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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!  There is no specific checklist, but you can make a huge difference working things over during the winter! Maybe you should wait until after football season is over, at least until college football is over before you get serious about starting a project…..thus giving you more time to enjoy the season!   After that, 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 the bank while doing them.  If you are a Broncos fan, what are you waiting for?  Time is a wastin! 

The first two things I always recommend are 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.  Even if you don’t have a steady hand you can Google tips on how to make your “homeowner” paint job look professional.  Keep in mind that if you do choose to do it yourself to save some money, make sure it does not look like it……otherwise, buyers will feel like they have to “re-paint”.  Nothing says money that was NOT well spent like a do-it-yourself paint job that looks like “do-it-yourself”.  The next big “bang for your buck” improvement is lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, you don’t have to beg, borrow and steal from relatives to make a huge impact.

Lighting and plumbing can make a big difference and does not need to 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…..old brass door knobs and hinges are a hidden dater of your home.  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 boogie nights wallpaper. You know what I am talking about and it’s never coming back in style…get rid of it. Vintage is back in some instances, but not that kind of vintage!  Don’t try to talk yourself into keeping it using the false rationale that it’s back in style or because it’s difficult to replace, your buyer will think the same thing….remember, it is NOT back in style!  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 countertops, backsplashes, 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…..consider painting them, but take heed of the “do-it-yourself” warning. The goal here is to make an impact but spend your money wisely. You want to make high-impact changes for low-impact costs.  Follow these guidelines and I will almost guarantee you will be thrilled with your return on investment…..and might even decide to love it, not list it! 🙂
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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