Common sense will tell you that the nicer your home looks, the better your chances of selling at or close to the asking price. However, don’t go overboard and practically remodel the entire house before listing the property. Not only will a project of this scope cost you plenty, but you probably won’t recoup even half of your fix-up expenses.
Cosmetic upgrading and repair however should always be secondary to plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical repair. Roofing and structural repairs are an absolute must as well.
Certain upgrades and repairs designed to improve the property’s “eye appeal” include:
- A fresh coat of paint, inside and out, is a most effective way of making the home look newer and more inviting. Neutral colors such as beige or off-white seem to work best.
- If the interior of the home has wallpaper in some or all of the rooms, particularly if it has a worn look, strip it off and paint. Replacing the wallpaper with another design of your choice may not appeal to a prospective buyer, and could actually negatively influence a buyer’s decision.
- If any of the rooms are carpeted, and the carpeting shows signs of wear or discoloration, replace it. Use neutral colors, and medium shades, not too light or too dark. Carpeting and painting are cost effective ways of sprucing up the home’s environment, and can help increase the price tag by much more than the cost of material and installation.
- If the floors are hardwood, refinish if necessary.
- Replace chipped or cracked tiles. It is equally important to repair or replace grouting. If the grouting is in good shape, be sure it has been scrubbed clean.
- If you have Formica counter tops that are showing signs of wear, replace them with a do-it-yourself kit, available at hardware stores, or if you are not inclined to tackle the job, which can be somewhat tricky, hire a competent handy man.
- The appearance of the kitchen can be a huge influence on the overall impression of the home, and is the most important part of the house to revitalize, if needed.
Although kitchen remodeling can most often return 100% of investment, it can cost a ton of money. However many kitchens can look their best by a simple resurfacing of the cabinets, if needed, and perhaps the installation of a new sink and fixtures.
- Replace or refurbish exterior siding.
- Examine and repair/replace window and door caulking.
- Replace doorknobs and locks if worn looking.
- Repair, refurbish or replace the front door if necessary.
- Fix or paint fences and backyard walls.
- Replace any old, outdated kitchen and laundry room appliances
Include a home warranty package as a “throw-in” if the home is ten years old or more. It’s a nice gesture to offer a prospective buyer a “piece of mind” package, and will go a long way toward establishing amicable negotiations.