Small Steps to Sell a Small Home – Make Small Repairs and Clean, Clean, Clean

Question:  I work for a local technology company and I’ve just received a promotion.  Once my pay raise kicks in, I’d like to buy a larger house.  I’m not very handy, but I’d like to do what I can to increase the likelihood that my small home will sell for a good price.  Do you have any suggestions for minor, short-terms, do-it-yourself steps I can take to increase the value of my home?

Answer: Pat TracyColdwell Banker Townside, REALTORS(R):

An overstuffed closet leads prospective buyers to wonder if your house is a fit for them. The most important thing to do, in a way, is the easiest:  Make small repairs. Are all doorknobs and cabinet knobs secure? Do all lights work?  Does the paint need touching up?

If repairs are beyond your skills (be honest), hire a handyman and for a couple of hundred dollars, you can get a lot of small repairs done well. 

Then clean, clean, clean.  The standard to keep in mind:  What do you want to find in a hotel room you’ve rented?  After all, when you market your home, you’re asking people to imagine brushing their teeth in that sink…

The standard advice about de-cluttering is not a joke.  Prospective buyers have to imagine THEIR stuff in your space, and your stuff is a distraction (unless it’s really cool -  then maybe you’ll get an offer to sell some furniture).

Closets and cabinets that are full-to-bursting remind people to ask whether there would be enough storage space; an unmowed lawn reminds people that lawn-mowing is a chore; gutters overflowing with leaves or pine needles remind them they’ll have to clean the gutters.

When prospective buyers come in, you want to encourage only happy thoughts!  If small repairs and cleaning are under control, then think about bigger projects: neutral paint colors, best-condition countertops, new carpeting or refinished hardwood, etc.  Feel free to ask a local REALTOR (R) to give you some on-site advice tailored to your particular house in terms of its comparably priced homes – "comps" - in your neighborhood and price range.  She or he will know what, beyond the basic touch-up and cleaning, is cost-effective in your particular market segment.

And congratulations on that promotion!


Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  A client of Handshake 2.0, Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) strives to be the best online source for real estate listings in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, Salem and all of the  Roanoke Valley and New River Valley.   Experienced agents are available to provide expert real estate advice and quality customer service.  You're invited to view this week's featured properties. 

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