What Should You Do to Prepare Your Home for the Market?

Posted by Mark Gellman on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 at 10:34am.


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If you are thinking of selling your home, should you update your home or sell it as-is? If you decide to update, which areas will get you the best return on investment?

Before we list a home, we always make sure to assess which updates should be made before the property hits the market. Sometimes, if a home has been sitting on the market for a long time or coming back on the market after failing to sell, updates can help your property appeal to more buyers.

However, it’s important to be very cautious when updating your home. Some updates will get you a better return than others.

In our current market, move-in ready homes are selling at a premium. Since interest rates are historically low, buyers can finance higher priced homes. If they don’t have to worry about improvements, they are more willing to pay a premium for the property.

Still, you don’t want to throw "Bad Money" into the wrong home improvements. You also don’t want to focus on areas that aren’t especially important to buyers. They may love one of your updates, but if something else isn’t done, they may pass on your house.

For example, granite countertops are great. However, if you are going to install granite countertops in a kitchen with outdated cabinets, this update won’t work. Buyers will be frustrated with the new countertops because they will need to remove the granite, install new cabinets, and relay the granite. 

If you do plan on investing in a bigger project, pay attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Kitchen and bathrooms sell homes. Open floor plans are also in vogue right now, but I don’t recommend removing walls to achieve that effect. That is a much bigger project than is necessary.

"Be cautious when making updates to your home before it hits the market. " 

If you have older, worn carpets, I do recommend replacing the carpet. Also, if you have hardwood floors that are scratched and faded, consider refinishing them.

You may be wondering, “Can’t I just offer a credit for these issues?” You can, but the first impression someone gets when they walk into your home is very, very important. You need to make the best first impression possible. It’s important to take care of those projects rather than issuing a credit. The credit will also be much greater than the actual cost of replacing those items.

You should also remove any wallpaper in your home and repaint with neutral earth tones. Pay attention to what the current market demands in regards to style and color.

If you want to prepare your home for sale and do 95% of the projects on your own, that’s fine. However, you don’t have to replace your appliances with high-end appliances, as long as they are stainless steel, the market will appreciate the look. Unless you are in the luxury market, high-end upgraded appliances will not get you a good return on investment.

A lot of prospective buyers expect ceramic in bathrooms v.s. carpet. However, you don’t have to use high-end ceramic. Plus, if you decide to update the brass faucet in your bathroom with brushed nickel, which the market appreciates, make sure you replace the other fixtures in the room as well. 

Ultimately, making updates to your home is a great way to make a wonderful first impression on buyers. However, you need to be careful and make sure that you invest in the right updates.

If you have any questions about preparing your home for sale, give us a call or send us an email. We’re here to guide you through this process and find the right updates that will get you the best return on your investment. We look forward to hearing from you!

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