You have had your home on the market for a while, and no one is biting. Your real estate agent says that you have to make some home improvements to help your property compete in the neighborhood. Set a budget, and pick the updates that will bring your home into the 21st Century.
These six upgrades may give you the biggest bang for your buck, and make your home a lot more appealing to those hunting in your area, whether you're selling Nashville real estate or not.
Open Up the Home
One problem with trying to sell a home that does not have all the trending features is that it may have too many design aspects that are no longer preferred. Remember when everyone wanted an enclosed dining room? That is no longer the case. Open floor plans are more than just a fad. If your home is too boxy, people will decline in favor of houses that do not require as much improvement after purchase.
Make sure to consult a professional before you start knocking down walls, to confirm that you are not damaging the support structure of the house. Opening up the kitchen, dining room and living room may be a relatively simple way to dramatically change the way your home looks.
Home buyers are increasingly looking at poor landscaping as a deal-breaker, so yours must be in tight condition to improve your home’s appeal. Experts suggest you invest about 10 percent of your home’s value into the landscaping. You may not want to put in that much right before you sell, but you can certainly spend a thousand or two making the space look worlds better.
Fix the bare patches, avoid planting anything new that requires a great deal of careful attention during the selling process, and look for local flora that goes well with your design. Do not hesitate to use rocks and other maintenance-free features to distinguish lovely flowering plants without increasing your upkeep threshold.
Looking to sell a home in the Clarksville area, or anywhere else for that matter? You may be surprised to learn how much you can get from a few simple, inexpensive improvements. You already know that your entryway should be clean and well-kept. However, your door may be dragging you down. Fortunately, replacing your front door with a higher quality door will often net you almost as much as you paid in an increase in home value.
As an added bonus, the door will make the rest of your house look newer, particularly if it features current designs. Add a wall sconce or lantern to improve the lighting, and your entryway will appear much more inviting.
When you are trying to sell a home, the flooring can be the elephant in the room. Having a home without good flooring is a lot like selling a home without space for a fridge. As long as buyers have better alternatives, they will almost always consider those first. Unless you have spectacular hardwood flooring or tile, you probably need to replace the flooring before you sell.
Hardwood is the trending choice at the moment, but you should bear in mind that many people prefer carpets on the second floor or in bedrooms.
The last thing you want to do right before you sell is to gut your kitchen or bathroom and rebuild it from the ground up. This is a choice you only make because the room is so broken or outdated that it is virtually unusable. Major remodels of kitchen and bathroom will sometimes only net you half or two-thirds of what you paid.
However, performing some minor upgrades may make a big difference. Consider replacing cabinet doors, putting in new faucets and new sinks if you can afford it, and purchasing new appliances that will remain with the home.
Since curb appeal is so important to get buyers to your door, anything you can do to make your home feel less like an artifact of times gone by is likely to pay off. For example, you could replace the vinyl siding with a manufactured stone veneer, to update the space and add a touch of class. Change out your old, dented garage door with a new one, and you will get back most of what you paid; for some, a small loss in an investment is balanced out by more buyer interest.
Finishing your basement could be an excellent choice to beef up the living space in your home, depending on the laws in your state. In some areas, a finished basement may count in your total square footage. This could be a real boon for your home, especially if the main floor is a little on the lean side. Even if you cannot use a finished basement to add to your square footage count on an appraisal, it will still add value to the home. Home buyers love to find lots of extra space where they did not expect any. A finished basement could add bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas–even the ability for a buyer to convert it into a separate basement apartment. Some good pictures for your selling profile could make all the difference.
Replace Your Baseboards
Painting your walls before selling is a no-brainer, but you should also consider your baseboards. They encounter a lot of dust and dirt from the floor, and the paint will chip over time. Instead of spending several hours repainting them, you may want to purchase new, pre-painted baseboards at around $0.75 a foot. New baseboards make your paint job and flooring fixes or replacement look more cohesive. With some patience, you can install the new baseboards for a room in a couple of hours.
Vary the Lighting
Lighting makes an enormous difference in the way that your home appears to buyers. If it feels too dim, it may seem smaller. You must select your light bulbs carefully. Aim for softer lighting in smaller rooms, such as the bathroom or a foyer. This keeps the space from feeling too much like a hospital exam room.
Choose brighter light bulbs for larger rooms. A combination of bright white and soft white or even yellow bulbs can set off a nice contrast. However, you should make sure that each fixture with more than one socket has the same kind of bulbs, so that the effect is not distracting.
Many experts love to deride the money people spend on a major kitchen upgrade, especially right before selling. This is a limited view of what, for many sellers, is actually a big problem. Buyers only want to spend a lot of money and time fixing up the space if the price matches the home’s fixer-upper status. Perhaps more than any other room, the kitchen is the hallmark of the home’s vintage. Virtually anyone who watches design shows can pick out a kitchen that was built in the 1970s and remodeled in the 1990s. If your kitchen has ancient appliances, a stained or chipped countertop and faded cabinets, it is time to bring it into this century. You might be surprised how much adding a kitchen island or granite countertops will modernize the space.
Oil the Door Hardware
There is a reason that creaky door hinges feature in plenty of classic horror films: they convey a sense of neglect. If you want to keep your home selling efforts out of the horror genre, you will spend a few extra bucks on lubricant for all your door hinges. The project should not take more than an hour or two, for all the doors in your home. Add just a bit of extra cash and time to put some WD-40 on the door locks, and you will be ready to go.
Add Some Greenery
Purchasing some pots and plants contributes a nice pop of color, particularly if you are selling a home in winter. You don't need to have the rarest flowers or plants to make your Franklin area space look fresh and alive. Select native flora that has been grown locally, because it will be hardier, easier to care for, and often less expensive.
Indoor plants should be positioned in a place where they will get adequate natural lighting each day. If you worry that you might inadvertently kill the plant with too much care, ask a gardening expert about species that are more forgiving.
One More Bathroom
Just like adding a bedroom, an extra bathroom is a boon to a home seller trying to sell a house that is on the smaller side for the neighborhood. Many home buyers look for homes that have at least two bathrooms and perhaps a half-bathroom (i.e.: toilet and sink only) near the kitchen and living room. Installing another bathroom may not be quite as simple as getting a den up to code, since you have to create new walls, route new plumbing, and purchase new fixtures for the space. You may spend close to $45,000 on the endeavor and get a bit more than half of it back. However, if your home only has one bathroom, this may be your best bet to set the property apart.
A New Garage
For a space that never counts toward your home’s square footage, the garage certainly is becoming one of the hottest items on the real estate market. With extra storage options and the ability to protect your cars from the elements (or vandals), turning a carport into a garage is an appealing prospect. Building a freestanding two-car garage could cost as much as $50,000 or more. When every other house on the street has a garage, it seems like a no-brainer. Fortunately, you can get about two-thirds of the amount you pay in an increased resale value.
Improve Energy Efficiency
You may not have the means to beef up your heating and air conditioning before you sell, but you can put an energy-efficient face on the whole system. Old thermostats are easy to spot. The plastic on the exterior of the thermostat can fade or accumulate dust. Fortunately, you can add an entirely new programmable thermostat for as little as $25, although you may choose to spend up to $100 for higher-end models that may offer some smart home features.
As an added bonus, programmable thermostats will actually increase the home’s energy efficiency. That way, you can present it as a genuine, not superficial, home improvement.
Paint Your Doors
Home staging involves a lot of decisions about repairing or replacing certain items. Sure, you could replace all of your doors or your home’s exterior, but that costs many thousands of dollars. A few coats of paint on your doors might be all you need to really change up your home’s appearance inside and out. Take the time to clean each door, sand down any chips, and spend a little extra for some primer. The end result may update your home more than you expected.
Make or Buy a Rug
If your budget supports it, you might have already removed your old carpet and replaced it with hard flooring like wood or tile. However, sometimes this makes the floor feel like it needs something a little softer to stand on. In this case, select a piece of carpeting and have it made into an area rug. You could even have this done with a portion of your old carpet, if the carpet is in good condition and coordinates well with your home staging design. The best part is that if you move, you can take this improvement with you if you want.
Selling a home gets more stressful as the weeks pass and no one makes an offer. If your home needs to level up to compete, there are home improvements that can increase the return on your investment and the amount of buyers at your door.
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