As competition amongst home sellers rises in the national real estate market, it can be the difference of just a few minor home repairs that will make your home more appealing than one in your local market and could land you the big sale you’ve been looking for. Just like an automobile for sale, a house should be finely tuned and cosmetically lifted before being put on the market to not only give it more appeal in your local market but also enhance the value of your home.
Often, small home repairs that cost only a few hundred or thousands of dollars can increase the value of a home by thousands or tens of thousands in the local market. The idea is to get the most value for your expense when fixing up a home for sale. In this article, a few of these high value repairs you should make before you sell your home are listed and explained.
Some of the flooring suggestions as to what will sell best depends a lot on where you live. As a general rule though, hardwood floors seem to be the hot flooring item in today’s national market. If you already have nice, hardwood floors then all you may need is a simple coat and polish, but if you have old, worn carpet, considering hardwood floors as a replacement may be your best bet.
If you must go with a carpeted floor or it is the preference of your local market, your best bet is to replace it with neutral colored carpeting for best sales results. A light tan color is your best bet to reach the aesthetic desire of a majority of your buyers. Certainly do not consider replacement with unique or bold colors like red, yellow, or purple.
If you have tile floors and you intend to keep them just be sure that any chipped or cracked tiles are replaced. It’s a very minor expense but could cost you the sale of your home on the spot. Buyers are quirky and something as small as a little crack in the tile can be a major eye sore and turn off to your potential buyer. If you have worn or dirty grout, consider re-grouting or bleaching the grout between tiles.
Nothing has a more cost effective value than new paint in a home. For just a small amount of money, you can increase the value of your home immensely with new paint on the ceilings and walls. Ceilings are something that buyers pay a lot of attention to because they want to look for stains from leaky roofs or cracks in the ceiling. The buyer will be impressed with fresh paint on ceilings and walls. Like with carpet, a neutral color is your best option for resale purposes.
If you have wallpaper, your best option is to remove it. It’s not that buyers don’t like wallpaper; it’s that they usually will not like your wallpaper. Buyers would prefer to have a fresh canvas to work with if they are buying your home and will not want to hassle with removing your old wallpaper to have that fresh canvas to do what they would like with it once they own it. Wallpaper is easily removed with a wallpaper removing steamer. Of course, once that wallpaper is removed, it’s time to repaint those walls to match the others.
For those sellers who have and love their wood paneling; it has a similar effect as wallpaper to your potential buyer. No matter how great you think it looks, your buyer will most likely not care much for it and see it as another removal project that has to be done to customize the home the way they will want it if they buy it. Most wood paneling has gone out of style so there shouldn’t be much reason to keep it on your walls for the sale of your home. Again, remove it and go to a neutral paint. The more generic you can leave your home for the next buyer to customize as they please, the better chance you will have to sell your home quickly and at the price you want.
If your home has the old-style “popcorn” textured ceilings, it has got to go. Most of these styled ceilings contain asbestos which is a health hazard as it is and the look is really unsavory. The “popcorn” surface can easily be removed with a scraper and then of course it would need repainted, which is a step you should be taking before selling your home anyway.
The most expensive items in a kitchen to replace or remodel are appliances and cabinets. If both are up to date and look nice, you will save a lot of money not having to replace or remodel them. However, if your appliances are outdated or the cabinets have significant wear on them or are also very outdated, you will need to replace them to ensure that your home will sell.
According to most sources, a moderate remodeling of your kitchen will gain you a 100% return on your investment plus the opportunity to get your house sold faster because it is more up to date. Obviously special items like sub-zero freezers or special eight-burner stoves will not gain as much value, but basic remodeling and replacement will do your home a lot of good before you start to show it to potential buyers.
If cabinets are in good working condition but are just a little worn, resurfacing them is your best and least expensive option. If it is just a matter of chipped or worn paint, simply repaint them. If the functionality of the cabinets is an issue though, you should have them replaced entirely.
For countertops and sinks, expensive replacements like granite look nice but won’t necessarily make your kitchen any more appealing to a buyer. Using a simple laminate to recover your countertops, installing new and mint conditioned sinks that are middle-of-the-road priced are good enough to give your kitchen a clean look that buyers will like at a cost that won’t kill your wallet and are guaranteed to return on your investment.
Bathrooms are often in the worst shape of any room in the house because of their constant exposure to water and humidity. If a bathroom is tile, be sure to completely clean or bleach tile grout in tubs, showers, and floors. All of the porcelain in the bathroom should be spotless and any hard water stains on shower glass doors and mirrors should be cleaned appropriately. If you have old-fashioned light fixtures, bring them up to speed with a more modern look and new bulbs that are plenty bright. Many bathrooms are wallpapered, so as mentioned before, remove that wallpaper and paint to give the bathroom a fresh and blank canvas appeal. The next homeowner of your house will make selections of their own wallpaper to decorate the bathroom. The bathroom is the most customized room in the house by homeowners. The more you leave it generalized for buyers to decorate the home in their own image, the more appealing it will be to them.
If your roof is old, worn, or leaking, as much work and money that is required to replace a roof’s surface, it will be impossible to sell your home if it is in bad condition. A new roof or roof surface is a huge selling point for prospective buyers and equally as large a deterrent if the roof is old or damaged. It may be expensive to have done but in the end you should come out with a full return on the investment and the opportunity to sell your home faster because of the improvement.
It’s always an added bonus to give your home curb appeal as well. A buyer may not even walk through the door to see how wonderful the inside of your home is if they find the exterior undesirable. Resurfacing the driveway is always a good idea and patching cracks in the driveway and sidewalks is another smart move for better curb appeal. Other exterior ideas to help give your house more curb appeal are to plant flowers along the walkway to the home’s front door, replace old or worn doors and doorknobs, and caulk window and door spacing. If the home has fences, it’s inexpensive to repaint them and add value to your home as well.
The general theme in all of this is that buyers want to buy a home that is updated with new fixtures and appliances and want the home to have as little customization as possible so they can have the convenience of adding their own customizations without having to remove yours. If your home has a modern appeal, looks clean with new paint, floors, appliances, electronics, modern conveniences, an inviting curb appeal on its exterior and is ready to immediately occupy, you should have your home sold in no time.