Selling Your Home Part 2

It’s always a puzzle for people selling their homes – how much money to invest in the house in order to obtain the best price for it. It seems strange to put money into a house that you’re not going to be living in, but experts say that there are certain things that need to be done in order to present your home in the best possible light. You could always leave the jobs for the buyer to do, but remember that not everyone wants to buy a fixer-upper, no matter how minor the issues seem.

Why you should do the repairs
• Many repairs are easy to do and will make the house more presentable, give viewers a more positive view of your home and increase its perceived value.
• Avoid having to do a price reduction by removing the chance of the buyers’ home inspector finding problems; plus, you’ll also avoid the whole issue of haggling over how much to decrease the price at a time when you’re already stressed.
• Your actual cost to fix the problems will often be lower than the price estimated by the buyers’ real estate team.

Necessary repairs
From minor annoyances — cracked sinks, running toilets — to major structural problems such as a water-damaged ceiling or a poorly insulated attic, these problems give the impression that your home may not have been well-cared for, and raise red flags with potential buyers. They’ll notice the visible issues themselves and the behind-the-scenes ones will show up on the home inspector’s report they commission. If you’re unsure of the true state of your home, order your own inspection report to identify these issues. (This will also help if you need to talk about a price reduction for those tasks you don’t do.) Tackle these repairs first.

Cosmetic changes
Don’t dismiss cosmetic changes as the “fluff” of selling a house or the “nice to haves”. Often it’s the bright new wall paint, the updated light fixtures and appliances and the “fresh” appeal that give the emotional tug that seals the deal. List and prioritize all the cosmetic changes, though, as they can add up in cost, and some may fall into the renovation category. For example, is replacing the carpet on your main floor with hardwood flooring a cosmetic change or a renovation? And don’t forget the look and appeal of the front yard (maybe a new coat of paint on the fence) in the season you’re selling in – the first impressions of curb appeal are crucial.

These are the big-budget items that you may need to do in order to sell your house for the price you want. This is especially applicable for houses that are around 30 years old whose kitchens and bathrooms haven’t been updated – no-one is looking for oak cabinets and lino flooring anymore. Attend open houses for similar homes in your neighbourhood and see what the competition is offering. If you find stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and European cabinets in the kitchen, then consider updating your own cooking space. You may be able to do this by changing the cabinet doors and the countertop rather than a full-blown renovation. If you have a limited budget, experts say to spend it on the kitchen and bathrooms!

Whatever else you do, you MUST do this
Deep clean your house. Whether you do it yourself or hire professionals, make sure your home sparkles as never before – all the way to the back of the deepest closets, the darkest corners and the highest window frames. Imagine the open house viewers looking absolutely everywhere in your home for dust and grime – give them nothing to find. And keep the house this way during your selling period with daily cleanings – you never know when your realtor is going to bring around the perfect buyers.

Useful Link:
Martha Stewart: Spring Cleaning Checklist


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