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First Time Home Sellers

DIY Projects to Increase Your Property Value

Whether you are considering putting your house on the market next spring or even further down the road, there are a litany of home improvement projects that you can complete entirely on your own to add value to your home. If you have a little free time, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and apply a little elbow grease, you will be surprised by how dramatically you can boost your asking price. A well-informed homeowner will also keep a record of all the updates and improvements they make over the course of their ownership, and will be aware of projects that can provide the best return on investment. Usually, sellers can expect a return for home improvement projects at around 64% assuming the home is sold within a year of the projects being completed.

The most obvious and easiest project to begin elevating the value of your home is to start decluttering. Clearing junk and erroneous materials out of your home can add nearly $2,000 to your home’s value in addition to making it exceedingly easier to begin showing your home. In most cases, decluttering shouldn’t cost more than $300, and can bring in a ROI of up to 568%. Deep cleaning and decluttering are the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your home looking it’s best while simultaneously making your life and the prospect of selling your house easier. Decluttering and getting your home in order room by room will also help decrease your stress level in an often anxiety ridden process.

Another cost-effective project home improvement is paint, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Freshly painted walls look clean and updated, which translates to value in the eyes of prospective buyers. Stick to neutral colors to appeal to the greatest number of people. A fresh coat of paint is a quick project that will get things in order, and will also bring a 1%-2% increase in your property value. Painting projects don’t need to end at interior walls either, consider sanding and staining or painting your kitchen cabinets. This project can be time consuming, as it is often advised to take the cabinets off before sanding or repainting, but it is a terrific opportunity to transform the look and feel of a kitchen or bath.

Kitchens are the part of the home that gets the greatest return when updated. While it is often a more expensive undertaking, updating kitchen appliances like the dishwasher, microwave and stove (preferably stainless steel) can increase the value of your home immensely. A full kitchen remodel typically only yields a ROI around fifty cents on the dollar. Essentially, a deep clean, a fresh coat of paint, and installing a new faucet and cabinetry pulls will go a long way towards making your kitchen more desirable in the eyes of prospective buyers. Even though kitchens are the first place sellers consider spending their investment dollars, other projects bring a higher return and improve the look of your home as a whole.

Major home renovations can be risky investments, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make small upgrades to key spaces like your kitchen and baths to impress buyers. If you have long craved the elegance of natural stone in your home, consider a new granite bathroom vanity top, which is an affordable way to get it. You can complete this type of bathroom makeover with a new faucet and mirror for less than $500. Another quick project that can give your bathroom a refresh is to update outdated and boring fixtures. This proves true for the entirety of your home as well, every fixture in your home should have a cohesive style. Replace all the knobs, pulls, switch plates, and light fixture with the same type of material. Brushed nickel is timeless and clean and will help create a desirable style for a broad range of buyers.

Lighting can also make a noticeable difference in older bathrooms. A long row of round bulbs over the mirror will completely brighten up and change the aesthetic of an antiquated bath. Living in the same house for decades, you might be used to replacing lights with the same replacement bulbs you have used since you initially moved in. However, lightbulb technology has come a long way towards being more efficient. If you replace your fixture bulbs with LEDs across your entire house, inside and out, that can be a huge selling point that you can highlight in your listing description when it comes time to sell. Energy efficient upgrades like using LED bulbs or installing Energy Star certified windows can boost a home’s value by 1-3%. You can also brighten up your house without breaking the bank by cleaning skylights and removing outdated curtains that may be blocking natural light.

Homebuyers typically prefer hardwood flooring options over wall-to-wall carpeting. While the idea of removing carpets and refinishing wood floors on your own may seem daunting, this task can be done on a budget with the proper tools and know-how. Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time removing the existing carpet or other floor materials in addition to time preparing the space and installing new flooring. New wood floors or even high-quality vinyl or tile can deliver a significant return on investment and help your home sell faster.

If you’re getting serious about selling your home and want to get the most bang for your buck in regards to home improvement projects, the best thing you can do is talk to a real estate agent and ask them to do a walkthrough of your house. They will have a meticulous eye and be able to point out any areas that need to be addressed before you list. Agents are trained to look at the little details in your home that buyers will notice and comment on. This is the best method to direct your dollars and time towards projects that will pay dividends and make your house sell quicker without wasting any time or effort.

Advice for First Time Home Sellers

Advice for First Time Home Sellers

Selling your home can be an emotional and stressful process. You love your home and it is likely the biggest investment you have ever made. You want prospective buyers to fall in love with it as well – whether through photos, descriptions or in person. Being a first-time home seller, you have the distinct advantage of having gone through a purchase and sale transaction before, when you bought your first home. So, you know the large amount of prep work that goes into a real estate transaction, and you know how important it is to be prepared.

Identifying your motivation for selling is a crucial first step for any home seller, whether it’s needing more space, downsizing, relocating for school or employment reasons, whatever the reason, it will be an important factor in how you going to price and market your home. It’s also important to address your finances, contacting your current loan servicer to discuss your remaining mortgage balance can help you begin to understand how much equity you will have when you sell. Being informed of your current equity can help you budget for improvements you may need to make before listing your home for sale.

Advice for First Time Home Sellers

After figuring out your motivation for selling your home, and determining the equity you will be working with, sellers are often advised to begin researching the best time to sell in their area. Establishing if you are in a buyers or sellers’ market is necessary when establishing the best time to list your house on the market. Typically, the first half of May is commonly known as the best time to list a house for sale, however, COVID-19 has altered markets all over the country, particularly throughout Vermont. You will want to get the price you want, and the best first step is to be properly informed on what houses in your area have recently sold for, and educate yourself on what you can expect from the current market.

Deciding your representation strategy is a vital step when deciding how you plan on listing your house for sale. This mainly comes down to interviewing and selecting an agent to represent you. This is the most important relationship you will form while selling your house. Picking the right agent can help recognize what improvements would be best to make before listing, determining the most competitive price to list your house at, and the most effective way to market and promote your home to motivated buyers. An agent will also be instrumental in helping you navigate the closing of the sale and any last-minute surprises that come with it.

Advice for First Time Home Sellers

There are countless listings online, even right in your neighborhood. The most successfully promoted homes are ones that have been professionally photographed, contain a compelling property description and are advertised across a broad range of channels and platforms. The goal is to create as much interest from potential buyers as possible, and present your home in the best possible light. Home buyers have access to a multitude of online listings so it is important to find a way to make a great first impression, both online and in person showings. A trusted agent will explore a variety of approaches to expose buyers to your home, and ensure that you get the best possible price from interested buyers.

When negotiating an offer with a buyer, it is important to remain flexible and open, as well as maintain realistic expectations. Getting a great offer is one of the biggest hurdles in the home-selling process, and negotiating is of the upmost importance to guarantee you fulfill your initial goals. A dependable and experienced agent can be your greatest asset to make sure your best interests are represented. When you receive an offer you have a few options, accept the offer as is, make a counteroffer or reject the offer. If you receive multiple offers you may be tempted to take the highest one, however, if the buyer is relying on financing from a lender, the property has to be appraised. If the appraisal comes back lower than the offer, the buyer could pay the difference in cash, the sale price could be renegotiated or both parties could walk away from the deal.

Advice for First Time Home Sellers

Closing is the last step in the home selling process. This is when the final paperwork is signed, prepare your home for the buyer’s final walkthrough and troubleshoot any last-minute issues that might present themselves. A buyer’s home inspection can uncover all kinds of obstacles that the buyer may find too costly and chose to walk away from the deal. It is imperative to be prepared to negotiate after the inspection report is complete. Review your estimated closing costs ahead of the closing day in order to be prepared for the charges you are likely to see. If you are able to work through the inspection and the repairs, the only steps are signing the documents, handing over the keys, and celebrating successfully selling your first home!

Please feel free to call us at Geri Reilly Real Estate for a Free Consultation.