Make a profit when you sell by making smart investments

By making the right investments in your home, you will not only
cause buyers to fall in love, but you will also almost always make a profit.
While sometimes difficult to quantify, and depending on your
neighborhood, your price point, and the size of your home, the following
improvements will generally produce at least $2 or more in increased sales
price for every $1 you invest. And anything that increases your price will
also reduce your "days-on-market."

  • Granite countertops in the kitchen. They are almost a necessity
    in the Wilmington area if you expect your home to sell for top
    dollar. You should be able to get them for $45 per square foot,
    installed. Go with a standard, lower-priced, nice looking choice
    such as Uba Tuba Green (Dark Verde). For higher-end homes,
    consider Blue Pearl granite, and consider adding granite to the
    master bathroom as well. For homes under $325,000, consider
    granite-looking laminate countertops, or if there is an island in
    the kitchen, you can consider putting granite there only. Stay
    away from beveled edges. Regardless of type, stick with rounded /
    semi-bullnose edges, and you won't go wrong.
  • Stainless steel appliances. You should be able to get a
    refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher for under $2500. If
    your current appliances are white or cream color, this is especially
    important. Black appliances may be okay if they are fairly new.
    Often , these appliances can be purchased as a package for further
    savings…be sure to ask!
  • Replace old carpets. If they are over five years old, they will not
    look new when cleaned, unless they are very good quality. New
    carpet also helps a home smell new. Use no better than mid-grade
    carpet, but be sure to use top-grade or thickest pad available—the
    pad is very inexpensive and can transform the feeling of the carpet
    to a higher quality.
  • Remove wallpaper. Buyers today strongly dislike wallpaper,
    except for a very subtle pattern in the powder room.
  • Refinish dull and scratched hardwood floors. Shining floors
    make a stunning impact on buyers.
  • Paint. Go with a light beige on the inside. It makes the home
    look more expensive and makes white trim "pop". White trim,
    including crown molding and chair rail should be have a bright
    white semi-gloss paint. All outlet covers and switch plates should
    be bright white to match the trim (no cream colored covers).
    Painting your front door and shutters black is often times an easy
    and effective formula for sharpening the appearance of your
    home. I would suggest going to your local Home Depot or Lowes
    to purchase the shutters because they tend to be very inexpensive
    and look much better in most cases, while painting shutters can
    be time consuming and easy to screw up. Shutters can be
    purchased starting around $30 per window (pair) for standard
    louvered type shutters.
This advice is subject to modification based on the specifics of your
home, and over time as buyer tastes evolve. In a few years buyers will
probably love wallpaper again. I recommend getting the advice of a
staging consultant who works with real estate agents. Most interior
decorators do not specialize in preparing homes for buyers. It could also
be very helpful if your REALTOR® holds a staging designation. This
would be an "Accredited Staging Professional" or ASP.
Fixing problems is always better than offering an allowance, because
to make up for the problem you will have to reduce your price more than
it would have cost you to fix it.

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