As homeowners, we are all interested in finding ways to keep our home updated, fresh, and looking its best. Whether you just moved in or you know you will move in the future, staying ahead of issues in your home can benefit you down the road when it comes time to sell.
If you are looking to sell your home soon, the idea of investing in home improvements can seem daunting, but doing so is well worth your time, energy, and money. To maximize the sale price and minimize the time on the market, you should make it a home that buyers want to see and are eager to purchase.
With the help of your Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS agent, you can connect to qualified and proven home improvement specialists. They can assess your home, and produce quality work at reasonable prices so you can make a valuable investment in your home.
More Bang For Your Buck: Our Home Improvement Recommendations
Some of our clients want to complete quick projects that will make a big impact, and do so at a minimal cost. As your real estate expert, your Realtor will identify your home’s problem areas and suggest ways to make affordable changes, with a reasonable expectation of a positive return on investment.
Here are some quick and easy projects to make your home more appealing to potential buyers:
Have Your Home Inspected
While some improvements are easily noticeable, others are not as readily seen. An inspector can identify defects before your home is on the market. You can repair the defects in advance. By doing this, your buyers will have fewer concerns and are less likely to walk away because of defects found after they have entered into a contract with you and had their inspections done.
As an example, if your home has a large leak from a pipe beneath the house, this could deter a future buyer. Also, the longer you wait to make repairs, the more damage can be done and the more expensive the repairs may be. More buyers today are walking away from contracts due to property conditions than ever before. And when they do, the homes they leave behind may become stigmatized as a result.
So, a pre-listing inspection will enable you to be proactive with regard to defects; and, by so doing, you may increase the value of your home. The inspector may cite your roof as a potential problem area. You may have a roofing specialist provide documentation that the roof has several years of life left; or you may decide to replace it. If you do, your Realtor can feature a “new roof” in the selling points.
This type of proactive action tells buyers you have been a great caretaker of the property and they are unlikely to find hidden problems if they purchase your home. It also translates into cash the buyer will not have to spend in their first few years of ownership. And, if they have available cash, they can spend it in other ways.
Natural light, nice light fixtures, and openness in a home play a major role in a buyer’s perspective. Too little light can make your home feel less inviting. Simple lighting changes can make all the difference. Change a dated light fixture for something more modern; purchase lamps to soften the harsh overhead lights in a room; add dimmers to lighting to allow homebuyers to adjust the light to their preference. This type of features also send a message of upscale quality to prospective buyers. For daytime showings, open up drapes and blinds to allow natural light into the rooms.
Lightness also pertains to wall and ceiling colors. Dark walls and tinted ceilings can make a room feel enclosed; and, sometimes rooms seem smaller than they actually are. Neutral tones – such as white, beige, tan, and cream – make your rooms a blank canvas for homebuyers to decorate as they please. Also, remove furniture that is dark or oversized. Reducing crowding in your home gives more room for imagination, as home shoppers picture moving their belongings into your home.
There is a reason curb appeal is so important in the home sale process. The exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer sees, whether in a photo online or when they drive by and see a “for sale” sign in your yard. Quick landscaping fixes can add color and depth to your yard.
First, clear away debris, leaves, and weeds. Prune back overgrown plants. Have damaged or diseased trees removed, or remove the damaged portions. Finally, add new mulch and plant flowers. In your side or back yard, create outdoor rooms by adding nice patio furniture and bistro lights. These finished and furnished areas expand living space and grab a buyer’s attention.
Another quick fix to the front of your home is an update to your entry door. This may be as simple as fresh paint. By selecting contemporary options, like a colorful door or sleek house numbers, you set the tone for your home as soon as a buyer approaches. A bright door and updated features give your home immediate personality and they set it apart from other homes on the market.
Implementing “green” solutions into your home is not just great for the environment, but also as another selling point for your home. Making small changes can noticeably reduce the cost of utilities. With lower monthly utility costs, buyers see the cumulative cost savings year after year.
Some ways to go green in your home are:
- Change your thermostat to a programmable option, such as the Nest, that allows you to control your home’s heating and air from your phone
- Add solar-powered lights in your outdoor landscaping
- Increase insulation in your attic and (if possible) walls
- Purchase new windows or seal obvious cracks in windows
- Repair leaky faucets and inspect water heater
Focus On What’s Important
The National Association of REALTORS recently conducted a study that detailed home buyers’ preferences in home features. In the report, we learned the following:
- One of the most sought after features in a home is storage
- New kitchen appliances and an eat-in kitchen are very important 69% of buyers who did not buy a home with new appliances said that they would have paid more for a home with new appliances – and, on average, buyers were willing to pay nearly $2,000 more for the home
- When moving in, the kitchen is the most common renovation project
Based on this data, we can see where to put focus: kitchen and storage. Clean out closets, the attic, and the garage to emphasize space. If the storage spaces you have are neat and tidy, buyers will perceive the storage is adequate. If necessary, buy a backyard storage shed to store tools, add cabinets to a laundry room, and install efficient closet systems to enhance functionality and efficiency.
Since the kitchen is so important to most buyers, it is another good place to focus. For the sake of selling quickly, some smaller projects can make a big impact:
- Update light fixtures
- Buy new appliances, or at least make sure appliances all match (the NAR study says stainless steel appliances are preferred)
- Refinish and/or paint cabinets
- Switch out older cabinet hardware for modern knobs
- Add a decorative, durable backsplash, such as a clean, white subway tile (and if you have leftover materials from this project, perhaps add some in your bathroom, too!)
- If possible, add furnishings which emphasize family life and entertaining, such as barstools along an island, or an inviting dining area
Let Your Realtor Be Your Guide
With the help of your Realtor, you can narrow down your focus on how to sell your home effectively. Every home is different, and your house may require different updates than what we listed above. That’s why a Realtor is essential to your home improvement and selling process.
Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS prides itself in finding innovative ways to sell homes. From online listings to social media advertising to open house events, your Realtor handles the marketing of your home, finding the right buyer with the right budget.
Talk to one of our agents today to begin your home selling process.