The value of your home is interesting at three different times for three very different reasons: paying property tax, applying for a home equity loan, and when selling the house.
- Tax time can make a homeowner angry while borrowers hope for a higher value.
- When selling the home, value is critical so it’s important to take the steps necessary to increase your h0mes’ value.
- And, in order to figure out where the home might be valued, it’s always a good idea to have a licensed real estate appraiser help with the numbers. They will look at similar, or comparable homes in the area, their sale price and compare them to your home.
So the big question is, what can you do? Here are a few things to consider:
1. Prior to Contacting a REALTOR
Landscaping gives your home what REALTORs call, “street appeal”, or “curb appeal”. It is an important part of what makes the house look inviting to potential buyers. Properties and their value can improve just by catching up on some simple maintenance. For example:
- Try trimming the hedges into a simple geometric shape
- Rent an edging tool from the local garden store and put a nice, uniform edge at the curb, sidewalks, and driveway
- If your home has planters and you plan to sell during nice weather, make sure there is something blooming
- And, make sure to get rid of any vegetation growing out of concrete joints.
Home buyers may also be warned by their representing REALTORs with regards to roots or trees that can damage the roof of a home. So, in this case, hire a company that knows how to do the tree trimming: Tree-Trimming Columbus, Ohio for example. Well-kept trees and shrubs exude comfort.
The exterior paint should also be in good condition before you offer a home for sale. However:
- Only paint the house if it looks bad or if it needs it
- Painting just to change the color doesn’t change anything and could be a waste of time and money.
And, if you do decide to paint because the house needs it, try to choose a neutral color.
The walls inside of the house should have clean, flat paint as well. If it has been awhile since the walls were painted and they are faded, paint them. Use two colors in every room and avoid drastic color changes from room-to-room. It is best that the transitions flow together smoothly.
Floor coverings should be in good shape. If cleaning them is not enough to make them show-worthy,don’t be shy, install new ones! Just choose a color that you like; it is impossible to pick one that pleases everyone. This may also be something you might want to consult with a local home stager; they tend to have great ideas and might also be able to get you what you need at a discount.
2. Going on the Market
You are now ready to find a REALTOR. For your consideration, you may want to:
- Call the local board of REALTORs to find out the average rate of commission in your area
- Talk to friends and family and see what their experience has been
- or, use a service such as Sundaybell to interview REALTORs in your area:
- determine what services might be available to you
- what commission rates might be reasonable and if they are negotiable
- if they offer open houses
- what industry partners they may be able to bring to the table, in case you need them
- what lists or websites will they post your listing on etc. in order to boost traffic and the chances of you finding a buyer
- what differentiates them and why they are the right REALTOR for you.
And, while your house is for sale, you can definitely continue living in the home. But, work with your real estate agent to ensure you have just enough furniture and nick-nacks to help the potential buyer imagine themselves living in your home. You don’t want to have any clutter lying around as it makes rooms look smaller and less inviting. Your real estate agent might be able to help you by finding a storage unit in town for your extra things, just in case you need to store them. This way your home will always be in good shape for surprise viewings.
3. Open Houses
If you have an open house scheduled, a couple of quick tips for your consideration:
- Bake cookies right beforehand: the house will smell great and it’s an inviting icebreaker for your REALTOR to offer a fresh baked cookie to potential buyers as they view your home
- Make sure you are not home: it’s very difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in a home if the owner is present. That said, you should also remove family photos from the walls and replace them with neutral artwork
- Trust your REALTOR. If you can’t trust your REALTOR to discuss both the positive and negative aspects of your home, you’ve hired the wrong person. You should be able to trust what they will say and how they will represent your home for sale
Bottom line is that you should take the time to showcase your home. It might take some extra work, but it is worth it. Why not get the most out of your investment? You worked hard for what you have; you deserve a fair price.
Article and insights provided by Annabelle Smyth.