Once you’ve decided that your home is headed for the market, you’ll need to do everything you can to ensure it sells as quickly as possible. How fast it sells depends on factors like competing homes for sale, market conditions, and the condition of the home itself.
These pointers will help you get a happy buyer ASAP:
The Dangers Of “Too Much” Or “Too Little”
For those of you who are tempted to leave your home as-is before listing it, consider this: a buyer who believes a home requires repair will, on average, discount the value of the home by 2-3x the actual cost of the repair itself. The “everyday” buyer will opt for homes requiring light cosmetic repairs. Even worse, potential buyers will worry the work involved will cost more than what they anticipated, leading to a lot of missed offer opportunities.
On the other hand, those who want to update every odd and end before placing their home on the market should consider a recent study by Remodeling.com – it suggests that overzealous sellers get back less than 60¢ for every $1 spent on their renovations, overall.
No matter what, weigh the cost of proposed improvements against the home’s market value after you complete the repairs or upgrades. Then, run it by your trusted agent before making the repairs.
Make A Great First Impression
The old saying is true, you really never do get a second chance to make a great first impression! So, first thing’s first, you need to repair every “must-fix” in your home. Start by inspecting your maintenance and mechanical essentials, like the electrical panel, water heater, and furnace. If they need to be repaired or replaced, you should do it in advance of showing your home.
Then, look at your landscaping and curb appeal. Overgrown shrubs, dead grass, lawn junk and clogged gutters leave as much of a negative impression as fresh appliances leave a good one. Simple, quick fixes like a mailbox update and potted plants from your local greenhouse can go a long way when working with a tight budget!
If you’re not replacing it, power wash your siding. Then power clean your home interior, including the carpeting. Hiring a company to deep clean your home can go a long way in saving you time and increasing perceived value since professional cleaners are less likely to overlook something that you have been come accustomed to and no longer can see (like smudged cabinets or dirty grout).
Kitchen & Bathrooms Typically Generate The Highest Return
Take a look in your kitchen: are the cabinets in good condition? Is the hardware outdated? If you have a fairly “up to date” kitchen, you can give it an ultra-fresh look without spending a sizeable sum of money thanks to a few quick improvements. Even a simple paint refresher (neutral colors only!) can go a long way to erase wall scuffs and scratches.
Your agent may suggest updating the cabinetry and countertops but try not to focus on the initial costs. On average, small-scale kitchen remodeling work recoups 81% of the cost (according to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report)
Focus On Lighting
You’ve done a great job shining up your home, now make sure potential buyers can see it! Updating those old light fixtures inside (and outside) your home can help buyers focus their attention on your home’s bright spots and best qualities.
A potential buyer might not remember up-to-date lighting fixtures, but they’ll definitely remember outdated ones. Spend as little as $100 now and you can make your home appear more spacious and more desirable with the simple flip of a switch.
Market studies suggest that dimly lit homes, on average, receive lower offers than those with bright light. Walk around your home and update every single light bulb with bright, warm-spectrum bulbs! To improve natural lighting, clean all of your blinds, and replace them if they’re not functioning smoothly. Then, turn on the lamps and open the blinds whenever you show the space.
Pro Tip: We try to schedule our open houses and showings during the middle of the day – – – this is when natural light is its brightest!
A Few Other Improvements To Complete:
- Repair and repaint cracks and holes in walls
- Repair leaky faucets or running toilets
- Replace worn carpeting or flooring
- Repaint walls with neutral colors
- Repair broken or non-functioning windows
- Repair shingles, loose gutters or roof damage
Before you get started, keep your current market trends in mind! As an AdvantageU Certified agent, our team can help you determine the necessary fixes before we list your home on the market, plus help you work with the right contractors wherever we can.
Just remember, it pays when you make sure you’re maximizing your equity!