One of the biggest questions we receive when speaking to potential sellers is what to fix around the home or how they can increase their home’s value. Below is a list of recommendations for what to assess, fix, or update to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for selling in order to bring the best value for your property.
The first things to look at are:
- Crawl Space
These are the big five that buyers always tend to ask about at inspection. In general these items will not ADD value to your home, but making sure that they are in good shape helps ensure that they don’t make you LOSE value on your home. These are considered maintenance items and not upgrades. Check these parts of your home to make sure things are in working order, bringing in a professional for assessment if necessary. The crawl space in particular is a big one – frequently during home inspections previously unknown issues with standing water, pests, missing visqueen, and even falling insulation can surface. Dealing with these issues before hand can save you a big headache and possibly a lost buyer later. After tending to the big five, here’s a list of other items you may want to consider working on before putting your home on the market.
- Other Repairs – Look around the home for other repairs that need to be made such as missing switch plates/outlet covers, loose knobs or fixtures, caulking, or even untreated wood on the exterior of the home. If there are a lot of small repairs to be made around a home, it may scare off buyers as they wonder what else may be wrong if even these small items are left untended.
- De-Clutter – AND De-Personalize. You want buyers to feel the space of the home and be able to imagine themselves and their things in the home. Store odds and ends, magazines, and really taste-specific items to make your home feel tidy, open, and appealing.
- “Lighten Up” – Bright or light-filled rooms are more welcoming and appealing. You may want to consider trading out heavy drapes for light shades, curtains, or blinds to let in more natural light.
- Make it Green – If possible, make the home more eco-friendly or energy efficient. One of the most straight-forward ways to do this is by replacing old single-pane windows or metal-frame double-pane windows with new energy efficient ones. There are even credits from Puget Sound Energy for upgrading your windows!
- Update/Service Systems – For instance, if you have a water heater reaching the end of its lifespan, it may be prudent to install a new one or at least get it serviced. You may want to have your furnace serviced as well as we see this item come up on about 99% of repair requests submitted by buyers during inspection negotiations. These items won’t add value but they will save you a headache later.
- Refinish – Are your hardwood floors looking scratched or worn? Have them refinished so people can see them shine. If your carpeting is in really rough shape, you may consider replacing it with something neutral. However, carpet can be a very taste-specific detail of a home; if you are concerned about carpet affecting the saleability of your home, you might instead consider offering a carpet credit for potential buyers so they can pick their own at closing.
- Kitchens – Kitchens are typically one of the most important areas of a home for buyers, but kitchen upgrades can be costly. If you want to freshen up your kitchen, consider some smaller items such as new hardware on the cabinets, a new faucet, or new paint on the walls. Frequently a nice paint job can freshen up dated cabinets, and if you ARE considering new countertops, try a solid-surface quartz material as opposed to pricey granite. You’ll achieve nearly the same look for much less!
- Better Bathrooms – Bathrooms can be less expensive to remodel than kitchens, but are another big item for buyers. Consider a light neutral paint, modern vanity (dual-sink if possible), and new fixtures/hardware for quick upgrades. Higher end upgrades often desired are walk-in showers, soaking tubs, and tile.
- Remodeling – Remodeling can be a can of worms that we often don’t encourage. If you are wanting to add more space, consider finishing out a basement or attic as opposed to building an addition to a home. Be sure to get any necessary permits for your work along the way as non-permitted work can prevent many buyers from getting a loan to purchase the home.
- Curb Appeal – Don’t neglect the outside of your home! We often tell people your first showing is online, your second showing is when buyers drive by your home, and your third showing is when they enter your home with their agent. If your home doesn’t look good on the outside, you won’t make it to that third showing with most buyers. Be sure to tidy your landscaping, the addition of some bright potted plants can also help a lot. Be sure decks and patios are clean, and if you want a little extra pop – paint your front door! A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.
Finally, if you want to find out what your home might be worth in the current market, call us at 360-930-8150! Our team would be happy to help.