Ready to Sell this year? Here’s How to Refresh Your Home
The warm weather of spring usually ushers in a flurry of real estate activity. But this year, with different parts of the country on varying degrees of lockdown, some sellers may have delayed listing their homes. And some buyers paused their home purchase. It appears home buyers and sellers are coming back into the market, delaying the normal strong Spring real estate market to the summer months this year.
For those who were getting ready to list a home for sale, that pause provides a little extra time to ensure properties look their best. We can share our thoughts on which maintenance items and improvements are most likely to provide the greatest return on investment and facilitate a quick sale.
Focus on the Little Things
It’s easy to get carried away thinking about elaborate renovations to kitchens and bathrooms, but there are many small improvements and maintenance items that are equally important. They don’t cost much, but they can help make buyers feel comfortable with a home and reduce the chance of red flags during a home inspection.
This includes burned-out light bulbs, which should be replaced. Otherwise, it’s a question mark, because a fixture that won’t turn on may make a buyer wonder if there’s a problem with the wiring. Eliminate unnecessary extension cords for similar reasons. While you may have added them for convenience, they can raise concerns about the electrical system.
You should also repair any windows and doors that don’t open and close easily, and fix loose or leaky faucets.
If there’s a stain on the ceiling from a toilet overflow upstairs, repair the drywall and paint in that area so buyers won’t worry that there’s still a leaky pipe. That stain on the ceiling raises a lot of questions. We can test and verify that it’s dry, but it will still loom in the buyer’s mind. You want your home to come across as well maintained, both in the inspector’s eyes and the buyer’s eyes.
Appliances and Systems
Consider the dishwasher. Before the lockdown, it may have been used, at most, once a day. But with so many people eating all their meals at home, some dishwashers are now being used twice a day. If that’s the case in your home, the filter needs to be cleaned twice as often, to prevent problems.
Heating and cooling systems are also facing increased demand. As we get into the summer, we’re starting to use our air-conditioners all day rather than just in the evenings and early mornings, so those filters also need to be changed more often.
And if you have a washing machine that’s being used more than usual and it connects to supply lines with rubber hoses, now might be a good time to upgrade the hoses to stronger, braided stainless steel, to protect against leaks. Same goes for toilet supply lines.
Improve Curb Appeal
When you’re selling a house, curb appeal is important. But at a time when buyers may be looking to limit the number of house tours they take, it is especially crucial. We suggest tackling the simple things that many people forget: Clean the gutters, touch up cracked and peeling paint, and trim unruly trees and shrubs. And if your lawn is patchy and brown, fix it.
“The biggest return on value is generally on yard projects rather than interior renovations. Just seeding and re-sodding the lawn is very attractive to a potential buyer.
A 2018 report by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals, for instance, estimated that a $375 standard lawn care service, including fertilization and weed control, could boost a home’s sale price by as much as $1,000.
People are relying on virtual showings and virtual tours. Having something that looks beautiful with photos and videos is even more important right now.
Enhance the Interior
Indoors, a few key changes — new paint, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, and new or refinished wood floors — can often increase the value of a home. But be careful with your design choices. They can’t be too personalized. The goal is to have “a very simple and clean design, and a neutral color palette. Where people start to go wrong is when they start looking at bright or dark paint, or when re-doing a bathroom or kitchen, looking at luxury.
A fresh coat of white or light gray paint is a relatively inexpensive improvement that can substantially enhance the look of a home.
Refinishing wood floors can be a pain, but if the home is empty, it may be worthwhile. The value of kitchen and bathroom renovations is far less certain. It depends on the updates you choose. Of course, some kitchen and bathroom renovations are more appealing than others. Focus on using simple, inexpensive materials that will appeal to the broadest group of buyers possible — like white subway tile and white Shaker-style cabinets. It’s stuff that may not be somebody’s dream kitchen or dream bathroom. But what buyers do say is, ‘Hey, I can live here for three, four or five years, and I don’t have to do anything’. Homes with extremely outdated, unappealing kitchens and bathrooms stand to benefit the most from such renovations. So if your kitchen and bathrooms are generally acceptable, focus on cleaning and decluttering instead.
If you want to get the best price and attract the most buyers, you want your home to look fresh, modern and move-in ready.
No Interest Loan available to Update your Home to Sell!
Cary Concierge provides personal service and interest-free financing to prepare your home for market.
Cary will front the cost to repair and improve your home to receive the highest price possible. This includes Staging, Repairs, and Improvements.
No Hidden Fees – No Interest Charged…. Ever.
If you are considering a move in the near future, this summer is a great time. Home prices are at record levels, and 30 year fixed rate home loans are averaging just 3%. A home buyer today will enjoy lower monthly payments compared to renting the same home – when including their tax deductions and principle pay down each month. That’s great motivation to purchase – and we can show them how!