Monday, June 7, 2010

Even cheap improvements sell houses

Ellen James Martin, Universal Syndicate, writes that, in this crummy real estate market, some houses are being shown in cluttered, dirty condition.

The reason: no dough to fluff them up.

Buyers are picky—they want even fixer-uppers in good condition.

So start with paint! Go to some paint company websites for tips. or

Give everything away to charity. Declutter! Or put them up on

Put big furniture in storage—sort of like doing your own staging. It makes rooms look bigger. Take leaves out of tables. Store big breakfronts.

In the living room—one sofa, one chair or love seat, a couple of tables.

Check out your agent—ask for brokers’ open houses or tips on how to show better.

Make sure your agent specializes in your locale.

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