Five Do and Don’t Improvements For Resale
Most buyers want a move-in ready home that’s clean, updated and functional, and they’re willing to pay more to get what they want. If you’re a seller refreshing your home for resale, or an investor intent on selling a remodeled home, you should know which updates will impress today’s homebuyers the most. Not all will improvements will provide a return on investment, but the cumulative effect will definitely result in better offers from homebuyers.
Update the finishes. Get rid of popcorn ceilings. If you have wood floors, pull up the old carpet and repair and refinish the wood. Update countertops in quartz or stone, which adds value. New appliances are always appreciated, especially if they have the latest features like induction stovetops.
Reconvert the conversions. Conversions are usually awkward, such as garages turned into living spaces. The elevations are rarely the same, the driveway dead-ends, and there’s little protection for vehicles. If you’re selling a home that already has a converted garage, offer to reconvert on request as a bargaining tool.
Paint neutrally. Nothing improves a home like fresh paint. If you’re not sure which neutral is best – gray, beige, white or soft blue or greens, ask for opinions. A good source is your local paint store.
Fix obvious problems. Buyers will open all drawers and doors, so fix the broken lock, the running toilet, the leaky faucet, the busted sprinkler head, the wobbly ceiling fan, the loose doorknob, picture hanger holes, and so on. Deep clean corners and touch up railings which may have dents and dings and chipped paint.
Say “Welcome!” with curb appeal. Updated landscaping is one of the first positive things your buyers will see from the street. Fresh modern paint on the front door, a new welcome mat, potted flowers, shiny new porch lights all show pride of ownership – something you want your buyers to feel, too.
Inexpensive updates in lieu of the more durable and sustainable materials may cause buyers to wonder where else you cut costs. Here are five cheap “improvements” that won’t help you sell your home.
Single coat paint – A single coat of paint can leave a ghost of the previous color. It also never delivers the rich color and texture of carefully applied second coats.
Peel and Stick tiles– Nothing says cheap like peel and stick tile for floors or backsplashes. Yes, you can remove them, but real tile wears and looks better.
Faux Granite – What makes granite beautiful and the focal point of a kitchen or bath is the natural veins and spots of color. While some laminates and quartz closely copy granite, you’re better off choosing a solid neutral color for your countertop replacement and putting the wow factor somewhere else, like a decorative tile backsplash.
Acrylic one-piece shower/tub: It may look clean and new, but you don’t want your bathroom to look like it belongs in a motel. It’s disconcerting to feel the floor flex when you step in or out of the tub. Spend the money for a new porcelain tub, fresh grouted tile and a contemporary glass door.
Painted outdated cabinets – Even a good paint job doesn’t update worn, outdated cabinets enough to impress homebuyers. Old cabinets don’t have the easy sliding drawers, pull-out shelving and hidden hinges that are standard features of modern cabinets.
Sometimes it takes money to make money. Sit down with your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional and compile a list of the most important updates for your particular home.