Archive February 2019

7 Repairs to Make Before Selling Your House

You want to sell your home quickly and profitably, but you may have a few repairs to make first. But how do you know which repairs are worth doing, and which ones are better left to the buyer? Here are a few tips:

Focus on the exterior. First impressions are lasting impressions, so be sure the outside of your home is clean and inviting. Paint or replace shutters that are faded or worn, update landscaping and make sure your front entrance is welcoming to visitors.

Play it safe. Fix items that are a clear safety risk or environmental issue, such as broken steps, electrical issues, water damage, rotten or chipped flooring or a leaky roof, which can spook buyers. You can save money on large repairs by getting competitive bids from businesses in your community, then your CRS can strategically include the repairs in your home’s listing.

Think small. Minor flaws can be seen as huge problems when potential buyers are examining the space—for every $1,000 of perceived defect, the buyer will ask for a $3,000 to $5,000 reduction of the asking price. Replacing or repairing worn woodwork, caulking in bathtubs and showers, faded wallpaper, marred walls and stained ceilings, loose knobs, sticking windows and broken light switches are all ways to make your home more appealing.

Decide when to go big. Once you know what repairs or upgrades are needed, it’s time to decide what’s actually worth fixing. For example, if your kitchen cabinets are very beat-up or outdated, it may be worth replacing them. However, since buyers tend to tweak cosmetic details to their own tastes, cabinets that are in relatively good shape can be resurfaced instead. Upgrades that are almost always worth it are hardwood flooring, roofing and insulation, which reap 95 percent returns on investment or higher. When in doubt, talk with your real estate agent about features that maximize your ability to sell in your area.

Keep it clean. Buyers may see the surface condition of your home as a sign of what’s underneath. Keep windows, floors, walls and other surfaces clean. Steam clean carpeting and other fabrics, and, if needed, hire a cleaning service to ensure the place is always tidy.

Provide quotes. Items such as energy enhancements or major appliances are best left to the buyer, but you can provide quotes to help them budget if they want to replace or upgrade in the future.

Inspect it. If you are still unsure about some features of your home, consider getting a pre-inspection or talking to a real estate agent about a pre-listing inspection.

When deciding to selling your home, guidance from a qualified real estate agent is invaluable. Not all agents are created equally though, so when you turn to sell, contact a Certified Residential Specialist. These agents have advanced education, training and experience and are certified as the best real estate agents in the business.

The 2 Most Common Pricing Mistakes

Price is the No. 1 factor that helps potential home buyers determine which homes they want to view. The right price should attract buyers, allow you to earn the most money possible and help you sell as quickly as possible. However, there is an art and a science to setting asking prices, and many sellers tend to overvalue their homes based on two common factors—the original cost of the property and the cost of home improvements.

1. The original cost of the property does not determine your asking price. Price is determined by today’s market, not by the market in which you purchased your home. Buyers won’t be swayed to pay more for a property just because you paid a lot initially.

2. Home improvements do not necessarily increase your asking price. Improvements can add value to your home, but not all improvements add value equal to what you spent on them. What you saw as an upgrade could be seen by a buyer as a potential future cost. For example, just because you spent $20,000 installing a state-of-the art swimming pool doesn’t mean your home’s selling price will be $20,000 more. This goes for all upgrades. A $7,000 kitchen upgrade doesn’t mean $7,000 should be added to the asking price. Consider this before spending money to upgrade or update any part of a home you plan to sell.

Try to avoid allowing your enthusiasm to impact your better judgment—overpricing is a common mistake that can cost you in the end. If your home is priced too high, you may help sell similar homes in your area that are priced lower, rather than selling your own. Because your home would likely stay on the market longer, you could lose market interest as well as qualified buyers. And the longer your home is on the market, the more likely it is you’ll lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments, incurring taxes and paying unplanned maintenance costs.

With a mix of real world experience and advanced training, a Certified Residential Specialist has the tools necessary to decide the fair market value of your home based on both the marketplace and personal considerations. Remember, the right price is key to a successful sale, so work with a CRS to price your home accurately the first time.