Three key areas that could make your home more marketable and increase it's value.
Have you wondered what you could do, if anything, that would make your home easier to sell and increase it’s value? Every homeowner wants to get the most for their home. What can be done to increase value and/or make it easier to sell?
Three key areas to get ready to sell that may improve your homes value and make your home more marketable are necessary repairs, cosmetic improvements and remodeling improvements.
Make a list of everything that is worn out, defective, or broken. Your home will always have an appraisal and more often then not the buyer will order an independent home inspection.
Appraisal: The appraiser, who is required by the buyers lender, not only determines fair market value but also assures the lender that the home is in satisfactory condition. Though they may not climb onto the roof or crawl around in the crawl space or basement they may include recommendations for repairs that, depending on the type of loan, will need to be fixed before approving the home for financing. Lenders don’t want unexpected and costly repairs that the new owner will incur shortly after closing. The cost of those repairs could risk the new owner’s ability to make the mortgage payments. Appraisers may also recommend additional inspections by licensed inspectors for the specific concerns they may have.
Typical issues an appraiser may identify are:
- Paint Condition: A house with cracking and peeling paint and caulking could lead to more costly repairs like replacing siding.
- Stairs: Health and safety is a top priority for an appraiser. They will need to meet local code requirements and be safe and secure. Hand rails need to be firm and secure and steps can’t wobble or be rotting.
- Roof: The roof will need to be in good condition typically with at lease 3 years of life left. Replacement may be required if your roof doesn’t meet these requirements.
- Foundation: Whether your foundation is concrete or pear and post, it will need to be stable and level with no indications of serious cracking or rot. If there are, you may need to repair the problems.
- Utilities: Plumbing, electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), will all need to be in safe, working condition. If not, the lender will likely require fixing the issues before allowing the buyers loan to close.
Inspections: A home inspection will, more often than not, be ordered by the buyer. These inspections will go deeper than the appraiser. They don’t determine property value, just condition and needed repairs. They are licensed experts in home construction and will more thoroughly inspect all the things an appraiser will and more. They will climb and crawl everywhere. Home inspectors will be looking for pest infestations, water damage, mold and much more. It’s not uncommon for a home inspector to order further inspection reports from specialists for things they are concerned about.
You can expect inspections of:
- Crawl spaces
- Windows and doors
- Water leakage and damage
- Appliance function and condition
Don’t wait to fix the obvious. You will most likely be required to fix them in any case and it will just delay the closing.
Wear and tear as well as dated colors will affect that critical first impression a buyer will have when they first see your home. Cosmetics are typically not costly to remedy, especially if you can do it yourself.
- Start with a deep cleaning. This includes dusting everywhere, washing cabinets inside and out, carpet cleaning, washing windows and scrubbing bathrooms.
- Next move to painting (touch up or the entire room). Flawless paint in the right color increases perceived value and makes your home immediately livable.
- Replace badly worn carpet and flooring. Replacing badly worn and/or stained flooring will be a necessity for most buyers. It will be a cash expense and a hassle to get it done.
- Replace damaged fixtures. Door knobs, lighting and outlet plates should also be replaced.
- Replace or repair appliances. It’s a good idea to repair or replace appliances that are staying with the home and aren’t fully functional. Buyers will consider it an added cash expense and hassle to buy and install replacements.
If you have the time and bankroll, you may consider improving your home with a room remodel or by adding new features to your home. You know your home better than anyone else. You are the most qualified to know what would improve it. With that said, always keep in mind, if you plan on selling, any improvements should only be done if you earn money for your efforts. The fact is, with most major remodels, it’s difficult to get your money back. And, since you won’t be enjoying your upgrades, there’s no point spending money and time on something you won’t be enjoying and won’t earn back what you invested.
If you are considering doing some improvements, here are a few tips:
- Think objectively not subjectively. Often times minor improvements will give the highest return.Things you can do yourself, provided you do them right, almost always will. Paint in current popular colors can make a big difference for little cost. New, energy efficient appliances have high perceived value. Don’t buy the best. Buy ones that look like the best. Whatever you do, do it for the new buyer not for yourself.
- Keep perspective on your home and neighborhood. You will never get your money back if you do a $100,000 kitchen remodel in a $300,000 dollar home and neighborhood. Keep things consistent with the size and quality of your home.
- Improve street appeal whenever possible. Landscaping, exterior color, driveway, lighting, garage doors and front entry all create desirable street appeal.
If you are considering a major remodel where professionals are required, the ones that give the best chance for making more than they cost are:
- Bath Remodel
- Kitchen Remodel
- Deck, Patio or Porch Additions
Often, because we are emotionally connect to our home, we are not the best people to evaluate what will make our home more marketable and increase it’s value. We may love our deep orange walls and lush lime green carpets, but how many homebuyers will feel the same? We often won’t notice that the exterior could use new paint in a different color. We see it daily and are less likely to notice how it’s aged and we love the color because we chose it. Family and friends can help bring some things to light but getting independent, professional advice is your best option. Your realtor is the obvious choice. They understand the market and trends and have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of comparable homes in your area.
We can help. If you are considering selling in the near future, just check, "I would like a home improvement evaluation," on the enrollment form. We will connect you with one of our approved Military Home Services realtors. They can give you an independent evaluation about what you can do to get ready to sell. ENROLL HERE to get started.