Many home sellers today are wondering how to improve the appearance of their property for a faster sale at the highest possible price. With 2013 fast approaching, now is the ideal time to consider a variety of fresh and creative ways, both big and small, to achieve the goals of increased functionality, visual appeal, and resale value.
Home renovations can be an effective strategy and smart investment when looking to sell your home, because renovated, turn-key homes sell more quickly and at a higher price than outdated homes. Historically low interest rates allow homebuyers to finance all the improvements, and eliminate the need for buyers to spend money on the property after the purchase. Lastly,buyers are quicker to purchase a property that they can visualize living in, raising a family, growing old and making lasting memories. Most buyers can more easily picture themselves living in a home that has been freshly updated, rather than a home with old, outdated finishes, fixtures and outdated colors.
To increase the visual appeal, functionality, and sales price of the home and to succeed in a faster sale, it’s important to identify opportunities for repairs, ways to clear away clutter and possible upgrades to the property. Here are seven tips to help you make your home sparkle and sell in the new year:
1) Make kitchen improvements a top priority. Your kitchen is the most utilized room in your home, a place where families and friends gather for daily meals and holiday celebrations. The kitchen space, now more than ever, serves as a central gathering point and an extension of living and family rooms, the so-called great rooms. It’s also one of the most important areas that buyers look at when searching for a home. An updated kitchen is great for resale value.
2) Make small, cost-effective improvements for a fresh look. Painting, whether interior or exterior, is relatively low-cost and adds a quick revamp to your home. Another way to improve on a small budget is by cleaning up and trimming landscaping, and adding new, affordable plants. Adding new plants will give your yard a pop of color and won’t break the bank. You want the best first impression and “curb appeal” for your property, and fresh flowers and landscaping will add allure to the outdoor area.
De-cluttering is another easy step, and makes a big difference in making the home look larger. Realtor Magazine has an extensive array of tips advising sellers to be clutter-free; clear all unnecessary items from furniture throughout the house, and display accessories only in groups of one, three and five items.
Imagine that you are a prospective buyer seeing your home for the first time, and use that critical eye as a guide for getting your property into shape.
3) Pay attention to market trends. When looking to make renovations to your home, pay attention to what will also contribute to resale value. For example, modernized bathrooms and showers are important to homebuyers. Also, creating an open floor plan for the living space, and choosing dryscape and water-conserving landscaping can be effective. Pay attention to market trends and any new and important features for homebuyers. This will help make sure you get the best return on your renovation investment.
4) Stay neutral. Keep your color palettes centered on neutral earth tones when renovating, while incorporating some contrast. You want to appeal to the largest selection of buyers, and neutral colors make it easier for buyers to visualize living there. Also, neutral colors can easily be painted over to meet buyer preferences. The most important thing is for the buyer to be able to visualize the home to meet their tastes after they make the purchase. It will be harder for the buyer to picture this with loud and outdated, odd colors throughout the home.
5) Look at houses in your neighborhood that have recently sold. By checking out homes that are for sale and have recently sold in your neighborhood, you can get a better idea of where to improve. Which styles and finishes garnered the best values? Hire a licensed and experienced contractor familiar to the area. Decide which areas of the home are most important and serve as the best areas to spend your money to see the highest return.
6) Don’t over-improve. This is a common mistake among many homeowners, especially when deciding to take on a home renovation project without the help of a professional. If you over-improve and spend money on unimportant remodeling projects, you won’t see a return on your investment, particularly if the work makes your property the highest priced home in the neighborhood.
If you are unsure of which renovations to make, and where to spend the money, it’s best to get the opinions of professionals. Consult multiple contractors, compare notes and make an informed decision on where to improve, including the areas that aren’t as critical to be updated.
7) If it’s too tough to DIY, hire a professional! Make sure to hire a professional before taking on a project that’s too tough to do it yourself (DIY). The last thing you want is to spend the money to start a home renovation project before realizing that you are in over your head, and need to spend additional funds and time hiring a professional to correct your mistakes. Before starting a project yourself, be 100 percent confident that you can finish the job correctly on your own. If not, you will save time and money by hiring a licensed contractor.
Renovation Realty has worked on a number of homes in San Diego County. For more information, visit www.renovationrealty.net.