Selling a home doesn’t usually require major renovations on a home in order to get buyers interested. However, some homeowners who wish to sell instead choose to save for what they believe are necessary renovations and wait to list their home until these renovations are complete. They are hoping these improvements will help sell the home for even more than they plan to invest. However, rarely does the seller recoup all they invested, and they may have also missed the opportune time in the market.
Renovating with the intent to sell is a good idea when the right renovations are chosen. Instead of costly renovations, the focus should be on merchandising your home with the goal of making small changes that will help your home appeal to a wider pool of buyers. The seller benefits by:
- Investing in smaller changes which have less impact to the pocketbook and a higher return on investment.
- Being able to do these changes faster because the projects are smaller and less expensive, allowing for more flexibility when determining a listing date.
Of course, if you are not planning on a move for several months or years, consider doing the work in order to benefit from these renovations now. Oftentimes I see sellers fix up their home to sell and regret not having done it sooner. I encourage homeowners to make a list of the items in their home that are not working and make a plan to fix these items so they can spend more time enjoying the fixes instead of just doing them for the benefit of the next homeowner.Some common and inexpensive changes homeowners can make for the intent of merchandising include:
- Touching up paint or repainting spaces in neutral colors to appeal to a wider pool of buyers
- Defining a role for each space (such as an office, guest room, etc) and making sure the space has the right furniture (and the right fit furniture) in it. The intent of merchandising is for buyers to understand the possibilities of each space.
- Landscaping and adding outdoor living spaces
- Addressing any deferred maintenance
In terms of deferred maintenance, addressing items such as the roof and siding (making sure these are in good repair with no leaks or missing pieces), making sure the insulation and crawlspaces are in good shape under the house, cleaning the decks and driveway of any mildew and excess dirt, making sure the heating and cooling units have been serviced recently, and the plumbing has no issues. This is just a quick list. I recommend going through each inch of your home and making sure there are no obvious issues which could alarm a buyer or be an issue during the inspection.
For ideas on how to maximize your home’s value with minimum expense, give me a call at (206) 790-0081 or send an email to [email protected]. I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction for renovations that won’t cost you much but will give you a big return when it is time to sell.