Preparing Your Home For Sale

Ten Projects That Will Help Your Home Sell Quicker and for More Equity!

1. Paint - New paint adds a fresh smell, and well-maintained appearance. On the other hand, a home that needs paint looks neglected.

2. Gutters - Repair, cleaning or adding gutters will add value to your home and also help with appearance eliminating the ruts created in flower beds and yard.

3. Landscaping - Well trimmed bushes and a manicured lawn, are signs a home has been maintained. These tasks may involve more sweat equity than financial investment. While landscaping, take a look at your mailbox. If it is rusty and wobbly, replace it. A nice yard adds to the curb appeal that may get drive-by home shoppers out of their car and through the front door for a better look.

4. Light Fixtures - They don't have to be expensive. But, some old light fixtures can look dated.

5. Window Coverings - Do they let the light in? You don't need costly drapes, but worn, outdated, or heavy window coverings are a definite negative. Natural light appeals to most home buyers.

6. Floors - Attractive flooring adds a lift and can be fairly inexpensive. If carpet is a neutral color and in good condition, it may only need professional cleaning. If not, replace it, stick to med-grade, neutral tones that will go with all color schemes. Nice looking hardwood floors can be a major drawing card. If yours appear worn, it would be a smart use of your improvement dollars to have them refurbished.

7. Updated Kitchen - The kitchen is generally a major selling point, but it is expensive to totally redo it. The national average cost of a completely remodeled kitchen is between $20,000 and $30,000. It probably would not pay to do this, although an outdated kitchen can lower the market value of a home. One study suggests the return on a complete kitchen job is about 75%. That's not bad if you are doing the work for your benefit and can enjoy it for a few years. But for resale purposes, an alternative is to do spot remodeling jobs that can be accomplished for less money. For example, consider a new sink, countertops, cabinet fronts, lighting, a paint job, and even drawer and cabinet pulls can add to a nice kitchen facelift.

8. Bathroom - You can also do spot remodeling jobs in the bathroom with new fixtures, a new vanity and an interesting mirror. If the tub is in bad shape, re-caulk and check into getting it resurfaced.

9. Energy Features - If your home is older, energy loss may be a concern for would-be buyers. In that case, improved insulation for windows, doors, and storm doors can be smart upgrades.

10. Room Addition - An added room may increase the value of your home, but may not pay for itself. Before adding an extra bathroom or adding a family room, talk to a real estate professional to see what is selling in your neighborhood. If your home has 2 bathrooms, for example, but recent sales have been mostly 3 bathroom homes, then it might be a worthwhile project. Otherwise, save your money.

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