI in a bathroom is to just clean out the tub of all your shaving gear, shampoo bottles, loofahs and whatever and get a brand new shower curtain or two. Even replace that gross plastic one that has mold growing on the bottom of it! You can usually find one for $1 at the Dollar Store.

As always, if you need help with ideas, shoot me an email and I will be right over to assist!