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Dear Dave,

We are considering selling our home in the spring. Do you have a seller’s checklist or something that you give to people to help them figure out what will add the most value when they sell a house?

We’re just trying to decide if there is anything we can do this winter to help get more money for our house when we do sell.

Thanks for the help!

Don and Linda – Grand Junction, CO

Don and Linda,

YES!  No specific checklist, but you can make a huge difference over the winter! Maybe you should wait until after football season is over, at least until college football is over. Then you can start taking advantage of the cold winter months…INSIDE. Where you can really make a difference and use the “indoor” months to build equity! There are countless things you can do and not break your bank while doing them.

The first two things I always recommend is to evaluate your interior paint and floor coverings. Nothing says “come buy me” like new paint and carpet. Who doesn’t love the smell of new paint and carpet? It is almost as good as the smell of my Mom’s homemade Pecan Pie!  Mom, I’m just kidding, your Pecan Pie smells slightly better and as we’re this close to Christmas it seems to be all I can think about. Anyways, new paint and new flooring are BIG bang for the buck items and if you have a steady hand you can paint most everything yourself. The next big “bang for your buck” improvement is lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, you don’t have to rob a bank to make a huge impact.

Lighting and plumbing can make a huge difference and not break the bank. The beauty of Lowes, Home Depot and other DIY stores is that it has made cosmetic home renovation easy and inexpensive. Try this on for size, while you are replacing the light fixtures, jump outside the box and get crazy by getting rid of all the old brass door knobs and door hinges.  If that is not enough, paint all those old dark brown doors white and just watch your hallways expand before your very eyes. These easy corrections are all inexpensive and offer a great return on investment.  The last inexpensive fix is to get rid of any and all “vintage style” wallpaper. I am not talking about the new styles that are in vogue, but the old Brady Bunch stuff. You know what I am talking about…get rid of it. Vintage IS coming back in, but not that kind of vintage! You will not have even a minute of fun doing it, but you will be so glad you did when it is over. If you are looking for a more significant and costly project, you have options there as well.

Bathrooms and kitchens top the list for “whole room” remodels. A renovation of these two rooms will have the most significant impact on both the look and feel of your home, but also your wallet. You can make big changes with new counter tops, back splashes, tile, sinks etc. If you can stay away from having to completely replace the cabinets you might just have some money left over for retirement. The goal here is to make an impact but spend your money wisely. You want to make high impact changes for low impact cost.  Follow these guidelines and I will almost guarantee you will be thrilled with your return on investment.

Hope this helps and I would bet that by using the winter to “prepare” your home for sale you will love the results!

Dave Kimbrough

The Kimbrough Team


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