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.