Tips for Sellers


HOW TO GIVE YOUR HOME A FACE-LIFT: THE SELLERS' GUIDE TO A QUICK SELL

One of the great challenges to selling a home can be showing all of its space, decor and natural light potential. For example, every home has crowded closets and dead space. Sellers should be aware that areas such as these are easy to spruce-up with a little elbow grease and old-fashioned innovation.

Begin by evaluating your closet/storage space, determine which areas can cut-down in clutter. Go through old clothes, shoes, etc., and get rid of anything that will not be used and in turn create more space. Consider organizing shelves and other areas to make better use of your storage space, including your garage and basement. Also, try to throw out or give away any old furniture that is no longer of use. All of the discarded items can be given to Good Will, Salvation Army or even sold at a yard sale.

Although most sellers keep their homes clean and well-decorated, it can be difficult to convince a buyer of a home's potential when clutter is noticeable. As brokers, it's our responsibility to offer any tips that will expedite the sale and make the experience more enjoyable for the seller, Once you've eliminated the unwanted items and furniture, begin the 'renovation' process. For non-storage spaces that could use a little more decor, consider adding a small bookshelf complemented with a cozy reading chair. Always be sure you're filtering as much light into your property as possible. Open or replace curtains. For example, light from a window overlooking the backyard offers a room more color, a great view and the illusion of more space.

Always maximize the potential of existing decor; wash old curtains, re-stain old wood casings, anything that refreshes and emphasizes all the potential of the space and decor of the home.

Prospective buyers are often more drawn to homes with features that they don't have, those with clutter-free closets, open sunny rooms, and cozy little corners. To ensure you've realized all of the above characteristics the last step should be to bring in a friend and observe their reaction. Make sure it's an honest friend, who will offer suggestions as well as notice the improvements. Seeing your own home through someone else's eyes is a great way to make a home optimally attractive and more sellable to prospective buyers.

Be diligent in your efforts and be sure the renovations improve the aesthetic appeal of the home. All the hard work will be worth the reward of a successful sale.
REMODELING YOUR HOME: HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

The classic way for homeowners to increase the value of their house is by remodeling existing rooms or adding on to its current plan.

Some choose to build recreation rooms and studies while others add new appliances, fixtures and cabinets to enliven rooms and make their home more attractive to future buyers. But, when should you decide to stop sinking money into a home and buy a bigger place? And how much rehab is too much when it comes time to recovering remodeling costs through a home sale.

For instance, if you've just spent $1,000 remodeling your living room and didn't expand your small bathroom, the chances of increasing the number of interested buyers are slim.

With these concerns in mind, we offer a few tips for those struggling to add value to their home.

First, always protect the character of your home. Nothing sticks out more than a new addition that is in a completely different architectural style. Be consistent. Recognize your home's character and stay within its framework.

The most financially rewarding areas to remodel are usually the kitchen and bath. Newly re-done cooking spaces and cabinets can attract more buyers and may command a slightly higher price for the home than a comparable one on the market. Simple repairs that are made to last will bring you the biggest returns upon sale.

Enlarged bathrooms are the most popular attraction for new home buyers, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Today, the most popular additions for younger buyers are sunken whirlpool baths and showers. But be sure to install modest, solid amenities. It's easy to quickly over-spend on bathroom fixtures.

Buyers are, by convention, more interested in above-ground living space - not basements, yards and walkways. Swimming pools can be a poor investment if installed for the sole purpose of increasing a home's value; it's rare that a pool's cost will be recovered in a home sale. It can also be a negative feature for potential buyers with very young children.

Replacing worn carpeting, tiles and wood floors can give your home an immediate advantage over similar properties in the area. Updating paint colors in all areas of your home can also prove beneficial.

However, it's recommended that you use neutral colors, such as gray, beige and off-white when adding new floor and wall coverings. Fewer buyers will then turn away because of differing tastes.

Stay simple with your remodeling and look at your home as though you were the buyer. Chances are that if you find the upstairs bedroom could be brightened by a larger window, potential buyers will probably feel the same.

Don't go overboard. Concentrate on improving two or three deficiencies in your home. More than likely, the time and money you spend adding quality to your home will be rewarded with greater profit at selling time.