By | Dawn Castell
As a real estate agent, there is a lot to be done when taking on a new client. In addition to helping them look for the perfect new landing spot, you will also be tasked with selling their current home. People are generally very partial to their homes, with so many experiences and memories that exist for them or their family. This can make it harder to give them advice about what to change or improve in order to help it sell. However, if you can show them the financial benefit of making these five changes, it may not take a lot of convincing after all. In a competitive market, these areas add value and improve how well the home can rank among the competition.
Tip 1: Make It More Curb-Friendly
There are several things to consider when trying to make your home more attractive. Many people understand the importance of curb appeal, but this only makes the front look pretty. You have to worry about the inside and the backyard as well. The home’s exterior is the initial eye-catching element for potential buyers. Landscaping is one way to brighten up the front, and you should encourage homeowners to use easily maintained plants or bushes. A walkway or a fountain in the front yard makes the yard more inviting, which leads people to more curiosity over the inside. Take the time to pressure wash your driveway, walkway or the home’s exterior.
Tip 2: Make It Stand Out
For the backyard, you could make an enormous impact with both attraction and value by having a pool installed. This may seem like an expense, but there are several swimming pool financing companies that can help get you set up for a manageable investment. The return through increased home value is well-worth the costs. For less costly changes, you can repaint the door or shutters, hang potted plants or simply declutter your porch to make the home look more appealing. Don’t forget to head inside and freshen up paint, change dated light fixtures or update the flooring.
Tip 3: Make It Low Maintenance
The less work a home needs, the more desirable it will be. Many homebuyers worry about the costs of replacing an old water heater or an air conditioner that is 20 years old. When people see old appliances, the first thought is to ask for concessions or offer a much lower price that will allow them to buy updated components. For the handy homeowner, it is much cheaper to go out and replace the water heater on his own than reducing the price of the home. When it comes to maintenance needs with the roof or an HVAC unit, there is a good dollar for dollar return in value on the sale of the home. Replace old and stained carpet with durable hardwood floors or have vinyl siding installed to replace high-maintenance wooden shingle siding.
Tip 4: Make It Energy Efficient
Today’s buyers are all about energy efficiency. It saves the homeowner money, and it does the environment a favor. There is also a financial benefit for a home with energy conservation features, depending on what part of the nation you live. An energy-efficient mortgage will allow borrowers to increase their loan amount in order to cover the cost of energy-efficient upgrades to the house in addition to the sale price of the home. However, these EEM loans also offer lower mortgage rates as a way to increase purchasing power. Already having enhanced attic insulation, double-paned windows, efficient appliance, and LED lighting in the home will increase the value and catch the interest of more buyers. The more interest your home generates, the potential for increased earnings from multiple offers. A word of caution, while solar panels are becoming more popular, these add value to the long-term purchase of the house and not the initial re-sale value.
Tip 5: Make It Bigger
The most expensive option for adding to value to the home is through an addition. It is also the option that takes the biggest gamble. Price per square foot is a big deal when making home comparisons, but you have to be careful that the home isn’t priced out of the neighborhood. You don’t have to encourage your clients to add on a second story, but perhaps the addition of a sunroom or two-car garage can make a difference. Finishing a basement or converting an attic into a bonus room are also ways to add space without the massive expense and timeline of a new construction project. You could even build a deck or expand your front porch stoop to add the perception of more room.
Though somewhat costly, these four areas can have a huge impact on a home’s value. Always lay out the pros and cons of making a decision before getting started.