Home sellers must remember that emotion plays no part in selling a house. To prepare the house for a buyer, all sentimentality has to go. A buyer is looking at a structure that will hopefully hold all their things. They want to build their own memories there. Therefore, the house has to be as impersonal as possible. How can homeowners improve their home's value?
Know Your Comps
Comps are houses to which yours is comparable. Read over or visit the homes on the MLS comparable to yours. Pay attention to houses that sold. You'll want to ensure your house has whatever sold the house on the MLS.
Buyers look for all the storage capacity possible. They look for lofts and basements that not only store stuff, but could one day make small apartments for their parents or kids. They want kitchens that rock and bathrooms that look like spas.
Curb appeal is important. Buyers may not see many custom pools Mobile or even know they want them. FYI, real estate experts tell us that if you build a pool with the express intention of selling a house, it won't sell a house on its own. Having one is more a bonus, so enjoy!
Buyers don't want to leave the closing table only to find that they need a new roof, the foundation is cracked, and/or the siding is on its last legs. These things speak for themselves, so getting them checked by experts goes far toward having a good appraisal. Other basics that need to be addressed include:
If water has damaged the basement and puddles around the house, then homeowners need to hire a drainage expert to regrade and return the yard to its proper slope. Make sure the gutters are clean and clear and the downspouts drain away from the house.
Plumbing And Wiring
The homeowner is accustomed to the dripping kitchen faucet and the outlet that sparks. Have a licensed plumber and electrician go over the house and fix whatever doesn't work. Buyers will either ask you to fix these things, or take a lower selling price so they can fix it.
Have an HVAC expert clean all ducts and go over the unit with a fine toothed comb. Filters will need replacing, freon added, coils and other mechanical parts cleaned so that the whole operates as well as when new. However, if the system just won't make another winter, then replace it. Buyers will appreciate it.
Buyers want to see that homeowners have made an effort at a good first impression when they pull into the drive. To that end, make sure they see:
Real estate experts tell us that new garage doors recoup their total cost at the sale of the house. Upgraded garage doors include steel, aluminum, and wood doors.
Tip: Wood composite doors withstand weather better than real wood doors.
Nothing screams fresh like a newly painted front door. Some homeowners buy solid wood doors or doors with etched frosted glass. Buyers enjoy seeing a pretty front door.
Tired, worn windows tell a potential buyer that (a) the homeowner doesn't maintain the house, and (b) the house leaks moisture and air from the windows. Buyers will pass on the house.
New windows will not only make the house look brand new, they will improve energy efficiency in the house. Houses today are built so tightly that nothing can enter or exit. New windows will make the house tight again which will be reflected in the power bill. Make no mistake: buyers will ask to see several months of power bills.
Now that the potential buyer is impressed with the outside of the house, it's time to hit a home run with the inside:
The first thing a buyer sees when they walks through that pretty front door is the floor on which they’re stepping. Buyers want to see continuous flooring instead of a different floor in each room. Hard wood and stone floors are trending now. Remember that composites and veneers look like both wood and stone, so that new flooring needn't break the bank.
Tip: Tile floors in bathrooms, mud rooms, and laundry rooms can be made to look like wood and stone as well at reasonable prices.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell a house. The kitchen needs to be warm and inviting, with attractive appointments and flooring. After all, everyone gravitates toward a kitchen, so it should look fantastic.
Replacing badly dated appliances will be necessary. Additionally, updating the cabinets with a coat of paint or stain, updating the hardware, and refinishing the counters will impress buyers.
Natural light is important in a kitchen, even if you have to add a window. If this isn't feasible, then ensure task and focus lighting is upgraded. Trending now is imaginative pendant lighting over the dining nook and the island.
It has been noted that people spend more time in bathrooms than they do asleep. Maybe that isn't so odd, considering we spend a lot of time soaking away the stress of the day in a tub. While kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, some bathrooms blow buyers away:
- Home sales don't always lie in spa tubs and showers with jets and rain shower heads. Sometimes sales lie in a farmhouse sink with shelves beneath made of barn wood. Sometimes new hardware and lighting fixtures do it for a buyer.
- Make sure storage is adequate and countertops look new. If they mirror what's in the kitchen, the continuity will impress buyers. The same goes for the floors.
Improving a home's value lies not in the memories made in the house, but in the functionality. Make it a smart, functional home, and you'll make it a home for someone new.