People always ask, “What can I do to make my property worth more if I decide to sell?” The answer is not always so easy. I usually respond with, “It depends.” It does. It depends on many things that can affect what I recommend. I do have a few things I always look for and have tried to put these into a “Top 5” list of things that will add value. I’m sure this list will not be perfect, but it’s a good start. Here we go:
1) Do you have only one bath? If so, look at your floor plan and see if there is a place to add a second bath, or even a half bath. For the money it costs, especially when you have some skills to do the work on your own, this is of good value when selling. A second bath is important to most people with families, people who want families and even empty-nesters that want room for guests. For the cost, this is a great way to add to your selling price.
2) What is the first thing you notice about a house? If you notice it, others will notice it too, good or bad. Most likely that would be the front of the house, whether from the photo on MLS or from a drive by. A lot of people make decisions on whether to see a home by their first impression. We call this “curb appeal.” There are several ways to improve curb appeal. Check the landscaping and spruce it up where it needs it. Trim the hedges, mow the lawn, kill the weeds. Look at the paint. Is it looking rough? Is the house dirty? Making the front of the house look like a home that people love is a big advantage when selling.
3) Walk in your front door. What do you notice? Does it smell? Is it cluttered? It’s important to be realistic about what you notice because buyers certainly will be. The first impression of the interior of your home will be as important as the curb appeal. Buyers will decide whether they want to see the rest of the house based on their first impression. If it stinks, maybe you need to deal with your cat. Maybe the carpet needs to be replaced. Figure out what it is and fix it! Clutter is easy to fix. Don’t get caught with the attitude of “I live here. They can deal with how I live.” Until it is sold, you need to live in a way that sells the house, even if it isn't very comfortable. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves in the space.
4) Kitchens are a big deal to most buyers. Look at yours. Is it dated? Does it need a thorough cleaning? Are there dirty dishes piled in the sink? Are the counter tops cluttered? Are the cupboards organized? Buyers will open cabinetry. Clutter is indicative of limited space, so take the time to clear out excess and organize! If it’s dated, maybe think about changing the hardware and/or painting the cabinets. Don’t remodel it to sell it. The cost is prohibitive related to the return. Do simple things and make it look brighter and clean!
5) Does it look well maintained inside? Clean things up! That’s free. Look around. Are the blinds dirty? If so, clean ‘em. Are there dirty hand prints around the door casings? Paint ‘em. Did the dog scratch up the wall by the back door? Fix it. Those little things will add up to much more interest for a buyer. People want to think a home has been taken care of. It creates comfort. Comfort creates offers.
Follow these few tips and you will sell your house for more money than if you left it alone. If they are already done, good for you! You are light years ahead of the competition.