Affordable Improvements Inside and Out: Tips for Motivated Sellers

If you need to sell your home quickly, it’s important to make eye-catching improvements that accentuate your home’s best features. That means making upgrades inside and out that entice buyers and leave them with a lasting and memorable first impression that makes your property stand out. That’s especially important in a tight housing market, where even a simple improvement may give you a distinct advantage over other houses in your area. Fortunately, you can do it without making a huge financial investment in upgrades that may or may not make the difference. Focus instead on simple, budget-friendly improvements that make an immediate impression

A welcome they’ll remember

Your first, and often best, chance to make an enduringly favorable impression on buyers is with your front entryway. A drab, indistinct entry can put you at a distinct disadvantage because it puts you in the position of having to overcome an unimpressive beginning with buyers. Instead, start with a freshly-painted front door and trim, bright flowers around the entrance, a new welcome mat, and shiny new house address numbers. If you have siding, make sure it’s well-cleaned. Remember, not only is this your first opportunity to wow someone, it’s also probably your last chance, since a buyer will be contemplating it one more time as they drive away. You can get everything you need for your entryway projects inexpensively at Lowe’s; keep an eye out for sales and cash back opportunities to get the most bang for your buck.


A fresh layer of mulch

This is an improvement that can enhance your lawn’s visual appeal for less than $50. Fresh mulch around the front of your exterior, around bushes and trees, and in flower beds gives your landscape decor an organized, well-cared-for appearance. Remember to keep each application to no more than three inches to keep plant roots from growing into the mulch rather than the soil. It’ll conserve soil moisture and prevent the spread of weeds. However, avoid mulching too closely around the base of trees, bushes and shrubs, which can prevent moisture from getting to the root system. The Home Depot sells several varieties of dirt and mulch, so check out weekly offers before you buy, and save even more using promo codes for discounts.


Few improvements are as important or as inexpensive as decluttering and organizing your home’s interior. Remember, buyers these days are looking for an orderly home with plenty of flow from room to room. It’s hard to make that kind of impression if people are having to step over piles of old clothing or walk around shoes and piles of newspaper. An uncluttered living space says you’re a conscientious homeowner when it comes to cleaning and general upkeep. Consequently, a potential buyer is more likely to assume that the rest of your home is neat and tidy, so remove all clutter, organize everything that’s left behind and add a few nice touches, like placing freshly-cut flowers in the dining room and adding some decorative throw pillows on the couch.

Repel the smells

There’s a powerful connection between smell and memory, which means that buyers who can tell you love to cook with garlic upon entering your home will remember that impression, perhaps more than anything else. Always air out your house, light scented candles or use essential oil diffusers throughout to chase away the stink before a showing. Don’t forget to apply baking soda to your kitchen drain/garbage disposal, garbage cans, and refrigerator.

A buyer’s first impression of your home is the one that’ll stay with them. You can make it a good one that motivates a potential buyer with cost-effective home improvements that can be made quickly and easily for under $100.

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