Are you about to sell your home and want to make the most of it? In case you haven’t heard, the market is finally back to normal, which means there probably won’t be a long line out the door once the sign goes up in the courtyard. That means you need to make sure your home stands out from the crowd to ensure it sells. But what are some key things you can do about your home to make it sell better without breaking the bank? What are some other things that are best avoided because they just cost too much money? I’ll go through both and explain how some things really add value and how some of these items contribute to marketability.
Do repairing items really help?
While this is something that technically doesn’t add any value, it definitely leaves things broken “for the next few people to take care of”. lowers the value of your home. These include: old roof, worn carpet, old air conditioning, damaged doors and windows, holes in the walls, etc. This is generally considered basic maintenance and potential buyers are not as desperate as they used to be. If your neighbor’s house has new items listed above and yours doesn’t, they will choose your neighbor’s house even with that ugly color. Speaking of which, that brings me to point 2.
Color goes a long way.
Having a professional painter spend a few hours touching up the paint here and there can make a world of difference when it comes to giving your home a clean look. Think of all the times you bumped into the wall and scraped the paint off, or decided to repaint the guest room yourself and those brush marks never got to go away. If a professional comes and fixes everything, it’s money well spent and will likely cost a lot less than you think. And when it comes to unusual colors, you definitely want your house to look good, but you don’t want your house to stand out negatively. Purple cabinets? Bright green walls? It might have been just what you wanted back then, but weird color schemes like this make it harder to sell a home without giving him an instant discount to fix those things. The average shopper is almost guaranteed to be immediately turned off by abnormal colors.
Update your kitchen, but don’t completely remodel it
This is where the difference between modernization and remodeling comes into play. A remodel is usually about taking everything out completely and essentially rebuilding it. While the update generally only includes new devices and maybe some other small items. No need to overdo it here, your ’80s ranch-style home doesn’t need a $30,000 set of Viking gadgets. Just replacing what is there will go a long way. However, a complete kitchen remodel is almost never worth it, judging by the time it takes and the amount of money it costs. You will probably spend a lot more than you end up getting back. Which brings me to my next point..
Avoid unusually expensive items that don’t fit the neighborhood
When appraising homes, we’re often told by homeowners, “Well, I spent X dollars on it, so shouldn’t that matter?” Well, unfortunately that’s not always the case, there’s a reason nobody else in yours Neighborhood has a solid gold toilet. They don’t want one, and neither do the others. Cost does not equal value. The solid gold toilet is an extreme example, but it explains the concept. In reviewers’ terminology, we call this a “super adequacy,” meaning you’ve spent too much on it and no one else appreciates it like you do. You can use this concept throughout the house. Remember that $30,000 set of Viking gadgets in the average 80’s house? Overly expensive branded doors and windows in an average home like Pella or Anderson are another good example. That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on things. You can add quality finishes to your home without overdoing it.
Update and replace lighting
i love lighting And apparently everyone else too. When people ask me what they can do to get the most bang for their buck when preparing a home for sale, my first answer is always lighting. If your home is more than 15 years old, there’s a good chance the lighting is outdated. This is all the more true the older the house is. You can go through an entire house and add modern can lights and new fixtures for a lot less money than you think and it makes a HUGE difference. Even without changing light fixtures, going through the house and replacing all the light bulbs with bright white LED bulbs makes a world of difference. So if you’re on a budget or need to get it to market quickly, lighting is always the answer.
Key to take away:
At the end of the day, when in doubt, call a local agent who can help you determine which items will get you the most bang for your buck. The last thing you want to do is invest time and money in a project without seeing the return. Simple things can make a big impact, so don’t neglect the small ways you can improve the overall appeal of your home.
About the contributor: Jed Walker works full time at a family business of real estate appraisers. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University, Jed left a successful sales career in Dallas to return to the business he knows best – real estate. Combining the mindset of an appraiser and a real estate agent allows him to bring his unique perspective and approach to the home buying process. He understands that buying a home is not only a financial investment but an emotional one as well. Additionally, his patience and “speed of draw” updates are just a small part of what sets him apart from those just looking for a commission check. Jed also knows the best way to market your home, property or commercial property in a cost and time efficient manner.