Skip to Main Content

Home Sellers Handbook

Keeping up Appearances

Ellen Bower’s dinner parties have left their mark on her beige dining room carpet. At the Klines, Mo and Curly have scratched the door each morning when it’s time to go outside. To Ellen Bower and the Klines, these little imperfections are just part of the nostalgia of their homes. To potential buyers, however, they might be reason to look elsewhere.

When looking at your home, put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. Inexpensive improvements can go a long way toward attracting buyers. Cleaning the carpet or applying a new coat of paint won’t cost much and could substantially raise the value of your home. But be cautious about more expensive improvements. Adding a first floor bathroom or updating your kitchen might raise the value of your home, but luxuries like swimming pools and saunas might not. Some amenities may turn off buyers who don’t want the hassle of upkeep and the possibility of increased real estate taxes.

When the Klines were ready to sell their house they spent $500 on quick and easy improvements. They started by organizing Jim’s books and renting storage space for all of Cindy’s lampshades. Then they hired a landscaper to plant some flowers and replace dead patches on the lawn. A few large red geraniums and some colorful petunias made a huge difference in the “curb appeal” of the home. Next, they painted the doors, including the one that Mo and Curly scratched. Finally, they hired professional cleaners to scrub their house from top to bottom and shampoo their carpet. When they were done, the house looked so nice that Jim said to Cindy, “Why do we want to sell?”

Easy Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor to repair or enhance your home before you sell? Keep these tips in mind:

Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
TTY: (651) 297-7206 or TTY: (800) 366-4812