What To Fix Before Selling A Home

When a homeowner begins to think about putting their home on the market, they begin to wonder what improvements can be made to increase the sales price. If you are contemplating on renovating before selling, then you need to take a hard look at the numbers and see if it is worth the time, energy and money. Sure, we see the circa-1990 kitchens periodically when on the house hunt, but it's not to say that the house won't sell if it has a 90's kitchen. Some buyers may be more hesitant to buy without an updated space, while others may look at it as an opportunity to put their own personal stamp on the home.

Some renovations will return a positive ROI while others may be money pits. There are many variables to consider when deciding on whether or not to renovate before selling. Among the top items to consider is the current market, comparables in the neighborhood, the home's value with and without renovations and the timeline for selling. In a competitive market, renovations will most likely not be necessary before selling the property. Whereas, in a slower market (where the property needs to measure up to the competition) a renovation may be necessary to even the playing field.

Minor vs. Major Renovations Before Selling

The best thing to do is start out with some minor cosmetic upgrades instead of investing a lot of time and money into a full renovation. By thinking small it can still get buyers in the door. Here are a few top minor renovations to consider to add more value to your home before selling:

Doors - The front door is typically the first and last thing that potential buyers see when touring a home. So it's no surprise that replacing an existing front door can net you a full return on investment. A 2015 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine showed a 101.8% return for a new steel door with the replacement cost of $1,230. Additionally, this same report also showed a good return for replacing garage doors. With an average cost of $1,600, the sellers saw an 88% return at resale.

Roofing - A roof inspection is part of nearly every real estate transaction. So it never hurts to have a roof inspection completed before listing so there are no surprises. If the home is in need of a new roof, the average return is about 72%. Often a roof may just need minor repairs that will be lighter on the pocket book and also provide peace of mind for the new buyer.

Siding- This renovation is basic home maintenance and can greatly affect curb appeal if the siding is outdated or in need of repair/replacement. The Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value Report showed an 80% return on investment when upgrading siding.

Kitchen - With many kitchens serving as the hub of the home, buyers are searching for a modern kitchen that is ready to host family and friends. Dated kitchens can be a turnoff and a kitchen remodel can be seen as a pricey (and daunting) task. A few minor changes in a kitchen can go a long ways without a complete gut job. Consider replacing outdated appliances, painting or refacing old cabinetry or updating countertops and backsplashes.

Flooring - Peel and stick tile is not a preferred flooring option of most buyers. Hardwood floors are usually the top requested flooring type, but realize that they do come with a higher price tag. If a home has existing hardwood floors, a refinishing project may be able to upgrade the space. On average, wood floors have shown 6 percent increase in the sales price of a home.

Paint - This is one of the least expensive upgrades, yet can give new life to any room in the house. It's a project that can be easily tackled by the homeowner or cost a nominal fee to hire a professional. On average, an entire interior painting project will cost between $2,000 to $3,000 with a professional painter plus the cost of paint and materials.

Having to adjust a home's price because of necessary improvements and renovations is never fun for a seller. Some home renovations will not add value to the home for resale but may be worth it to facilitate a faster sale. Consult your realtor for advice.

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How to Make Your House Sell Faster

Selling a property is rarely a straightforward process as you often have to depend on other people to sign contracts, release funds and not break the chain.

The one thing you do have a degree of control over however is how fast you manage to get your property off the market. Although nothing can guarantee a quick sell, the tips below are all tried and tested techniques that make a house more appealing to buyers.

Curb appeal

They say that first impressions count and this is particularly true when it comes to your house. Think about how you feel when you first drive up to a property you're viewing. Whether you realise it or not, you will have made up your mind about the house before you even see what's inside.

If you really want to attract potential buyers, take a good look at the exterior of your house. Does the garden look good? Could the windows do with a lick of paint? Does it look untidy? It can be hard to look at something objectively when you've seen it everyday for years so if you're really struggling, ask a friend what they think.


Obviously you don't want to spend a huge amount of money on your house if you're about to sell it but if there are certain things that really hold it back, it's well worth throwing some money into making changes.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so it's well worth spending a couple grand on upgrading yours if they're looking a bit run down. If you can't afford huge renovations or you simply don't have the time, small things like a fresh coat of paint, a new carpet, a few simple furnishings or window dressings can really help to brighten up the place.


Removing any clutter from your house is an absolute must if you're trying to sell it. A property crammed full of furniture seems small and over-crowded and it's not very appealing at all. You want people to be able to envisage their own furniture in there and they won't be able to do this if they can barely move.

To appeal to a larger audience, try to remove as much from your home as you can. This will make it seem bigger and more airy which is guaranteed to impress potential buyers. If you don't have anywhere to store your belongings, simply put them into self storage until you make that all-important sale.

Price your property competitively

Your estate agent will be able to help you with this but unfortunately, people don't always listen to their advice. Make sure your property is priced competitively otherwise you're unlikely to get viewings at all. Just because your neighbour's house went for more money it doesn't necessarily mean that yours will. Perhaps they have recently done renovations or have a conservatory or an extra garage.

You are more likely to draw people in if you advertise at the market value and if you're lucky, potential buyers might even enter a bidding war.

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4 Important Ways to Prepare Yourself While Selling Your House

When you build or purchase a house of your own, you actually get to see your dreams come true where you have an abode of your own and no possible distractions or disturbances that you would have otherwise faced with a rested house. Living in a house that you call your own is something several people are aware of but what about the times when you have to leave it and move somewhere else? There may be varied circumstances that may initiate the reason to leave your house and relocate. The feeling is heart-wrenching but is something that you have to come to terms with.

Preparing yourself and the house to be sold is something difficult for everyone but learning to cope with the possible change is something that should be learnt rather quickly at least when it is time to finally leave. Here are a few ways that could help you prepare to sell the house both physically and emotionally.

• Make the house attractive - Even if it something that would no longer be yours, you need to make it look appealing when you look at it from the viewpoint of a seller. The paint, interiors, lights, etc. should be perfect to look at and only then would it attract prospective buyers to buy it.

• Make the house look spacious - While you are preparing to sell the house, it is likely that you are shifting to a new abode. If possible, you could move belongings that are less important to your new home and make the present house look spacious. You can try removing heavy furniture and thus making space for the room to look large. This is something that would psychologically affect the buyer to choose your house as being spacious.

• Remove anything that is personalised - While most of us are inclined to our family and the memories that we shared, we are likely to have personalised photographs on the walls. This at times doesn't allow the buyer to connect well to the house especially when they come over to consider the house for purchase. Therefore, it is advised to remove anything that is personalised apart from pictures of sceneries or paintings on the wall.

• Hire a professional cleaner - There are times when you cannot clean every nook and cranny of the house all by yourself given the various priorities and commitments you have to attend to. You could always hire a professional cleaner who would come over with necessary cleaning equipment to clean little things that often go unnoticed but is something important. Cleaning tiles, grouts, hand rails of the staircase, fans, lights, kitchen chimneys, stairs, floors, etc. are often ignored but when these cleaners come over to help you with it, you would notice you house looking just as attractive the way it looked when you had first moved in.

The author Cathy Smith has had experiences with preparing for selling off her house and has relevant information on online estate agent and ways to sell property online in London.

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