10 Easy Ways to Increase the Final Market Price of a Home

Real estate has a record of increasing in value over time, but there are simple things that a property owner can immediately do to increase the eventual sales price of a home.  The final sales price of a home is determined by factors that are common to all properties like: number of bedrooms, number of baths, size of rooms, square footage, etc.  However, the actual sales price of the home will be established when the buyer and the seller come to a mutual agreement as to the actual dollar amount.

This being the case, it is possible for the seller of the property to do a number of simple tasks that can, and probably will, increase the actual dollar amount that the buyer is willing to pay.  What are these things and how expensive will it be to complete or finish them?  Before we examine 10 relatively easy things the seller can do to increase the marketability of the property as well as the ultimate sales price of the house, let’s put our “buyer’s hat” on.

The price of a property is a factor of the Supply/Demand function.  If you can increase the demand, then the price of a home will increase.  How do you increase the demand?  It’s simple, you must operate on the fact that BUYERS BUY BENEFITS!  If you want to increase the number of potential serious buyers, you must illustrate the benefits of the property to the buyers.  The way you can do this is to put yourself in the mind of the buyer.  Ask yourself, “What are the things that would make you want to buy this property?”  Start thinking like the buyer as you walk through your own home.  Forget the fact that you’re the owner and have to fix any problems you see.  Look at the things you can do to make the property more appealing to all the potential buyers.  Here are 10 Easy Ways to Increase the Final Market Price of a Home.

 

Easy Way #1 – Start at the Gate

Remove any and all miscellaneous trash and junk.  Remember to look at the property as if you were just getting out of your car.  As the buyer, your first impression will factor into two different questions:  Would you want to own the property? And How much would you pay for the right to own it?  You want to ensure that the potential buyer is answering these questions positively.

Even if you have a special emotional attachment to old tools and the wheelbarrow that belonged to your father – get rid of them.  You want the first impression to be one where the buyer is imagining what he or she would do to enjoy the yard.  Take the time to clean up anything that could be considered to be clutter.  The more clean and uncluttered the property is, the better the first impression will be.

Highlight the entrance.  Even before the buyer enters the home, he or she will focus on the entrance to the house.  The cleaner and brighter you can make the front door and porch, the better impression you will make.  Once again, remove excess items from the porch like shoes, toys, and above all else – garbage.

 

Easy Way #2 – Improve the Curb Appeal

You want positive impressions and feelings when the potential buyer looks around the yard.  So, start by mowing the lawn and pruning the shrubs.  If your property needs some lawn sod to improve the first impression, go ahead and have it installed. Whatever steps you can do to improve the looks of the yard, the better off you will be.  If you need to hire some help from neighbor boys to make the yard look like something out of a magazine, it will pay huge dividends.

Pay special attention to the front of the house itself.  Does the house need painting or would it help if you just got a pressure washer from the rental store and hosed down the whole thing?  Once again, buyers buy benefits, and you want the buyer to see the benefit of a great looking house and yard.

After cleaning everything up and removing excess debris from the property, take a minute and look up and down the street and ask yourself, “What could I do to make the house look better than the houses of all the neighbors?”  We’re not talking about spending a lot of money, but rather just being conscious of how to improve the looks of the house and yard from the street.  Sometimes a little bit of money and some diligent work in the yard will pay huge dividends in the actual sales price of the home, and in the shortened time in selling.

 

Easy Way #3 – Clean, Sweep, Mop, and Clean Again

Start by removing any and all trash, and then do a survey of how you can clean the house as if it were a new home.  As a buyer, what would you notice about the cleanliness of the home?  Is there dust on the pictures?  Yes, you need to dust, sweep and vacuum throughout the house.  If there are bookcases, the books need to be straightened and lined up.  Furniture needs to be moved and straightened, after cleaning underneath.  Bedrooms must be immaculate with all excess items removed.

Now you need to get to the bathrooms.  Take the time to scrub and scour and make the toilets, showers, and tubs look as new as possible.  Clean the floors and baseboards.  Don’t forget to open the cabinets and clean and straighten.  If there are excess or old items, discard and trash them.

Next stop is the kitchen.  Appliances are key.  Start with the stove and fridge.  Even if you are taking the appliances with you, they are an integral part of the kitchen and they need to show as brilliant and clean.  Pay special attention to the cabinets.  Straighten the dishes and clean the doors.  Many people spend a little bit of money and actually paint the cabinets.  If necessary and if you have the money, new cabinets can sell the home as people spend most of their waking moments in the kitchen.

Finally, don’t forget the garage and storage areas.  They need to be cleaned and made to look as clutter free as possible.  Many people judge a home on the amount of storage space available.  You don’t want your storage areas to look cluttered and dirty.

 

Easy Way #4 – Do a Final Declutter

Throughout the cleaning process we have been consciously removing as much of the clutter as possible, but now we are looking at ways to maximize spacial perception.  When there is too much furniture in a room, the room looks small.  If you want the potential buyer to think the rooms are large and spacious, try removing some of the furniture.  Many sellers realize that they weren’t actually using the items they removed as part of the declutter process.

If you can declutter the closets in the bedrooms, you will find that the closets seem larger.  Clutter clogs up any room, and when you remove excess items from the room, everything seems larger.

The garage always seems to be a magnet for clutter, and now you want to get rid of as much of the clutter as you can.  Some sellers have realized that renting a small storage unit for a few months can actually be financially smart when they move their clutter from the house to the storage unit.  However, it doesn’t seem to take long for these same people to realize that they weren’t actually using the items they put into storage.

 

Easy Way #5 – Store Your Personal Memories

Buyers want to make the new home (hopefully your house) theirs.  They want their own memories.  If you have a ton of family photos occupying all the wall space, it might be time to pack some of the photos up and leave room on the walls.  You aren’t getting rid of the photos – only freeing up wall space.

 

Easy Way #6 – Brighten the House

You want to let in as much light as possible to the home.  Avoid heavy dark drapes that create depressing feelings.  Windows are designed to let in the light and you want as much light as possible.

Consider visiting the paint store and getting neutral color paints to cover the walls.  Paint isn’t expensive and can lighten the rooms of the home dramatically.  Avoid heavy colors like reds and dark blues. People have been found to be more positive when they are in light and bright rooms.  There is a reason why windows occupy most recovery rooms in hospitals. If your home is deficient in the amount of outside light you have, then consider using floor lamps and table lamps to give a bright and cheery effect.

In certain rare instances you may want to add a window to let in more light.  When you add windows, make sure you get professional help in order to avoid problems later on.

 

Easy Way #7 – Add Living Plants 

Nature is soothing and when you can add a limited amount of living plants in vases and pots within the house, it creates a feeling of comfort.  You can use plants to emphasize certain parts of the house that can positively impact the buyer.  Consider putting a few plants next to the fireplace.  It will draw positive attention to the fireplace.

 

Easy Way #8 – Use the Senses

Smell is an extraordinary sense in selling homes.  It can be a negative if you have stale smells in a home, like cigarette smoke or cooking bacon, but it can be a real positive if the smell is one that evokes positive thoughts.  Some years ago, most malls allowed cookie smells to be wafted throughout the malls.  Sales were great, but other store owners objected and malls quit allowing the baking cookies to be smelled throughout the entire building.  Today, you have that same opportunity.  Baking bread and cookies can be a delight when people enter the home to view it.

On the negative side, if you have any smells or odors permeating throughout the structure, you need to clean the walls and take the steps to get rid of unwanted smells.  Oftentimes, you might have to remove carpets and repaint to rid the house of the bad smells.  It also helps to air out the home and make sure you have good ventilation throughout.

 

Easy Way #9 – Create Extra Space

As we declutter the home, we give the impression of added space.  Now we need to increase this illusion whenever possible.  Avoid huge bulky furniture in decorating.  Too large furniture will make the room smaller.

It’s not recommended to start adding rooms to every home, but if you have a room that is presently a storeroom and is large enough to be a bedroom, you may have another option.  Maybe it would be wise to store the storage items in your new storage unit and turn the storeroom into a bedroom by adding a new window.  If there is not enough room for a full closet, consider using an armoire as an alternative option.

Throughout the house you want to create the feeling of a large space.  When people remodel loft areas in renovated buildings they leave the ceilings open.  High ceilings create the feeling of much larger space.

 

Easy Way #10 – Use Small Renovations

This final tactic is one that has to be weighed financially.  Some renovations are very costly and may not create any added value beyond the cost of doing the renovation.  The exception might be something like finishing a partially finished basement.  This would create added space to the home but should be done in a very professional manner.

You may want to update appliances and fixtures in the kitchen or bathroom.  These are two rooms that have a strong eye appeal. Whenever you update these rooms, make sure you use neutral colors and bring in lots of light.

First impressions are lasting ones.  If you want to improve the marketability of your home, then pay attention to the little details.  Simple easy-to-follow tactics like the above strategies can pay big dividends in finding more potential buyers, and when you have more buyers, the price you receive for the property should naturally increase.

 

10 Most Import Items to Upgrade on Your Home

If you have a home that you are considering fixing up so you can sell it for the best price but you don’t have a fortune to spend on upgrades, focus on the following 10 items to make the biggest impression on potential buyers:

  • New Front Door: It is always important to make a good first impression and the front door is the first thing people see when they come up to a house. Replace an old, plain slab door with a new raised panel with a window in it.  Paint it a color that complements the house but also adds a little character and stands out.
  • Tile Foyer Entry: The next item buyers see when they enter your home is the entry, so make it look like an entry by laying some tile or hardwood in the space allotted.  If you walk into a house that is carpeted right up to the front door, the entry disappears into the living room and doesn’t look as classy.
  • New or Improved Doors: Another inexpensive replacement that can make a big difference is replacing the interior doors.  If your doors are plain, flat slab doors, upgrade them to raised panel doors.  Purchase a whole new pre-hung door, jamb and casing to replace the old ones.  They will come pre-primed so they can be easily painted.  Be sure to pick a color that offsets the walls for a two-toned look.
  • New Door Handles: Along with your new doors, jamb and casing you should replace the hinges and door handles with a nickel satin finish to match today’s modern look.  You can buy inexpensive handles for about $12 each and make a big impression.
  • New Electrical Switch Plates: Other items that are overlooked include electric wall switch plates.  A lot of people will freshly paint their place but leave the old, worn-looking electric cover plates on or even paint over them, which is worse.  Spend 35 cents each and replace the cover plates throughout the house.
  • Paint/Replace Trim: Painting the house will make one of the biggest best impressions of all, but if your walls look pretty good already and you are on a budget, consider just painting the doors and trim.  You can pick a color that offsets the wall color, like white when the walls are grey or beige.  This will create a two-tone look which is much more appealing than everything painted the same color.
  • Paint Kitchen Cabinets: Replacing the kitchen cabinets is nice but also one of the most expensive rehabbing items you could do, so if you are limited on funds, consider simply painting the cabinets.  Since today’s popular look is white cabinets, you can paint over any cabinet finish with semi-gloss white and make your cabinets look new.
  • New Shower Curtains: Another easy, inexpensive upgrade is to replace your shower curtains with new, decorative curtains that match the colors of the home.
  • Add Window Shutters: You can also add window shutters to cover up old windows and avoid spending the money to replace them.
  • Add a Nice Mailbox:  Lastly, you can help your house stand out from the crowd by replacing the mailbox with a new one that has a little more character than every other mailbox on the street. You can also paint the old one to stand out and tie the color in with your new front door for some added street appeal.

Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?

The real estate industry can be very risky. Every move you make should be well-thought of. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’ll always have a list of things to consider. Just like when you plan to sell your property, one thing to consider is when you should or shouldn’t hire a real estate agent to assist you. And, it’s going to be a tough call.

Selling your home without an agent sounds both good and bad. It may be good in some ways because you will be able to save thousands of dollars by not paying the agent’s fee, you’ll be able to do the selling exactly your way, and you’ll have complete control over everything from planning to closing. On the other hand, not having an agent that is knowledgeable in business and in real estate can hinder your real estate career and cause you to waste money in the long run.

Going solo in the selling process can make you ask these questions:

  1. Has the real value of your home been determined? It’s hard to do it yourself, especially if it’s your first time and you’re unaware of how to price a house. This may lead you to either overprice or underprice your property, and you may eventually end up with little to no income in return.
  2. Are you willing to add to your workload just to take care of this? You might already have a lot of things going on and putting this task on your shoulders might add another burden.
  3. Also, during showings or visits, are you willing to entertain potential buyers and screen them yourself? This may sound like an easy thing to do but it’s not. You’ll have to be very careful and observant so you can identify which buyers are good and have high potential.

Before coming up with a decision, you should weigh the pros and cons. Do not rush to conclusions. Do research and seek understanding before taking an action.

Home Improvement Repairs to Ensure Better Sales

Home Improvement Repairs to Ensure Better Sales

Now that you have decided to sell your house, you might be tempted to make some basic home improvement repairs to make your house as attractive as possible and to appeal to only the best buyers. Of course, making repairs and beautifying isn’t wrong; however, homeowners tend to overdo it and waste dollars on unnecessary repairs.

So, before you put your home improvement ideas on the table and purchase supplies, take a step back and think about what would really make your property attractive to buyers. The following are three improvements that will go a long way.

  1. Keep walkways and the yard in shape

Even if you have moved out of the property, it is still a good idea to keep the landscape tidy by cleaning the flowerbeds, raking leaves, and removing dead trees. It is also a good idea to set a timer on the lights so your property doesn’t appear eerie and dark. Similarly, don’t let your mail or newspapers pile up. Arrange to have your walkways and driveways plowed every week.

  1. Check your roof and clean the gutters

Cleaning your gutters and checking your roof can easily slip your mind. However, neglecting roof and gutter issues can lead to a severe domino effect that can turn away potential buyers.

Overflowing gutters not only damage the foundation, they cause drainage problems as well. Plus, it is highly unappealing for a potential buyer to see puddling water when visiting your house.

Similarly, the roof will be examined during the home inspection, but it is still better to have someone take a look at it beforehand. Small cracks in the roof often go undetected, ultimately causing water to infiltrate your house slowly and damage the walls and ceilings.

  1. Paint

One simple way to make your house more attractive is to paint the walls with a neutral and soft color. The ideal color is off-white and, while your walls might have a unique, appealing color, others might not have the same taste in paint color. The same applies to carpet.

10 Most Important Items to Upgrade on Your Home

10 Most Important Items to Upgrade on Your Home

If you have a home that you are considering fixing up so you can sell it for the best price but you don’t have a fortune to spend on upgrades, focus on the following 10 items to make the biggest impression on potential buyers:

  1. New Front Door: It is always important to make a good first impression and the front door is the first thing people see when they come up to a house. Replace an old, plain slab door with a new raised panel with a window in it.  Paint it a color that complements the house but also adds a little character and stands out.
  2. Tile Foyer Entry: The next item buyers see when they enter your home is the entry, so make it look like an entry by laying some tile or hardwood in the space allotted.  If you walk into a house that is carpeted right up to the front door, the entry disappears into the living room and doesn’t look as classy.
  3. New or Improved Doors: Another inexpensive replacement that can make a big difference is replacing the interior doors.  If your doors are plain, flat slab doors, upgrade them to raised panel doors.  Purchase a whole new pre-hung door, jamb and casing to replace the old ones.  They will come pre-primed so they can be easily painted.  Be sure to pick a color that offsets the walls for a two-toned look.
  4. New Door Handles: Along with your new doors, jamb and casing you should replace the hinges and door handles with a nickel satin finish to match today’s modern look.  You can buy inexpensive handles for about $12 each and make a big impression.
  5. New Electrical Switch Plates: Other items that are overlooked include electric wall switch plates.  A lot of people will freshly paint their place but leave the old, worn-looking electric cover plates on or even paint over them, which is worse.  Spend 35 cents each and replace the cover plates throughout the house.
  6. Paint/Replace Trim: Painting the house will make one of the biggest best impressions of all, but if your walls look pretty good already and you are on a budget, consider just painting the doors and trim.  You can pick a color that offsets the wall color, like white when the walls are grey or beige.  This will create a two-tone look which is much more appealing than everything painted the same color.
  7. Paint Kitchen Cabinets: Replacing the kitchen cabinets is nice but also one of the most expensive rehabbing items you could do, so if you are limited on funds, consider simply painting the cabinets.  Since today’s popular look is white cabinets, you can paint over any cabinet finish with semi-gloss white and make your cabinets look new.
  8. New Shower Curtains: Another easy, inexpensive upgrade is to replace your shower curtains with new, decorative curtains that match the colors of the home.
  9. Add Window Shutters: You can also add window shutters to cover up old windows and avoid spending the money to replace them.
  10. Add a Nice Mailbox:  Lastly, you can help your house stand out from the crowd by replacing the mailbox with a new one that has a little more character than every other mailbox on the street. You can also paint the old one to stand out and tie the color in with your new front door for some added street appeal.

 

The TLC Your Garage Deserves

The TLC Your Garage Deserves

The first part of your home you step foot in is most likely the one you give the least attention to. This first impression of your home can not only have a strong psychological effect on your personal mood and perspective, but it can also equate to more tangible damage, in the form of diminishing financial value. That is why 82% of 500 realtors surveyed stated that a disorganized and messy garage has a considerably negative impact on potential home buyers (Braun Research survey). Here, we examine a few of the most common long-term effects of a neglected garage and how we can begin to quickly address them while transforming your garage into a portion of your home you want to show off.

 

Cracks in flooring

One of the most common issues that arise in a garage are cracks in the flooring. We’ve almost accepted them as inevitable, but the truth is they don’t have to be. Cracks in the floor are most commonly caused by things like shrinkage, settlement and exposure to cold and frost. They also have real effects and are subject to regulation, as demonstrated in industry standards manuals everywhere. The real issue with cracks is the extra damage caused by water seeping into them followed by freezing occurring in the winter time, which can cause expansion and excess pressure against the garage slab. This can lead to excess cracking and heaving. Try to eliminate exacerbating these cracks by utilizing a garage floor mat in your garage.

 

Staying organized

The clutter overflows, spring time comes around, and we finally decide to spend a day solely devoted to cleaning out the garage. The only problem is, this is a band aid on a larger issue, as next spring we will be doing the same thing. Sound familiar? One way to help with this is installing garage organizers. Purchasing some storage shelves and cabinets go a surprisingly long way in keeping your garage clean and clutter free. Just having the ability to put items away in a specific place instead of stacking them on top of each other leads to a more habitual upkeep of your garage, ensuring it stays organized.

 

Outdated or broken garage door openers

As with all technology in the last two decades, developments have been consistent and continuous. A unique issue has risen with garage doors, as they aren’t as easily replaceable as an iPhone or a pair of headphones. They also aren’t anywhere near the top of our list – until they are. Having an updated and fully functional garage door system is a necessity in this market, and goes a long way as far as presentation. They are after all, one of the most frequently used doors in the home.

 

You’ll find it surprising how tending to just these three simple aspects of your garage can be completely transformative. Potential buyers will see your house as much more valuable, and you’ll also feel significantly better as you return home every day. You may even be able to make it to the door without having to avoid stepping on any old toys or furniture

Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home

Many homeowners decide to sell their current home for different reasons. Some sell them for relocation or migration reasons. Others opt to sell their inherited or owned home because its size is not fit for them (can be too big or too small). There are even some who sell their home for money reasons, such as people who fell short on budget, so they sell their current home to acquire a cheaper one. Whatever the reason may be, every homeowner will likely undergo the selling process at some point. And it’s not very easy, especially if you don’t have a real estate agent. Here is some advice on how to sell your home for a price that’s reasonable and reflects the value of your property.

Before setting a selling price, you need to first determine your property’s value. What are your desired outcomes from selling your home? Identifying your home’s current market value involves knowing the number of years the property has existed, the current neighborhood it belongs to, the location of the property, the type of property it is, and its current status. The neighborhood it belongs to and its location may affect the property’s value because potential buyers look at these features. Some buyers prefer homes located near the town proper and some prefer homes in peaceful areas, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The property status matters, as well, because it may require repairs that either the seller or the buyer will need to complete. Thus, affecting the property’s value.

Then, you have to make sure your house is ready for inspection. Make sure every part is clean and all the necessary repairs are done. It’s easier to make a good impression to the buyers with a clean and well-kept appearance in your home. Now, it’s time for pictures. Take beautiful pictures of your home. How do you take better pictures of your home for sale? Make sure you have a good camera, amazing lighting, and proper positioning of the camera when taking pictures. If necessary, check out pictures from the Web or magazines. Redecorate your interior if needed. Make necessary edits to the pictures you’ve captured to make them more attractive. Finally, post them on various business websites where potential buyers can see them. You can make use of websites like Facebook, Instagram, and many others. You may also want to join community discussions in relevant websites like Better Real Estate Tools.

These are only a few of the many things you can do to ensure the sale of your home with a profit that’s truly worth the value of the home, or more.