Back in middle school, I went through a big Home and Garden Television (HGTV) phase. I was fascinated by the homes’ transformations, the famous designers’ decor choice, and the homeowners’ priceless reactions to each makeover.
Despite the pleasant entertainment HGTV gave me, I always came across houses on the channel that were not up to par. Almost every episode of House Hunters showed an outdated, bizarre home. I began to wonder – How did those homeowners’ expect to sell?
Meet Lou Fletcher, a retired real estate broker and my aunt. With 33 years in the business, Lou has sold her fair share of homes in the Rochester, NY, area and is well-versed in the real estate market.
If you find yourself preparing to put your house on the market, whether you are moving to warmer weather, downsizing, or just simply ready for a change, Lou recommends making certain investments and changes to your home to increase the resale value.
Stage Your Home
“It is very important to declutter and depersonalize your home and have it staged as though it was a hotel suite,” Lou said. “Sellers would be wise also to remove wallpaper and neutralize paint colors.”
While you may want the buyer to be exactly like you, everyone has slightly different taste. You want to do as much as you can to help the buyer visualize themselves living in your home. This visualization will come a lot easier if the decor is simple, inviting, and objective.
However, the undertaking does not need to be your sole responsibility. You can hire a stager or interior designer to temporarily re-decorate your home during showings. But, if you would like to go the DIY route, consider these tips from professional designers at HGTV.
Consider Some Remodeling
If you only want to make a few investments on your home before you put it on the market, focus on the kitchen and bath.
“Redoing kitchen and baths give sellers highest return on their investments,” Lou said.
During a kitchen and bath renovation, Kathy McCleary, an HGTV writer, urges you to think traditional.
“All-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors, and stone countertops,” McCleary said.
While these two areas can make or break the sale of a home, don’t think you need to make major renovations and then quickly move out of your home.
Ken Perrin, president of Artistic Renovations in Cleveland, Ohio, told HGTV, “Too many people say, ‘I want to move, so I have to remodel my bathroom. Then they immediately sell their house. Do it and enjoy it, and if you do it well and it’s quality workmanship, you’ll get your money out of it because the house will sell.”
Update Your Home’s Mechanics
Lou also advises that all mechanics of the home be updated and in good condition. It may sound like common sense, but if you notice that something is broken in your home, make the investment to fix it because you will probably see a return during the sale. Even with a beautiful kitchen or luxurious master bath, prospective buyers may not be able to look past worn or broken mechanics.
The two most common mistakes Lou noticed among homeowners during her 33-year career?
“Making personalized choices to cosmetic updates and taking advice from people who are not real estate professionals,” she said.
Keep these common mistakes in mind and try to avoid them. While you should enjoy your home while living in it, be prepared to neutralize the home once you make the decision to sell.
With information so easily accessible on the internet today, it can be easy to take advice from the wrong person without knowing. Always consult a real estate professional from your area before making any drastic changes to your home in preparation to sell. Real estate professionals have mastered the market and can tell you about similar homes in your area. They will help you get the most bang for your buck and make wise decisions.
Are you wondering if your home is ready to be put on the market? Need advice about home renovations? Ask a Pup and we’ll help you out!
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