Improvement Means Sale

You already know that enhancing your property’s curb appeal, keeping the house sparking clean and uncluttered are essentials for the home showing. If you’re thinking of going the extra mile and enhancing your home’s amenities or appearance in an effort to garner a higher sales price or close on a quick sale, keep in mind that going overboard can be a waste of time or even a costly mistake.

imagesJust about any real estate veteran will tell you that as a general rule of thumb, a home seller who sinks $10,000 into pre-sale home improvements likely won’t regain that full amount in the home’s sale. It’s best to keep the improvements simple and low cost.

Applying a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint to the property’s interior walls is the number one improvement that can make your home shine, result in a faster sale and in most cases provide a decent return on your investment. If you can afford it, consider a professional exterior paint job, which can return up to 75 percent on your initial investment.

Your home’s kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms homebuyers will scrutinize the most. Upgrading their appearance by refinishing dingy cabinetry and replacing the hardware, throwing down some new flooring and slapping on some fresh paint can work wonders. Keep in mind that you want prospective homebuyers to be able to easily imagine living in your home and this means keeping colors neutral and fixtures simple.

Other simple enhancements include brightening the home’s interior with some new light fixtures and new electrical cover plates; professionally cleaning the carpeting or if necessary, replacement. Try planting a few strategically placed shrubs or flowerbeds; and brightening up doors with shiny new hardware and doorknobs. Your Realtor is an invaluable source who can tell you more about what is selling in your neighborhood. He or she knows which upgrades sell and which amenities homebuyers in your market are looking for; and most importantly, where your home stacks up against the competition. If most of the for-sale homes in your neighborhood feature freshly swept chimneys and new HVAC units, you may want to consider offering the same. Keep in mind that not all home improvement projects are equal when it comes to enhancing a property’s salability.

Home repairs or maintenance, for example, shouldn’t be confused with home improvements. Homebuyers expect the home’s plumbing and electrical systems to work properly and safely, and they won’t want to buy a house with a roof that leaks. It’s worth the effort and cost to get these systems in order but don’t expect to recover the cost associated with these repairs. However, making sure the property’s systems are in ship- shape will improve its overall marketability. Homebuyers like homes that are in move-in condition and that means one with a working furnace and hot water heater. Definitely avoid costly luxury upgrades like a swimming pool or hot tub or an elaborately landscaped yard. While these types of amenities may make your home more appealing to homebuyers and ultimately could tip the scales in your favor, it’s unlikely that you will recoup the cost of such upgrades.

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