Real estate industry experts say there may be a light at the end of the tunnel with respect to home sales. Declines in home sales over the last year have led to a number of foreclosures and homes on the market. First-time buyers are finding they can finally get the house of their dreams — for an affordable price. That means there are individuals out there looking for homes right now.
As a homeowner, if you are thinking about putting your home on the market in the months to come, certain improvements can help it to stand out in a sea of competition. Some improvements will be necessary (to meet home inspection), while others can attract the eye of potential buyers. Here’s a listing of the top improvements that also generate a good return on investment.
• Paint: Your style may not be everyone else’s style. Therefore, think light and bright for wall colors and other accents, such as bathroom tiles and kitchen flooring. Neutral colors are the key to attracting the most buyers.
• De-clutter: Buyers are buying your home, not the personal belongings that may be in it. To help them envision their own furniture and accessories in the space, remove as many personal effects as possible. Also, thin out furniture if it is overwhelming in rooms. Now is a good time to invest in a storage unit to house the removed items until you move into your new home.
• Kitchens and Baths: It’s no secret that kitchens and baths often sell homes, and offer an 80 to 90 percent return on investment. An updated kitchen and bath with neutral colors, clean tiles and grout, new fixtures, and perhaps new countertops or vanity surfaces can go a long way toward getting a home sold. However, be sure not to over-improve these spaces, otherwise it could be wasted money. Visit comparable properties to ensure that the renovations you make are on par with the neighborhood.
• Repairs: Make any repairs necessary to improve the aesthetic appeal of the home. For example, peeling paint or spots on a ceiling may be indicative of a water problem and could be a red flag to buyers. Be sure to replace any cracked tile, damaged floor surfaces, trim or molding, cracked or damaged stairs, rotted wood, or any other repair that is within the realm of your capabilities. Larger repairs that you may or may not be willing to embark upon can be remedied by pricing the home accordingly and stating that they’re the responsibility of the buyer.
In addition to the modifications mentioned, here are some more improvements — both inside and outside of the home —that can get your home sold faster:
• add a bathroom
• install central heating/cooling
• add a deck
• replace windows
• add a room
• finish a basement or garage space