Top 10 inexpensive (or free!) changes to make when selling your home

I’m sure the last thing people really want when they’re selling their home is for someone to walk in the door and suggest that they make changes to it. Yet even minor updates can significantly impact buyers’ perception of your home. Here are ten “quick fixes” that can help update the look of a home.

1.  Replace hardware in the kitchen cabinets. Swap out older hardware on the kitchen cabinets for a newer look such as brushed nickel fixtures.

2.  Match up. If your kitchen appliances don’t match, order new face panels for them to get a consistent look.

3.  Tackle the old tile. If you’re concerned about an older-looking bathroom, you can easily have those dreaded pink, yellow, or green tiles professionally painted, for less money and hassle than replacing the tiles entirely.

4.  Store away your summer things. You’re not using your summer clothes right now so get a head start on moving by boxing them up and stowing them away in a safe, dry place. This way your closets will look even bigger. (While you’re at it, box up everything in your kitchen cabinets that you don’t use on a regular basis so you’re kitchen storage seems more spacious.)

5.  Donate. It’s the season of giving so take a day to declutter your whole house, and call Freecycle or a local charity to pick up excess household items and furniture.

6.  Have the windows cleaned inside and out. Maximize sunlight by getting windows squeaky clean.

7.  Lighten up the window treatments. Replace heavy curtains with a simple valance so rooms feel more open and airy.

8.  Have a painting party. Invite a few friends to help you paint rooms in neutral colors in exchange for a fabulous dinner. It’ll be more fun and less stressful than painting on your own. (Hint: Neutral doesn’t have to be dull. Cream and light coffee colors are very popular and go with a wide variety of décor.)

9.  Bring in some green. Bring in fresh flowers or a few potted plants to liven up the inside of your home during drab winter days.

10. Steam clean the carpets. If you have carpets, get them professionally cleaned before you put your house on the market. Even better, if you have hardwood floors underneath the carpeting, rip them up & get the floors refinished. Most home buyers love hardwood floors.

Do you have a vexing real estate question? Write to our real estate blogger (Leslie Mann, c/o Hopkinton Crier, 33 New York Ave, Framingham, MA 01701 or and she’d be glad to answer your confidential questions here. Follow her at

About the author: Real estate blogger Leslie Mann is a real estate agent with Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty in Hopkinton.

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