When you’re planning to put your house on the market, the natural inclination is to dive into home repair and make it as beautiful as possible. This approach can only attract the best buyers, right?
This may be true in some instances, but not all repairs are necessary, and some are a waste of good dollars.
Before you grab your big box home improvement store credit card and head out the door, take some time to really evaluate what your home needs to make it an attractive buy.
You don’t need new windows just for the sake of them, and a kitchen renovation may absorb all of the profit you otherwise stand to make. Focus on what your house needs, and what buyers look for, to make those important home repair decisions.
Home Improvement Tips #1: Focus on Neutrals
One of the simplest things you can do for you home is paint the walls a soft, neutral color. Off white is ideal. You may have impeccable taste and an unrivaled eye for color, but your choices and someone else’s are probably not the same. The same goes for carpet.
If your walls and flooring need attention, as most do prior to a sale, forget about making a fashion statement and stick with the tried-and-true neutrals. You may miss out on that one-in-a-million buyer whose taste is exactly like yours and simply must buy your house. But you’ll gain a much broader range of interested folks who can imagine themselves living there.
Before painting, go the extra mile and smooth the walls. A little drywall joint compound and light sanding make all the difference. And don’t forget the trim!
Home Improvement Tips #2: Spruce up the Landscaping
Curb appeal can snag a buyer’s attention at first glance, or it can instantly make your home a challenge to sell. First impressions really are that important.
Landscaping needs attention when your house hits the market, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to invest a fortune in it. Tidy the lawn, trim the trees and shrubs, plant a few yellow flowers on front. Also, add a fresh layer of mulch.
Small touches like these make your home look well-maintained, and you won’t lose a lot of money on landscaping that you won’t recoup at the sale.
Home Improvement Tips #3: Tackle Major Repairs
If your home has major problems, those are where your fixer-upper dollars need to go over anything else. Certain problems like these can kill a sale before it gets off the ground, so this is money invested wisely.
Some improvements that you’ll want to budget for, if they’re in disrepair, include a new roof, upgraded plumbing or electrical service, foundation problems, moisture issues in the basement, or a new heat and air unit.
There are a few big investment items that aren’t critical to the integrity of the home, but can make a real difference when it comes time to sell. Old appliances and countertops aren’t usually deal breakers, but new ones can make the kitchen really shine.
Selling your home should be a mutually beneficial venture. The buyer gets a sound, stable, well-kept home where everything works like it should, and you hopefully earn a little profit to carry to your next home.
The only time you should consider a major project prior to selling is if the market demands it, and if the house really needs it. A Realtor can give you a better idea of what buyers have come to expect; expectations vary by location.
If buyers in your area expect, and are willing to pay for, custom upgrades, then you might consider them. But a high-style kitchen isn’t always worth it. You might gain $15,000 on the sale. But if you spent $10,000 on the upgrade, you’re not much better off than when you started.
A little homework goes a long way when it comes to maximizing your budget. Spent wisely, your home could sell faster, and for a comfortable profit.