Buying a home is a big milestone, but selling one is just as momentous. If you thought the buying process was strenuous get ready for a lot more work in the weeks and months leading up to putting your home on the market.
Few homes are show ready at any given time. To get the best price possible, most homeowners have to make a few changes to get their house ready. This is definitely the case if you live in a competitive city or neighborhood where a number of similar homes are already listed.
Not every upgrade and renovation has a return on investment for homeowners that are about to sell their home. The trick is to focus on fixes that appeal to buyers and make your home shine so that people are wowed when they take a tour. The to-dos below are all about reducing your time on market and increasing the value of your home to get top dollar.
Add Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Today’s buyers are all about energy efficiency, even if they aren’t die-hard into the green lifestyle. Everyone understands the economic sense of having a home that’s more energy efficient. The fact that it’s better for the planet is a nice bonus. And in some areas like Austin, TX energy audits are now part of the buying process so you want your home to be as efficient as possible.
You can start with less costly upgrades like replacing the weather stripping around the doors. If you’re renovating the kitchen, which could be a good idea, then opt for Energy Star appliances. Replacing the windows? Go with Energy Star windows that have a low U-factor.
In some markets, you may also want to hire a solar energy contractor to have solar panels installed. In recent years, solar panel costs have dropped dramatically, and it’s an investment that can really pay off in the long-run. If everyone else in your neighborhood has solar panels you should highly consider it or your home won’t be as competitive. Less competitive equates to a lower price.
Make Repairs You Know Need Fixing
If you can easily tell something needs to be repaired, buyers can too. The last thing you want is a leaky faucet that costs $50 to repair to kill a potential offer. It may not seem like a big deal, but in the minds of buyers, even small issues are a red flag. It suggests that the home isn’t well maintained and there may be other larger problems lurking below the surface.
The other thing about repairs is you have to note them in the seller’s disclosure, and they’ll be discovered during a home inspection. Unless you live in a super hot seller’s market, these repairs could sink the deal because it gives the buyer a reason to back out. More likely, the buyer will request that a licensed professional make the repairs or they could request that the price be lowered.
Head off those potential issues, get an offer faster and sell your home for top dollar by going ahead and making repairs before putting your home on the market.
Dandy Up the Front Door
The front entry is one of the most important spots in your home when you’re trying to sell. It’s the area that welcomes a buyer in so you want it to be as inviting as possible.
Start with the actual door itself. Replacing the front door can really pay off. According to Remodeling Magazine, front door replacement has one of the highest returns.
Next, declutter the entry area inside and out. Do a little staging by adding a fresh floor mat, a planter with vibrant flowers and seating if possible. The idea is to draw the buyer in and give them a great first impression.
Clean Up and Landscape the Yard
Two words – curb appeal. Before buyers make it to the front door, they will pull up in front of your home and size it up from the outside. If they like what they see they’ll want to take a look inside. But if the yard is a mess or unkempt they’ll just drive right by and keep looking.
Even if you’re trying to sell during the winter, it’s a good idea to invest in landscaping and clean up the yard. If your yard is attractive and well-maintained it automatically gives the impression the rest of the home is equally nice.