SELLER’S ARTICLES – FOR THE SMART CONSUMER
The best way to increase your home’s value before you sell it is to think like a buyer! Think back to the time when you were shopping for a new home, or analyze your current experience if you are already looking for your next home. As a buyer, what features did you look for? What features attracted you to your current home and helped you to decide that it was the right one for you?
When you think about the features that attracted you, remember that others will most likely find them attractive as well. However, if you have owned your home for several years or more, it might be time to update some things in order to meet the growing demands of today’s home buyers.
Curb Appeal Draws Potential Buyers to Your Home
Anyone who has ever purchased a home will tell you that the first thing they noticed about the home was how it looked from the outside. And they will probably also tell you that they drove past many homes before they found a few that piqued their interest.
This is a commonly known fact among real-estate agents. Buyers appreciate homes that sparkle on the outside and, once they’re drawn inside, they will be very excited to see what else these homes have to offer.
Most of today’s buyers research homes online before they ever make that first drive. The very first thing buyers are presented with online is a photograph. Only after the photo has their attention do they begin looking at the details of what the home has to offer.
Take a photograph of your home and look at it objectively, from a buyer’s perspective. Do the lawn and gardens that are visible from the front of the home appear to be well maintained? Is the roof in good repair? Are there any sagging gutters? Do you see debris in the gutters? What about the windows and exterior paint?
If any of these items look like they are in need of some TLC (tender loving care), then they probably are. Apart from the roof, these items are generally inexpensive to address. With only a small amount of time and money, you can improve your home’s appearance significantly.
Consider hiring a professional landscaper in order to get your lawn in tip-top condition. You may decide that your home would be more welcoming if the walkway to the front door were bordered with planters full of beautiful flowers.
If you decide to paint the exterior of your home, look around the neighborhood first. Try to select a neutral color that will blend in nicely with the other colors commonly used in the neighborhood. White is almost always a good choice, along with beige, grey or brown.
Buyers Love New Kitchens and Bathrooms
If you purchased your home in the 1970s, you may have loved the orange Formica that covers your countertops. Likewise, the blue ceramic tile in the bathroom was probably just the right shade to match the towels given to you as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, a potential buyer might not get quite as excited about the matching pink toilet and sink in the powder room.
If you can relate to these statements, then consider updating your kitchen and bathrooms. Although kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects are significant home improvements, buyers will be willing to pay more for your home when you advertise that it has a brand-new kitchen.
Your real-estate agent can offer some suggestions about what buyers want in a kitchen or bathroom, and you can also ask friends and family members what they think would improve your home’s attractiveness.
If your kitchen is small, look for a way to enlarge the space. Removing a wall, or even cutting a wall in half to install an island or breakfast bar, could improve the space.
If you decide to replace your cabinets, select light-colored, solid-wood cabinetry with quality hardware. Consider a hardwood floor or ceramic tiles. Today’s buyers appreciate natural materials and neutral decors.
Don’t forget about the appliances. Even if you do not plan to sell your appliances with the home, purchase new appliances when you update your kitchen. Brand-new appliances sparkle, demonstrating your commitment to quality to potential buyers.
A quick visit to a local home-improvement store will show you the latest trends for kitchens and bathrooms. Pursuing a modern look is alright, but you will probably attract more buyers if you maintain a classic look achieved through the use of timeless, high- quality materials.
Increase the Amount of Light, or at Least Create the Illusion
Real-estate agents everywhere offer one piece of advice for improving the value of a home more than any other. That advice is, “let in the light!”
Potential buyers can view your home more easily when it is bright inside. Often this is quite easy to achieve. Sometimes you can make your home brighter simply by lifting the shades, opening the curtains or cleaning your windows. Consider selecting some inexpensive fabric to use as a flowing drape to replace your normal, heavy curtains.
If your home is still on the dark side, consider applying a fresh coat of paint. Clean white ceilings alone will probably improve the appearance and value of your home. Reflection provides the illusion of light, so a simple coat of white paint can help to create that illusion.
If your walls are dark or covered in wallpaper or paneling, remove the covering in favor of a neutral paint color. Much like curb appeal, increasing the amount of light in your home is almost always a relatively inexpensive way to boost the your home’s value for potential buyers.
Improving the appearance of your home will significantly increase the amount that potential buyers are willing to pay for your home. The three tips above are the fastest ways to increase the value of your home, and two of them require only minimal investment.
By spending a few weekends improving your home in these ways, you can increase the number of buyers who will want to see the inside of your home. Obviously, you do not want a potential buyer to be excited when looking at the outside of your home, but disappointed when looking at the interior, so consider a fresh coat of paint throughout.
Once the buyer has stepped inside, he or she will be pleased to discover the updated kitchen and bathrooms. A beautiful kitchen alone can sell your home. A modern, yet classy kitchen with the latest features can raise the home’s value significantly.
Your realtor is prepared to offer suggestions for improving your home’s value before it is listed for sale. Even if your home has already been listed, your realtor can make suggestions about things you can do to get more competitive offers.
Depending on where you currently live, buyers may be attracted to specific home features. Your realtor can point you in the right direction and help you prioritize the types of repairs and upgrades that will help you sell your home for the price you want.