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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Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner ~ Exclusive Buyers Agent ~ ABR, CEBA’s answer
Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Tue Jun 5, 2012
Have a home inspection done PRIOR to listing. Then repair/replace everything that the inspection has called out. Period. Do not have the buyers find out what defects, maintenance items, etc. are in your house AFTER you've accepted their offer. Theret will be a second-round of negotiations after the buyers have had the home inspected and that will DECREASE the value no matter how you slice it.

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyer Agent since 1999
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lewisremingt…, Home Owner, Rochester, NY
Mon Apr 13, 2015
I believe having the moss removed from your siding and your roof will really help increase some value. Plus this will help you pass any inspections you have. It's good to stay on top of it too, and not have it go years without you having it cleaned off.
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Janice Groun…, Agent, Oregon City, OR
Wed May 30, 2012
If you don't want to hire a stager (cost and the fact you live there) here are my suggestions:

1) CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN - particularly the bathrooms and the kitchen

2) De-Clutter - The closets as well, pack up and store extra doo-dads, keep the counters neat and mostly empty, take all the stuff off the fridge - kids art, photos of your dog, charming magnets, etc.

3) Paint a nice neutral color - this includes your son's fabulous navy / sail boat themed room with the blue and white wallpaper or your wonderful red dining room that looks so nice next to your yellow kitchen. You will get to paint and decorate in your new place.

4) Replace old/dated door knobs - ALL of them - this is a cheap and effective way to not turn off a buyer with a feeling of being dated.

5) Replace lighting fixtures if they are old and yukky (as opposed to old an cool). Home Depot and Lowes have wonderful and inexpensive lights that will really make a difference

6) Update the faucets in kitchen and baths (again, relatively inexpensive fix that makes the home look newer)

7) Take down old/dingy window coverings - this includes the 'eyebrow' style of curtains that I see a lot of in kitchens.

8) If you have pets, make sure you clean up after them

9) Mow and trim the yard, paint the porch, put in inexpensive plants and mulch.

Hope this helps - GOOD LUCK and if you need more suggestions, just email me: jlgrounds56@gmail.com
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Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed May 30, 2012
No question it has to gleam and be completely cleared of any clutter or excess furniture/things. I provide a staging consultation to my sellers once they tell me they are ready - it is always amazing what a few changes in the placement of furniture can do to the way a home shows.

Beyond that, invest in a fresh white comforter cover for the bed and put new white show towels in the bathrooms. Changing out lighting fixtures goes a long ways to updating and if you are up for it a fresh coat of paint makes everything look and smell fresh.

The more show ready your home is the faster you will receive an offer to purchase and in the current market you might receive several if you are well positioned. Happy selling.
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Amanda Schue…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri May 11, 2012
In my opinion the two best things you can do are to give your home a thorough top to bottom cleaning and to de-clutter. If it's possible, rent a storage unit for a month or two to store all but the most essential pieces of furniture and personal items. Cleaning up the lawn is also good. Mow the lawn, prune the bushes, sweep the walks. These things go a long way and don't require a lot of money out of pocket - just elbow grease. From there, the next step should be fixing any items around the house that need repair.
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Wayne Pruner, , Tigard, OR
Fri May 11, 2012
The best bang for your buck is to make the front door/porch stunning.
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Ruth Howard, Other Pro, Hubbard, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
First of all you are on the right track by using this resource to ask such an important question you are clearly motivated to sell. All of the answers I have read are great. Being a Home Stager I would of course encourage you to utilize this service. It is so hard for home sellers to detach enough from their home to look at it objectively as a buyer does. As far as value, in a recent Home Gain survey which list home improvement projects and their return on investment, home staging with an average cost of $300-$400 had a return of 586%. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Services reports that staged homes spend 78% less time on the market and sell for 17% more. Staging is a powerful marketing tool and too many people are missing this opportunity. Homes are sold based on emotion and if a buyer can walk into your home and envision their life you have a better chance of getting not only an offer but a good one. Nine out of ten potential buyers look at online photos first to decide which homes they will physically consider. Homes that are staged stand out in the photos.

I would encourage you to look further into home staging. It can give you an edge over your competition in the market.

I hope you have great success!
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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Paint and landscape are always at the top of my list along with taking down all personal pictures and all of them off the refrigerator. Kids have posters in the bedrooms but take them down now it is a distraction. Make the house seem like a model home but I know you have to live there but by taking down the personal pictures the buyer has a faster time seeing themselves living there. If you have any hunting trophies pack them away it is really a turn off to most buyers even in rural areas where everyone hunts. Also you might change out the gold handles on the kitchen and bath cabinets for less than $100 you can do the whole house with cabinet hardware packets from Home Depot and that really can change the looks of an older kitchen. Wash windows and open all the blinds when showing and turn on all the lights and it you can set the dining room table it gives the house a nice finished effect for showing maybe even fresh flowers if you have some in the yard to change out every week. Good luck
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Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
If you are located in the San Francisco Bay area, the first step is to contact a couple of local Realtors to determine your homes potential Market Value. I know the Realtors I talk to in the city are very busy and sales are brisk, so depending on your location you may not have to do much.

In terms of my sellers in the Portland Metro area, I provide a range based on a Comparative Market Analysis, provide them my list of top to do's and arrange a staging appointment at my expense. While, I have good ideas I share about staging and repairs, I find my Stager goes well beyond in helping clients maximize their selling dollar.

Clearly having your home show ready is critical. Your new buyer should drive up to a freshly painted home or at the very least freshly painted front door. Well manicured yard, flowers in the pots and windows sparkling. Once they step inside, it should look clear and crisp and smell good too, with fresh paint, carpets/floors cleaned, updated fixtures and cleared of your personal items. Have the furnace serviced and cleaned and any other maintenance issues you have been ignoring to ensure once you obtain a sale, it will stick.

Your Realtor is your best source and advocate throughout the process and following their advise will net you the greatest gain. Good Luck.
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Amanda Schue…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
I agree with the responses before mine. I would also like to add de-cluttering. Homes with only the essential pieces of furniture show best. Likewise,closets that are well-organized and not too full. Some sellers rent a storage unit to hold extra furniture, clothes and collectibles while their homes are on the market. Also, family pictures or specific hobbies/interests should be removed. This allows potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
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Joe Findling, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Be sure to finish any improvement/maintenance projects that you've started but haven't yet completed. Carefully scrutinize the walls and floors; clean them until it hurts, or repaint the walls and replace damaged flooring. Remove all clutter so that everything appears to have it's place, and clean out cabinets and closets so that they're no more than 50% full. Keep clean lines in your yard, particularly the front entry area.
Please let me know if this was helpful and you'd like more input. Thanks,
Joe Findling
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Sally Mehalo…, Agent, Clackamas, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
The best approach is to spend as little as possible to make the most impact. Start with cleaning--really cleaning. Inside, that means windows, walls, closets, the fridge, oven and showers. Buyers open every door, so make sure the shower sparkles. Of course the usual tidying up and carpet cleaning are important to present a good first impression.

Declutter by putting away papers and paring down clothes (makes closets look bigger) and decorative accessories (looks clean and streamlined), and even removing extra furniture to open up rooms and make them appear larger.

Freshen things up with new paint and light fixtures--nothing screams 1992 like a shiny brass light fixture. Neutral is good when it comes to paint. Outside, power wash the driveway, do a thorough yard clean-up with fresh bark and some colorful plants. Make sure light bulbs are all working and for the purposes of presenting your house in it's best light, increase the light bulb wattage to help your home be as light, bright and cheerful as possible.

In a buyer's market, getting your home ready to sell isn't about selling for more than other, similar houses in your neighbhorhood--it's about standing out as a the best one, so yours is the house that sells.
Web Reference:  http://www.pdxhomepros.com
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Jon Cohen, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
There are so many ways to make your home more attractive to buyers and maximize the value of your home. One of the most effective in my experience has been to have your home inspected prior to putting it on the market, and then fixing all of the things that the inspector discovers. This will make your house look very attractive to anyone who comes over to take a look. Imagine walking into a house and saying, "I don't think we'd need to fix anything in this house."

I would be happy to talk with you about other ways to present your home for sale. Please contact me if you'd like more information about how my team can help you maximize the value of your home.

Jon Cohen

Tel: 503.720.9393
Fax: 503.336.6352
E-mail: Jon@PortlandHomeTeam.com

Combining a lawyer’s experience
with a passion for real estate.
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Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Be very careful in what you do to increase the value of your home. You need to make sure you do what makes the most sense...if you are in certain areas - curb appeal is very important. Other places, what is seen when you first walk up to the door or enter is important. Anytime you have a home on the market making if fresh looking and fresh smelling is very very important!
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The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
The most effective is to do all the cheaper work: painting, carpet cleaning, landscaping, and other similar items. They could increase the value by 10-20 thousand if done properly and can cost you less than a thousand total.
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Jennifer Pet…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Mar 2, 2012
First impressions are key, so exterior landscaping is great! Also, exterior painting and moss removal from roofs. For the interior I suggest at the very least fresh interior painting including updating trim, updated fixtures and new carpet or refinished hardwoords and if possible updated kitchens and bathrooms.
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