If you’re thinking about selling your home, you may be thinking about all the things you need to do before actually putting your home on the market. You may be thinking about small things such as fixing that leaky faucet, or maybe you are thinking about a more extensive change such as remodeling the bathroom. Regardless of if you are planning to spend $100 or $10,000, it is important to prioritize those updates in accordance with ones will yield the best return.
Your first step in this prioritization process is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential homeowner. A great real estate agent will help you understand what’s most desirable in the current marketplace, and help you to prioritize which projects you should undertake given your budget.
Before you consider remodeling the entire kitchen, assess your home for obvious items in need of repair. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, if they see a leaking faucet, a light that doesn’t work, a hole in the drywall, they are going to assume the property has been neglected and want to offer you less for the home. First things first, fix the obvious issues.
Now, that you have taken care of making sure your home is in working order, you can begin to consider upgrades that will provide you the best return on your investment. Paint is one of the least-expensive updates that can have the highest returns. If your home has outdated wall paper, or a bright purple wall, I would strongly encourage you to get some quotes for a neutral paint job. Don’t limit yourself to thinking about paint for the walls. A coat of paint on cabinets in the kitchen or bath, on brick or stone facades, on the mailbox, or even the front door can add significant value.
Landscaping is another area where a small investment can go a long way. The first-impression your home delivers to prospective buyers determines whether or not they even step inside your home. Make sure it looks appealing from the front yard! Cut the grass, trim the hedges, and consider adding new flower beds, or flowers in pots for a pop of color.
Flooring is another update worth considering. In general, buyers prefer a consistent flooring throughout the home. Buyers are tending to gravitate away from carpet these days. That being said, if your home has brand new carpet, I wouldn’t suggest ripping it out to lay new wood flooring. On the other hand, if you have original shag carpet from the 70s, I’d recommend some estimates for updated flooring.
More extensive remodels really require a thorough understanding of the property and the budget to prioritize. However, I would generally say focus on the kitchen and the baths. Home buyers are looking for large master baths and the majority of homes built in the 60s and 70s have tiny master baths. Depending on your homes layout, you may want to consider reconfiguring your floorplan to give you a larger master bath/master closet. Open floor-plans are one of if not the most important attributes home buyers are looking for in a new home today. Can you open up some walls to give your house that light and airy feel?
If you’re trying to prioritize updates for your home prior to listing it for sale, the first step is to find an amazing REALTOR to help you. I help my clients analyze their property to determine what repairs/updates might be worth pursuing, obtain quotes from multiple contractors for the entire list, and then systematically prioritize the repair/update list in accordance with the budget. If you’re looking for help in this arena, give me a call today. If you’re curious what your home is worth as is, you can get a rough idea here.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.