Make A List of Upgrades and Improvements For Marketing
You have decided to put your home on the market and have gone ahead and done all the little things necessary to do before selling a home. You have listened to a few or your friends, consulted with a Realtor and even watched a little bit of HGTV for good measure. The end of your home sale preparation however is not complete.
Positioning your home to sell is something that takes time and effort, but it does not necessarily need to be difficult. If you start early enough making the improvements to your home that will make it stand out in the market, and document those improvements appropriately, you can make your home much more appealing to buyers than it would be otherwise. The key of course is knowing which improvements that will help sell your home and which will be a waste of money.
One of the things some sellers fail to realize is that home buyers love to know what owners have done to their property and when. From a sellers standpoint not only does it help justify your price but is a good business practice for marketing purposes. This is something that a good Realtor can help you put together.
While making home improvements is super important for the ultimate value of your home if nobody knows about them when you are selling, you are missing a real marketing opportunity. A top real estate agent will use creative real estate marketing to enhance the appeal of your property.
Here are a list of the types of upgrades and improvements that can do wonders for selling your home.
Big Structural Impacts
There are a few improvements that can make a serious structural impact to your home, and bring it into the modern world in an immediate way. Kitchen upgrades, for instance, are an excellent way to take a home from old and dated to fresh and appealing.
Replacing old counter tops, cabinets, appliances and fixtures can make your kitchen a selling point instead of a sore spot. The kitchen is regarded to most people as being one of the most important rooms in a home. It makes perfect sense as we spend a considerable amount of time there cooking, eating and just hanging out for good conversation. There are not many home improvements that will have a greater impact than an upgraded kitchen.
Homes that have upgraded kitchens do exceptionally well because there are very few buyers who want to tackle a kitchen replacement as one of the first things they do when moving into a new home.
Bathrooms are another area where you can do some serious renovating to interest buyers. New fixtures, tiles and flooring can make your bathroom look warmer and more inviting, instead of a dark cave where no one wants to go. Getting a return on your investment becomes more probable when you have baths that are seriously outdated with color schemes from an era gone by like gold and green.
Upgrades like these are time consuming and do cost money, but they are also areas of the home that people look hard at when buying.
The systems that make your home comfortable to live in will wear out over time, and replacing them now could help draw buyers in. Heating and air conditioning systems, for instance, are a necessity in modern homes. But if your system is old or inefficient, it may be worth looking at a replacement. Newer cooling and heating systems are a good investment. They work more efficiently – using less energy to heat and cool more effectively – than older systems. This makes them appealing on an environmental level and for improved comfort.
Your plumbing system is another one that could maybe use an upgrade. Some older homes are not equipped to handle full-size families, from old inefficient water heaters to rusty steel pipes and water hungry toilets. A new system may cost a bit of money, but it will certainly be considered a good selling point for buyers.
Electrical system upgrades might also be in order, especially if you have old wiring or are lacking certain safety features such as grounded outlets. You want buyers to see themselves living comfortably in your home, and that means being able to use the myriad electronic devices that are now standard in homes.
Windows are one other area where buyers pay attention. New windows are far more energy efficient than older windows, not to mention looking better and functioning more reliably. New windows will make your home stand out. These are all important things you want to point out to buyers if they have been upgraded. If not, it would be a good idea to have a look at the present condition of these items in your home. When you are selling a home you can’t escape the fact a buyer will be doing a home inspection and going over your property with a fine tooth comb!
Knowing how to prepare for a home inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction. You need to understand that many homes sales fall apart at the home inspection!
Since the inspection is one of the biggest hurdles you will face as a home seller it only makes sense to understand what the major reasons are that a home buyer may become scared off. In fact you should be intimately familiar with all the kinds of problems found at home inspections that cause home sales to be terminated. These are what we refer to in the business as the top home inspection issues that you want to avoid at all costs. An educated seller can prepare in advance to make sure that none of these items are present before the for sale sign is even put in the lawn!
Small Items, Big Impact
Not all upgrades have to cost an arm and a leg. A fresh coat of paint and new carpet can completely transform your home, while being easy on your wallet. Paint especially can be cheap when you do the work yourself. Painting in in fact one of the best improvements that will help sell your home. You should keep in mind, however, that going the color route could be risky without the guidance of an interior designer or competent Realtor. Consultations are inexpensive and worth the money to avoid making a regretful color decision.
Carpets are harder to do yourself unless you have experience, but having new carpet laid is still a bargain when you consider the impact it can make on your home sale. New carpet makes older homes feel newer, and inspires the perception of cleanliness than is so important in selling your home. People want to make their own messes, not take over the old ones of the previous owner. Fresh carpet allows them to do so. Here are some additional low cost upgrades that can make a word of difference.
Expensive Improvements, Low Return
Some improvements are worth noting for their expense and relatively low return on investment. They may be necessary to make your home sell, but do not expect to make more money on the home because of them.
A new roof is an improvement that usually does not do much for the price of your home, and you should avoid paying for one if you can. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but do not expect to get your money back in the sale. Keep in mind buyers expect a home to be free of water whether it is a roof or basement leaking. Rarely, however do buyers pay additional for this expense. For example picture two identical homes side by side with the exception of one having a ten year old roof and the other being new. The home with the new roof will not sell for that much more than the home with the ten year old roof.
If your roof however, is older it is important to know if it will need replacement. One of the biggest bones of contention in real estate sales after a buyer does their home inspection is whether or not the home needs a new roof. If there is any question what so ever that this may be the case it would be smart to have a roofing estimate before putting your home on the market so you know the cost involved with replacement.
A new septic system is another such improvement. Yes, buyers will want a functioning septic system. But all buyers care about is if the current one you have is functional. Unfortunately having to replace your septic system will bring you very little back in relation to what it will cost to replace. It is one of the worst returning items with a home.
Lower end swimming pools are another unnecessary expense. As appealing as television and movies make having a pool, most buyers are not willing to dish out a lot of extra money for the perk. If your home does not have a pool, do not put one it just for the sale. Do it for your own enjoyment and realize when it comes time to sell your home you will get very little return on investment. This is especially true in colder climates where a swimming pool can only be used a few months out of the year.
The Little Upgrades
There are some little improvements that are worth adding to your list if you have made any of them recently. Security systems are a nice little addition to a home, as are sprinkler systems and a central vacuum. Lighting is also worth mentioning, especially if it has made your home noticeably more appealing.
Landscaping is another area where you can put in a little work for significant impact. Adding mulch and some flowers can do a lot to increase your home’s curb appeal, and costs next to nothing if you are willing to get your hands dirty. If you have landscaped recently, add it to the list.
Keep Your Marketing List Front And Center
Your home might have many obvious appealing features, but it is always smart from a marketing standpoint to point out everything in case there are things that buyers may have missed. Think your improvement through before putting your home on the market.
Make up a detailed worksheet that you can provide your Realtor to use with their marketing. This upgrade list should be front and center while your home is on the market. Keep your upgrade list with the rest of the marketing materials so buyers have a comprehensive package they can take with them.
When buyers go out and look at multiple homes in one visit often times many of them can blend together. Having a reference for them preferably with good photography is an excellent way to keep your home fresh in a buyers mind!
Keep in mind that all the preparation in the world is not going to sell an overpriced home. If you choose a lousy real estate agent you will also be behind the eight ball so to speak. Home staging does not sell an overpriced home nor does it compensate for a real estate agent who doesn’t know how to market homes. Do your home work on both the proper price and the right real estate agent and you will be a very happy camper!
Other Useful Selling Resources
- Home improvements that will pay off via HGTV.com
- What are some of the things to do after selling my home by Maximum Real Estate Exposure.
- Here are the top ten repair items that will help your home sell by MSN Real Estate.
Use the above resources to make your home stand out from a crowd and increase the chances you will get out of your home sale what you expected.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on home improvements that will help sell your home was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 27+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.