Thinking about selling your home? Then you’re probably asking yourself:1. What can I do to my home to maximize the profit potential?2. Is it worth putting money into small renovations?3. What work
Selling Your Home For Top Dollar
Thinking about selling your home? Then you’re probably asking yourself:
1. What can I do to my home to maximize the profit potential?
2. Is it worth putting money into small renovations?
3. What work can I do myself and what work should be done professionally?
These are good questions to consider when it comes to preparing your home for a quick sale at top dollar, and there are a couple of measures you can use to make the best decisions for your potential home improvements.
The first priority is WHAT DOES YOUR HOME LOOK LIKE FROM THE CURB? Curb appeal is a term used a lot in real estate, and for good reason - this is the first impression of a home. If your yard looks unkempt, or your front porch is weather-worn or dirty, that’s a big turn-off to prospective buyers. A lot of people simply drive by a new home for sale and if the front of the home looks bad, they might decide that the rest of the home will be in bad shape, too. A well-maintained exterior usually signifies a home that has been well cared for throughout, and that equals buyer interest. Cleaning up the exterior of your home is considered a “small job” in home renovation - inexpensive and relatively straight-forward. You can do much of it yourself, and/or hire a professional to landscape where necessary, pressure-wash, repair porches and steps, clean up fencing and walkways. You want those drive-bys to slow down and get excited!
The second priority is CLEANLINESS OF THE INTERIOR. As they walk through the house, the potential buyer is going to ask themselves, “Can I clean this?” For example, if you have a carpet with stains or an odor, it’s worth replacing or removing; if the walls in the entry are dirty or grimy, it’s worth cleaning and/or repainting. If the door is cracked or blistered, install a new door. Most people understand that they can remove carpet themselves, repaint the walls, retile bathrooms, replace countertops, etc., but the more move-in ready your home is, the more likely you’ll be able to sell your home for the price you want. The goal is to remove obstacles that might make the buyer pause and reconsider whether or not this home is worth its asking price. So walk through your home with a buyer’s eye, and maximize the potential by deep-cleaning, painting to refresh or brighten, repairing and replacing - and focus your dollars on the three most important areas of the home: kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
The third priority is the LAYOUT OF YOUR HOME. Once the buyers see the attractiveness of the home, and how well-maintained it is, they will want to make it work; to that end, they will then ask themselves “Does the lay-out of this house suit the needs of our family?” To up-date your home and maximize its potential, there are a few modifications you can consider, these include moving or removing doors, taking out non-bearing walls to open up the living space, re-articulating the kitchen and/or adding an island/counter/eating bar, adding windows of french doors. This adds more value to your home, and attracts buyers who would otherwise dismiss the house as requiring too much work. These are hard decisions to make about your home, and that’s where the advice of a knowledgeable realtor comes in. We regularly help sellers make improvement decisions about their home, and then follow through with help on getting the actual work done. A better, brighter, fresher house means a higher asking price and the buyers willing to pay it.
Don’t be afraid to invest in your home in order to sell it - the money you put into maintenance and repair will come back to you at a profit. Recently, we advised clients to trim and landscape the yard (about $500), power wash the exterior (about $1,000), repaint the house (about $700). When buyers came to look at it, they thought it must be a new home, yet it was 25 years old! This is the difference a little investment of time and money can make in how well your home will be received by buyers. A good Realtor will always be able to walk through your house with you, advise you on changes and repairs, help you decide exactly how much work you want to put into the house or what you can afford to improve, help you get those improvements done, and then get that money back for you by listing your house at its new added-value price. While it’s great to sell quickly, it never feels good to know you left money on the table; optimize the value of your home with the help of your Realtor, and feel great about selling your home for top dollar.
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