Consumer Reports: Thrifty tips to help sell your house

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Home sales are expected to reach an all-decade high this year. (WLS)

Home sales are expected to reach an all-decade high this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. So if you're about to sell your home, Consumer Reports has some thrifty tips that will help make your house seem like someone else's home.

When selling your house, first impressions matter. So Consumer Reports has some tips for preparing your space for the most important visitors you may ever have: prospective home buyers.

Start in the rooms that are most important to buyers: your kitchen and bath.

"Realtors surveyed by Consumer Reports said the costliest mistake a seller can make is ignoring grime, odors and clutter," said Sara Morrow Harcourt of Consumer Reports.

So clean these rooms up and clear the counters. Tighten up any loose handles and fix drippy faucets.

If you have an outdated bathroom, the money spent there on a small countertop or new flooring can boost your sale price by two to three percent.

Porcelain flooring is inexpensive and good-looking. Lumber Liquidator's Brazilian Cherry got top scores in Consumer Reports' durability tests.

Realtors surveyed by Consumer Reports agreed it doesn't pay to paint all your rooms. Instead, just cover up bold colors and give your front door a coat of paint in a welcoming color.

"For about 40 dollars you can buy a gallon of top-rated paint that will cover a small room in just one coat," Morrow Harcourt said.

This interior paint from Behr got excellent ratings for coverage and scrub-ability.
As for the rest of the house? Realtors say buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house, not you.

"Some things to remove are family photos, personal items, perhaps some specific reading material - you want to make the home as neutral as possible," said Rachel DiSalvo.

Put as much as you can into boxes in the basement or garage, and get rid of any bulky furniture that's not moving to your new place.

Another free fix? Before showing your house, open up the shades and curtains and shine some light on your space.

And Consumer Reports says, 9 out of 10 buyers shop for homes on the internet, making web appeal the new curb appeal. So don't just take shots of your home with your phone. Have someone take hi-res pictures of every room with a DSLR camera in natural light.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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