Real estate transactions around the globe take place all day, every day, and with so many houses hitting the market, people are always striving to find ways to push their listing above their neighbors. Market competition is all about upstaging close competitors, and the real estate sector in 2013 is no different.
Three simple upgrades to a home can make or break marketability when all is said and done. While almost all renovations add some kind of value, only a very few actually prove out where return on investment goes. Potential homebuyers have their own personal preferences, but there are general ways to improve a house that will appeal to the majority of consumers. Below I list main areas of the house to improve with the closing price tag in mind.
As much as society says to never judge a book by its cover, the saying doesn’t hold true for real estate. People do judge property by how it looks, both on the interior and exterior. The exterior paint is the book cover, and in the giant book store called the real estate market, it is extremely vital. The exterior needs to look brand new, and this usually means a fresh paint job is in order. At the very least, repaint the trim and doors. This can accentuate the structure and draw attention to windows. The paint job may cost a couple thousand dollars, but it will surely pay itself off when dealing with a transaction of that scale and a tempted homebuyer.
The interior is no different from the exterior when it comes to aesthetic appeal. Make it look nice, because the people viewing the property are doing their very best to picture themselves living there. They are also spending a lot of money, and will most likely refuse to settle on something they don’t truly appreciate.
Make certain it looks nice and try to pay particular attention to the master bedroom, kitchen and living room. These are deciding factor areas of real estate, and they will garner more attention in an open house. Consider an all-around paint job if you are trying to boost sale potential. It may cost thousands up front, but if a homebuyer is happy it could add an extra $30,000 to your sale. Overall appeal can raise negotiating leverage and leave a customer more satisfied.
Light is an often underappreciated feature of a house. Not only does it make living in a space more desirable, it can also increase sale potential of a property because it puts a viewer at ease. Because buying a house is such a massive decision, people tend to trust their gut instinct and comfort level more than they would with a smaller purchase. It has to feel right, and the lighting contributes to the ambience that helps people reach a state of satisfaction. Whether it is changing the bulbs or getting all new light fixtures, it can’t hurt your sale.
A way to accomplish this improvement without affecting your budget too much would be to renovate the light fixtures in main areas of the house such as the entry way, living room, and bedrooms. Leaving the hallway lights or guest bathroom bulbs as is shouldn’t hurt the sale figure. You want people to truly appreciate the atmosphere of your house, and a textbook way to do that is to ensure that the lighting is quality in the right places.
Arguably one of the main make or break features of a house, windows are very important in a sale. Not only are they responsible for the natural light that the interior receives, they also help make up the outside aesthetic appeal of the house. While a full blown window replacement could pay itself off in a real estate sale, a more budget and efficient way to get value is to improve the existing ones.
One way to do this is obviously to get them professionally cleaned, both inside and out. Another way to upgrade them for a sale is to repaint the trim around each window. This seems tedious, and potentially somewhat costly, but it really highlights the windows and forces the homebuyer to consider them. This is a particularly helpful renovation if your house has large windows, as size definitely matters with this feature.
When you are considering selling your property, take advantage of the opportunity. Fine tunings within real estate can yield money in the tens of thousands, and that is nothing to scoff at. Set the standards where you would want them as a homebuyer, and you will be rewarded.
About the author: Tim Richmond writes about the mortgage industry, real estate, green building, personal finance and home ownership. He currently writes for the Native American mortgage specialists 1st Tribal Lending.