Five Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home for Resale


 

Even if you’re putting your home on the market at the best of all possible time, getting top dollar and a short listing time depends on its appearance. Ideally, the home should compel the home shopper to visit it both from the photos home buyers see online and the real world impression the home makes from the street.

Exterior Impressions

1. First impressions last and are made immediately from the street. Focus your efforts on the front yard appearance. Remove any dead vegetation and trim the trees and bushes. Season permitting, add some color by planting flowers or using flower bowls near the entry. During the fall and winter, use decorations appropriate for the season, like wreaths that hang from the windows or the front door.

Sweep the sidewalks and clean the driveway. The driveway may not seem important, but in reality, it sets the stage for first impressions given its size and exposure. A badly stained driveway will be a drawback, but degreasers are available that will remove the oil stains. You can also hire contractors who specialize in steam cleaning stubborn concrete and brick stains. Home improvement centers sell a variety of products that will fill and seal driveway cracks.

2. Paint the house. Fresh paint is one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to freshen the look of your home, especially if it’s peeling or faded. Use neutral colors on the body and choose an accent based on the acceptable architectural style and colors of your region and neighborhood.

3. Hang a new door. The National Association of Realtors surveys home buyers annually to learn which improvements return the greatest value to homeowners when selling their homes. Steel entry doors ranked high on the list, with a 91 percent return on investment. A front door helps seal the impression the front of the home creates. A new, insulated steel door offers durability and energy efficiency.

Deal with the Interior

4. A clutter-free home is the exception, but it will help you sell your home more quickly. When you remove the clutter, whether it’s piles of books and magazines or children’s toys, prospective home buyers will be able to see “bones” of the house much more clearly. An overly crowded room looks smaller, which discourages most home buyers.

Pay special attention to the kitchen and eating areas. Kitchens often suffer from overcrowded countertops that distract buyers from seeing the room as a whole. They’ll often jump to the conclusion that the kitchen is small, or won’t see the space as efficient. Since the kitchen has to be the most functional room in the home, a messy or cluttered appearance can be discouraging.

Since it’s the most important room in the home, take time to remove anything that takes up valuable space, whether it’s on the countertop or the walls. Store the small appliances you don’t use in the garage or the basement. Organize the cabinets and pantry. Odds are you’ll free up plenty of space by tossing nearly empty containers and out-of-date food.

Beyond the physical workspace, the kitchen should provide some visual relaxation. Cluttered bulletin boards and crowded pot racks close the room in. Remove the memorabilia from the refrigerator doors and put the fruit bowls in the refrigerator.

Make It Different

5. On average, people look at 11 homes before they contact a Realtor or seller, and anything you can do to make your home more memorable will help online searchers remember it. The features could add convenience, like in-the-wall vacuum cleaning systems or luxury, like wine cellar doors. Not only do these doors add aesthetic appeal to your home and differentiate it from others, they also preserve the characteristics of the wine.

From easy to involved, these five tips will help you ready your home for the resale market. One or more might help you sell faster and for a better price.

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