You often will hear about improvements to a home that help increase the value. But you really don’t know if the value was really improved until you go to sell your home. What you want to increase is the buyers’ perceptions which will in turn increase what they will offer. As long as it appraises you will have increased the value based on your improvements.
First and foremost, the most important improvement is to clean your home like it’s never been cleaned before. This will always be our number one recommendation to anyone who’s getting their home prepared to sell. We’ve heard all kinds of reasons why people want to skip this step but you’re hurting the home’s value because of the buyer’s perceptions. ‘If the owner does not clean the home they probably don’t take good care of the home in general.’ In other words they wonder what else has been ignored in the upkeep of the home in general.
The first part of this involves decluttering. Remember that you plan to move soon so purge first to save you a lot of trouble later on. Then store away as many personal, small items as you can to make the home look neat. You’ll be glad you did this first when you start to clean. While you can clean the home yourself and save money it might be worth having professionals come do a top to bottom cleaning once, then you can just do maintenance cleaning from that point on. Clean homes will always sell faster and for closer to original list price. So this is the biggest bang for the buck, even if you pay someone.
After the cleaning look over everything in the home such as kitchen / bath fixtures to see if there are any stains or damage that didn’t come clean. At that point consider replacing them and be sure and match or upgrade what you currently have. What you use as replacements depends on your home décor and price point. This is a good time to talk to a local REALTOR to see what would work best for your home. Now use this same thought process on everything else in the home. Scarred or damaged walls? Go ahead and repair / paint and be sure and use a neutral color. * Stains that won’t come out of the carpet? Consider replacing the carpet or at least getting a quote. You’ll want to talk to a REALTOR before you spend too much money on new flooring.
After cleaning and repairing things can get a bit trickier. This is where someone with local market knowledge can be the biggest help. While a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover will help you sell your home, you may spend a lot of money and only get a little increased value in return. What really drives major updates is the local market for your type of home. In markets in other parts of the country homes sell for much higher values (starting at $500K), so updated baths and kitchens are expected with a basic home. So in that market a $20K kitchen upgrade could pay off while here with an $85K starter home, not so much.
Better investments locally are to look at the condition of the mechanicals such as heating/air, water heater, sump pump, etc. For example have your furnace serviced before you put the home on the market and keep the paperwork on anything done, especially if there is a transferable warranty. These are the type of items that can come up in an inspection so you’ll probably have to do this anyway. But what you want is to show the buyer you take good care of your home. That is the basic perceived value you want to impress on buyers who tour your home. That in turn will increase their offer and what the real value of your home is to that buyer.
If you are looking to increase your home’s value feel free to call The Derrick Team to come take a look at your home. We’ll be happy to discuss what you need to do with no obligations. We love to help people sell their homes that much! Call or text 317-563-1110 or email us at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com. We work out of our Avon Indiana office to help buyers and sellers in the entire Indy Metro Area.
* If you plan to do the painting your self be sure and do a neat professional job. Sloppy paint jobs can be worse than walls that need painting so invest in some good paint tools and tape to do it right.