Top 7 Investments That Will Help Sell Your Home Fast, and for More Money
A quarter of sellers who do home improvements before putting their house on the market sell above the list price.
But how do you determine what you should tackle on the home improvement front? Enlist the help of a brutally honest friend or family member to walk through your home and view it with the same critical eye a prospective buyer would.
And then consider this list of the best places to invest a little money, sweat equity, or both to increase the likelihood of your house selling quickly and above asking price.
Gussy up your yard. Your yard is a huge part of curb appeal. And you want great curb appeal; it draws potential buyers into your home and, according to Bob Vila of This Old House fame, increases its value by 20%. Keep your lawn mowed and gardens weeded. Trim your hedges. Reseed thinning patches of grass. Clear away dead plants from your flower beds. Invest in modest landscaping, then mulch. You want a manicured look.
Focus on your front entry to create a good first impression. Invest in a new doormat. Paint your front door and polish, or replace hardware. Consider installing a steel door, which carries a 91% payback. Purchase new light fixtures (or at least clean out the dead bugs!). Spiff up the house numbers and mailbox. If you have a front porch, add fun furniture, poofy pillows, and fresh flowers.
Paint. You’d be amazed at what a fresh coat of paint can do to make a room look clean, or larger. Opt for a neutral shade, like cream, tan and beige, and the very popular gray. You want buyers to envision their items in the house, so make your rooms blank canvases for their imaginations.
Take a hard look at your flooring. (Pun intended.) Don’t be surprised if, when you paint your walls, your flooring looks tired by comparison. Worn, dirty carpeting is a huge turnoff to prospective buyers. Replace or steam-clean carpeting. Repair cracks in tile flooring and refinish wood floors. If this is not feasible for your budget, then it’s time for a little “immaculate deception” – strategically place area rugs over problem sections.
Make minor repairs. Fix plumbing annoyances, like leaky faucets and slow drains. Replace moldy caulk and clean calcium build up fixtures. Repair cracked window panes. Don’t forget the electric repairs. Fix wonky light switches, replace loose outlets, and tend to any frayed wiring. These will be red-flagged in a home inspection anyway. Secure loose shingles and replace missing ones on your roof, and make sure your flashing and soffits are in good condition.
Update kitchen and baths. More than any other room, the kitchen and bathroom will make or break a deal. On average, a kitchen update will yield an 81% payback; a bathroom update, a 70% payback; and an additional bath, a 59% payback. New countertops and backsplash make big impacts. Stain or repaint cupboards and change outdated hardware. Replace faucets in both the kitchen and bathrooms. If your toilet and sinks are stained or old, buy new ones. Refinish the tub if it is scratched or worn. Update lighting. Freshen up with new towels and shower curtains.
Consider staging. It’s not just the stuff of HGTV shows. 51% of agents say that staging translates into a faster sale for up to 10% more money.
You want to get the very best price you can for your home, and you don’t want it languishing on the market for weeks or months. Achieving the first and avoiding the latter requires an investment of money and effort. But if the end result is a bidding war, then your investment is worth both.
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