Thinking about selling your home? In such a turbulent buyers’ market, you will need to get the best return on your investment, if you’re planning to uproot your family and move. But before you do so, you need a number. How much is your home really worth? There are a couple of ways to find out the accurate value of your home.
You need to keep things at market value, because if you ask too much, it is unlikely you will find a buyer. If you ask too little, you will cheat yourself out of what you invested in the first place. Start by talking to a local realtor, who can provide you with a complete comparative market analysis in order to provide you with a baseline value. You can then check to see what the homes around you are selling for, paying special attention to the ones that have just gone off the market. Online house valuation sites like Zillow and Redfin provide estimates of home values, as you can input the data on your home into these sites and get a rough idea of what your home’s value is — but it is best to get a licensed realtor or an appraiser to do this for you.
If your home is outdated, seriously think about sprucing it up so that it can increase in value. However, keep in mind that some renovations help increase the value of homes much more than others because of how buyers’ value them — meaning it will probably mean more to a buyer if you renovate the bathroom rather than plant a few trees out back. The best way to get the most out of your investment is to put it to work by investing capital in renovations, raising the overall value of your property. These renovations show buyers that you care about the property enough to put money in it, and you aren’t just trying to offload it.
Maximizing Your Sale Price
Choose the types of renovations that you think buyers will appreciate. This isn’t all that hard to figure out — base them on your priorities, if you were moving into a new house (as you soon might be, if you’re looking to sell your home). Most buyers look at an average of three to five houses before settling on one, so in order to make a sale, you need to make a good impression. Make sure that your walls are painted in neutral colors, so that prospective buyers can visualize the house as their own easier. Be sure to keep it clean and tidy, your lawn mowed and watered, and update your lighting to make sure that there aren’t any gloomy or dark spaces that can affect the overall mood of the house. Here are some renovations you may want to undertake to get the most out of your investment:
Your home should be impressive, both inside and out. In order to up your curb appeal, paint the outside of your house or remodel your front doorway to be more striking, as well a focus more attention to it. Keep your lawn free from debris and detritus, and make sure your plants are well taken care of. Flowers are usually a good idea, but if you don’t have a green thumb, lush greenery is the next best thing.
Remodeling your kitchen can also offer a strong return on investment. Kitchens have become the central areas of the home, where families gather to eat and spend time with each other. Consider durable, natural stone built for heavy use as fixtures in the kitchen, such as quartz or granite countertops. Granite floors or burnished terracotta are also good choices as well, especially if you’ve got a big messy family (or if you predict your buyer will have one). Think about installing new cabinets, as well as building a kitchen island if you do not already have one. Choose faucets, sinks, drawer pulls, light fixtures, and handles that are all the same style and align to the overall design philosophy of your kitchen.
Nobody likes an old bathroom with grody tiling and dirty fixtures that have been around for thirty years. Bathroom renovations provide some of the highest returns on investment when it comes to renovations, and they are the most eye-catching for many buyers. Many people have turned their bathrooms into a private space in which to relax, rather than just a functional water closet. Think about adding natural stone for bathroom flooring and countertops, or heated flooring if you’re in a colder area. If your bathroom is small and you don’t want to expand it, consider using light or subdued colors and paint so that the light reflects off the different surfaces and makes the room feel spacious even though it’s not. Remember to utilize wall space for storage and keep things light and airy — so try not to install heavy shelving units unless your bathroom has the space for it. Under-mounted sinks are preferred over drop-in sinks, and make sure your mirrors are large enough as well. This adds to the overall effect of making the room bigger. Try installing an infinity shower or a rain showerhead with a small drain so that the bathroom is seamless — or if you have the space, definitely have a tub installed. When all the renovations and installations are done, make sure to keep the light and airy theme in your styling — keep the countertops free from clutter by having tasteful jars or baskets in which you put your bathroom essentials.
A nice basement can make the sale in minutes. A messy basement bordering on spooky can send prospective buyers running out the door. Sit down and decide if the basement should have a function — is it a rec room? A kids’ play area? A man cave? A bar? A laundry area? A storage area? A wine cellar? When you’ve decided on a function, based on what the market is looking for, and what you think is the most essential to a prospective buyer, make sure that everything is up to code. Have pumps installed, as well as options for ventilation and cooling.
Overall Tidying Up
Just like when going out on a date, you want to make sure that you’re looking your best. In your house’s case, make sure all interior walls have a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint. Make sure that everything is spotless and clean; hire professional cleaners to do this, and if you can afford it, a professional stylist to make the home look like the place a potential buyer wants to live in. If you have old carpeting, think about replacing it with hardwood flooring.
All in all, renovating your home to sell it will probably earn you a higher price than if you just suddenly decide to put it up on the market without much effort. If you do choose to renovate, be sure to pick the types of renovations that will add the most value to your home.