The local real estate market on fire. I know that 3 houses have sold on my block in the last month. Homes are moving quickly, but getting the highest price may depend on how well your home is staged.

If you’re a subscriber to the aGuyonClematis newsletter, you will have read these home staging tips that were contributed by local concierge Realtor, Stephanie Carles. If you haven’t read them, then first sign up to my newsletter, then read on.

Tip #1: Kitchen a renovations come with a big price tag. A new kitchen is your most expensive home improvement project. But you don’t have to break the bank to give your tired kitchen a new life.

Hardware: Knobs, pulls, and hinges costs as little as a $2 a door. Just make sure the new hardware matches the existing hole locations.

Paint: A fresh coat of paint brightens up old cabinets and can cheer up your kitchen. The cost of the paint can be as low as $40. Even if you need to hire a professional to do the work, it will be cheaper than replacing the cabinets. If you want to get fancy, a Faux finish can give old cabinets a completely new look.

Tip #2: Staging your home to sell has proven to increase your sale price up to 7%, so it’s worth your time to evaluate your place room-by-room and decide what changes to make. Here are some tips to help you play up your home’s assets and downplay its faults.

  • Make sure each room has a distinct, useful purpose so buyers will know what it is.
  • Clear away clutter and excess furniture so buyers are focus on the bones of the house.
  • Paint the walls with fresh neutral tone and then don’t be afraid to move furniture.
  • Depersonalize your home so the buyer can feel the potential of the home.
  • Make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom and is not smelly.
  • Keep closets “neat and organized.”

Using these cheap, and sometimes free, steps you’ll help prospective buyers to picture themselves in your home. Then the home will almost sell itself.

Tip #3 Update your Kitchen Appliances: Studies have shown that new kitchen appliances are worth the investment by the seller. Old appliances will date your kitchen, but once new equipment is installed, it will scream “new kitchen”. You will see that spending a little money will make you even more. Make sure you choose a style of appliances that are most likely to be appreciated by all, current trends point to stainless-steel.

Tip #4 Kitchen Countertop hacks: The look of an old kitchen can be quickly spruced up by putting some work on the countertops.

Resurface: Stripping a laminate countertop off the plywood deck is fairly simple; installing new wood or granite costs about $10 to $70 per sq ft at IKEA.

Granite countertop vendors will often sell remnants from previous projects. These can be used to cheaply renovate a kitchen. Any spent in kitchen will definitely be returned in the value these beautiful counters add.

For more ideas and tips contact Stephanie Carles.