What are some effective ways to increase the value of your home before selling?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Fri Mar 2, 2012

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17
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Mon Mar 5, 2012
The main things is to shine it up as much as possible. Fresh paint makes a big difference as does a very deep cleaning. At the same time, make sure everything works properly, even switches you never use. Oil door hinges. Store as much furniture as possible. And remove as much as possible from closets and storage spaces to make them look bigger and more organized.

But, start your get-ready project in front of the house, because this is the first thing buyers will see. That first impression will carry forward into the house. Be very careful of large remodeling projects. Recent research has found that most projects cost more than buyers are willing to add to the sales price when buying. I recently did a blog post about getting homes ready for sale. It can be found at the link below.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Days: 303.981.1617
Evenings: 303.473.1926
ron@rovtar.com
http://www.rovtar.com
2 votes
Nina Kuhl, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Here are some ideas:
1) Check the curb appeal of your house. Clean up any landscaping, eliminate weeds, plant a few shrubs/grasses, add some colorful pots and seating.
2) Make sure your front door looks good - paint if necessary.
3) Declutter your house and Stage! - eliminate knick-knacks, remove some furniture to make your rooms look larger.
4) Paint! Repaint any areas that have scuff marks. Look at your paint colors and if they are too wild, tone them down.
5) Kitchens are one area to make the biggest impact. - If your cabinets are outdated, you can look at painting them or looking at using some inexpensive cabinets such as IKEA. If your countertops are dated, granite is still very popular and has gone down in price. Stainless Steel appliances are still big and you can get special deals when buying an entire package. Paint can go a long way.
6) Baths - If this room is outdated, look at a new cabinet, toilet (don't forget about the Denver water rebate) paint and fixtures.

Good Luck!
Nina Kuhl
Cherry Creek Properties LLC
c: 303-913-5858
2 votes
Kevin (720)…, , Denver County, CO
Sun Mar 4, 2012
I agree with many of the responses posted.
Stuff lots of stuff is not good yes De-,Clutter. A professional cleaning company after the "stuff" is gone. Staging has helped me and I am a big advocate for this. Curb appeal is very Important what are you saying to the buyer when they pull up. I have seen people pull up and not even get out of the car. Now the big dollar items. I think most buyers in this market do not want to do any thing. Kitchen remodels always pay the largest return in value. Bath rooms are second. Finally Paint and the right choice of colors can make a significant difference. Best of luck to you.
Kevin
Verde Denver Real Estate
720-334-6181
1 vote
Robert McGui…, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Trulia,

All good answers. My top 3 are:

1. Declutter - Box up, clean up, or storage for anything you don't use everyday. Gets seller in mindset of 'I am moving and release this home to someone else.

2. Cleaning - thorough cleaning. then daily maintenance. This can literally at thousands to value.

3. Update - Kitchen and bathrooms. If not remodeled, do the little things to make them look bigger and better. Again clean all counters and above cabinets. Clean appliances. Paint any areas in home that need it with neutral paint colors.

Those are main 3. Take photos after all suggested items are done. Another big thing is easy access. Don't delay or cancel appointments unless it is a family emergency.

Robert McGuire ASR
Realtor/Consultant
Your Castle Real Estate
1776 S. Jackson St. #412
Denver CO 80210
Direct – 303-669-1246
1 vote
Joyce Sedam, Agent, Centennial, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
I have viewed many homes recently priced under $300,000 and believe the Sellers have not been educated on how to get the most for their home OR they must be tired and just like seeing a sign in their yard.

Several agents have hit the CRITICAL issues on how to prepare your home to sell...
#1 - FIRST IMPRESSION - CURB APPEAL (clean up the landscaping) (no chipped or blistered paint)
#2 - Walking thru the front door the home should be saying "welcome" "I have been a well-cared for home" .no clutter, no dust, clean windows"
#3 - Bathrooms, stoves, microwaves need to sparkle
#4 - Closets and cabinets must show ample room available
#5 - Bring in a professional stager....a little movement of furniture and accessories DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

All of this and the home priced right = SOLD SIGN IN THE YARD!

Joyce Sedam
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC
720-934-7085
jsedam@gmail.com http://www.JoyceSedam.com
1 vote
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
In Boulder County where inventory has been thin, your home should look its best and have any issues already addressed.

Here are a few tips:
1) Paint adds more than a cosmetic flourish. It is important to protecting the home from insects and the elements. Neutral colors are best.

2) Curb appeal: Roof repairs and maintenance are critical. If your roof was scuffed up by the fierce winds of the past year, you need to have this addressed. Gutters should be cleared of debris as a routine matter. This is something that is ignored over the colder months so any branches that might have been left after that first big storm should be cleared.

3) Landscaping: As it warms up, homeowners should get the yard in shape. Remove any dead trees and trim up bushes. Add some color by planting flowers when weather allows.

4) Staging: The most important chore in staging is clearing clutter. Store framed photos to depersonalize your home. Make sure rooms flow. The room should have a central focus - not a lot of furniture. All light fixtures and ceiling fans should work.

5) The kitchen and baths are where a lot - if not most - decisions are made by buyers. If these rooms don't sparkle, your home may sit on the market even as homes around you are sold. Some Murphy's Soap can bring woods alive. The stove top should be immaculate.

A carpet/floor allowance is a consideration for any homeowners who have been there for five years or more. Carpets, in particular, pick up odors and stains. At any rate, have it professionally cleaned and repaired. Window treatments and blinds should be in good shape.

Upgrading comes with a caveat. You are very unlikely to recover your investment, but generally your home will move off the market faster.

I spend a lot of time touring homes, so design and staging ideas are always in the front of my mind. Take a tour of a new community to see what the builders are doing to sell in this soft market. If a neighbor opens up their house for showing, go look.

SuZ
PML of Longmont, CO
720 810 0683
bouldersuz@gmail.com
1 vote
Jon Wachter, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
In a nutshell I feel the most cost effective ways to increase a homes value would be to:
1. declutter (less is more) to make the home appear larger,
2. clean and dust out the cobwebs,
3. scrub the showers nooks and cranies,
4. paint the homes interior with neutral colors,
5. remove from the walls and refrigerator years of family photos (put them in labeled boxes to hang up at your next home),
6. replace the carpet if it is wornout or have it professionally cleaned if it is not too old,
7. straighten up outdoor spaces so the area feels like an extension of the home and
8. clean the windows so the buyers can see outside.
I recommend this to every client who needs to sell a home.
Best Of Luck,
Jon
1 vote
Jon Roberts, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Nina Kuhl is right on target, in Cost Effective Order:
1. Declutter. Inside & Out. Throw stuff away. Donate it. Sell it on Ebay/Craigslist. Box & store it. Use it as an opportunity to start fresh & new.
2. Clean. Inside & Out. Even the worst home look better if they are clean. This includes cleaning the outside (trim, weed, clean out brush, etc).
3. Paint. The first two could be Free if you do it yourself. Still relatively inexpensive if you pay someone. Paint can be done yourself for sure, but I do recommend a professional painters. They tend to do an excellent job for not much money and the effect often outweighs the cost.
4. Lighting. This isn't on Nina's list. I learned this from a Fix & Flip investor of mine. Invest in good lighting. Hire a professional and use it to stage. Huge difference maker.
5. Kitchen. This is expensive, but extremely effective. Sometimes a kitchen renovation can open up/remove a wall, create more space and let more light flow. Even more effective when it accomplishes these additional tasks.
6. Baths. You don't always have to renovate baths. Helps, but they're expensive too. My advice to sellers on bathrooms: Make sure they are tip-top clean. Nothing is a turn off to buyer like a dirty bathroom. Yuck.

Best of luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.jonrroberts.com
1 vote
Todd Spiller, Agent, Fort Collins, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Clean, declutter and update. The first two are easy the last one takes time, thought and probably money. Talk to professionals in your area to determine what improvements are necessary in your neighborhood to attract buyers and will provide the best potential to increase value. Two primary objectives are to be competitive with other offerings and to anticipate buyer needs. Try to learn what their expectations are and how your home will stand out. Make it easy for buyers to envision moving right in without having to make repairs and spend funds that may not be available after the expenses for purchasing and moving. Eliminate as many of the possible objections in this regard before putting your home on the market. Buyers today may discount price by as much as twice the value for repairs or updates they believe are essential.
1 vote
Vicki Porter, , Denver, CO
Fri Mar 2, 2012
The question is a hard one to answer, because it depends on what your house most needs. Kitchens and baths are often the best place to spend some money. But, most of the things one can do to increase the value of a home cost more than they add value. The National Association of Realtors does a cost vs. value survey annually. Ask your realtor to get a copy.
1 vote
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Mon Jun 18, 2012
Another note: If you get a chance to tour a neighbor's home that is on the market, use that opportunity. If you already know that others bought the granite counters and other upgrades, then it won't be necessary to bother. You may already know you haven't kept up with the Jones.

Kitchens more than any other single room sell homes. The decision to buy often is made by the person who spends the most time in the kitchen. And, these days homeowners gather in the kitchen more often than any other room. If you're home is the bland one on the block, then you should address at least one item. Tip: Upgraded counters do wonders for a kitchen. With some new paint and maybe a new stove, you will outshine a good deal of the competition out there - even if they bought upgrades when they acquired their home.

You won't necessarily increase the value, but you may get multiple offers - which is even better.

Best of luck.
SuZ
0 votes
Kevin (720)…, , Denver County, CO
Thu May 31, 2012
You can always bury St. Joseph upside down in the back yard. Just a joke, but really how many people have done that? De-clutter is important. I like fresh and clean one of the best Ideas is fresh paint. This does not cost a lot but shows really nice. Make sure the colors pop. Re-finish the hardwood floors? I am going for full price offers,quickly. This time of year landscaping is important you want great curb appeal. Stand at the curb walk through the house all the while asking yourself would you like this home? Make sure you have a Real Estate agent you are comfortable with. They should be able to give you feed back and Ideas. I have a seven step process on my web site
http://www.verdedenver.com that will walk a person through this process. Most of all "have Fun"

Warm Regards
Kevin
Verde Denver Real Estate
720-334-6181
0 votes
Bob Gordon, Agent, Boulder, CO
Thu May 31, 2012
Really clean your home; box up items - as a rule of thumb, empty closets by a third, remove personal items, fresh paint if needed.Adding a flower planter at your front door can have a good impact on showings. If you are going to invest funds in a major project, do research and make improvements that are popular with the average consumer - not necessarily your own tastes. Realtor magazine publishes a list of improvements and the percentage you get back on investment. Do you want a copy?
0 votes
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed May 30, 2012
The experts tell us that no major home improvement project pays back its entire costs at closing. So I generally do not encourage my clients to complete big improvements before listing unless there has been a lot of obvious neglect.

But, one thing I have noticed recently is that houses with finished basements seem to be getting a significant premium in some neighborhoods. In fact it appears that some of these homes are going for prices considerably more than a standard basement upgrade costs.

I suspect this is happening because many people are moving into smaller homes these days and want to make best use of all the space.

I cannot say that this is happening everywhere, but it might be worth looking at comparable properties in your area to see if homes with finished basements are selling at prices that would justify making the investment.

I also would be interested to hear if other agents are seeing the same thing.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Days: 303.981.1617
Evenings: 303.473.1926
ron@rovtar.com
http://www.rovtar.com
0 votes
Nancy Sillers, Agent, Burleson, TX
Wed May 30, 2012
Some effective ways to increase the value of your home before seller are to make sure everything is clean and not cluttered. This has no expense to the Sellers.
Make sure your home has a fresh smell as well. Ask a family member or friend to be honest with you concerning your homes condition. Start there first and then start calling Realtors to get their professional opinion about your home. That is a good way to choose your listing agent as well. Good Luck in the Selling process.
0 votes
Michael Huff…, Agent, Englewood, CO
Wed May 30, 2012
I have a good blog post on my website about preparing your home for sale that could help increase the value, check it out here: http://yourdenverhouse.com/fine/real/estate/blog
0 votes
Nancy Sillers, Agent, Burleson, TX
Mon Mar 5, 2012
You have some very good answers to your question.

I would have your Realtor assist you in the process of getting estimates to fix the damage and ask the Buyer and Inspector to pay for the damage.
If that doesn't work then obtain legal representation before you release the buyers earnest money.

Good luck and keep us all informed on the outcome.

Nancy Sillers
Keller Williams Realty
Burleson, TX
0 votes
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