Prioritize what to do…

One of the most important parts of the selling your home process, is prior to going on the market and getting your house ready. Many homeowners wonder about what they should do to prepare their house for selling. Should they update the kitchen and bathrooms, install granite or some other new countertop to compete with new construction or other homes? Should we re-paint the entire house or re-carpet.

Well, these aren’t always no brainer questions but there are some guidelines that you can follow.

  1. Landscaping - Curb appeal: one of the most underrated areas for a seller to address. Buyer’s often just drive up to a house and can tell whether or not they will end up buying it. Landscaping can be a quick, inexpensive way to create dynamite curb appeal of the front of the house. It is the first thing that a buyer sees when they enter a house and first impressions are very important.

  2. Paint: no doubt fresh paint is usually a good idea to add to the value of a home. its like when a dealer waxes a car, it makes everything fresh and move in ready. Colors can become dated quickly and a new coat of paint in the color of the day gives a home a fresh look.

  3. Carpet: generally a good idea. If a buyer will have to replace carpet when they move in, I would always recommend replacing it. As a seller you are going to end up paying for it either way, so you might as well get the benefit of brand new carpet, which is substantial. New carpet also gives the home that new home smell.

  4. Appliances: make them match more than update the old ones. Stainless steel is still the flavor of the day in appliances and unless the appliances match the decor of your kitchen in another color, I would consider upgrading. However if they are older and match, I would most likely leave them alone, unless they were so old or not functioning that a buyer will need to upgrade them right away.

What not to do….

. Often as important as what to do, is what not to do. I would not:

  1. Replace any functioning mechanicals. Have an old furnace that is working, most likely I would leave it alone, unless it was so old or extremely inefficient. You may have to give a concession after a home inspection but it would most likely be less than replacing the furnace in the first place.

  2. Windows - while windows are extremely important, I don’t think you can justify replacing older windows with the cost. I would paint or clean up any damaged paint, etc. but windows are expensive and probably won’t justify the cost of replacing.

Remember, it only makes sense to spend money on preparing your home that will give you a dollar for dollar return. For example, if you spend $3,000 in upgrades you want to make sure that increases your value by $3,000 or more, otherwise it won’t be worth it. Remodel estimates always give a ROI on potential renovation projects and there is only one that gives an over 100% ROI and that is a new front entry door, which again speaks to the importance of curb appeal.