Not all home improvements are created equal as far as how they affect a home’s salability.
Has your home been on the market a while? There are several reasons this could be the case. The most common reason is that your home is priced a little higher than most buyers are willing to pay, which may be due in part to some common turn-offs for potential buyers. Read on for common issues buyers have with homes on the market and how you might address them so you’re not going into the red to get your home sold.
Any issue that could be potentially hazardous can be a deal breaker for many buyers. Many loans require that the home is, at minimum, safe. This means that any electrical issues, problems with natural gas or propane plumbing or appliances, or deficiencies in fireplaces can send buyers running since they will have to ask you to fix it, do so themselves, or worry about their loan’s approval. Address any safety issues first and foremost.
Smoke or pet scents are obvious problems, but even food smells can be a problem for certain buyers. While less invasive smells probably won’t make buyers tuck tail and run, smells that are unappealing may alter their feelings about a property on a subconscious level.
Make sure everything is clean, the trash is taken out, don’t smoke in (or even near) the house, and use mildly scented cleaning and other scented products to avoid offending the olfactory senses of potential buyers. Fixing this usually requires very little time, effort, or cash, so it’s something every seller should consider. Ask someone who doesn’t live in your home and who won’t hesitate to be honest with you about how your home smells. Sometimes we don’t even notice the smells that are consistently in our homes.
A Dirty, Cluttered House
Make sure that your home looks clean and tidy and that there’s not so much stuff packed in it that buyers may not be able to see the potential in the space. If you’ve got to, rent a storage unit to minimize the amount of stuff in your home. If cleaning isn’t really your thing, hire a house cleaner to do a really thorough deep clean. Nobody wants to think about the gross things that have happened in their potential new home.
A Messy Yard and Outdoor Deficiencies
When a buyer arrives at your home, the first thing they see is likely the yard and front of the house. When the yard is long and weedy, the landscaping isn’t up to par, there is trash in the yard (even tiny pieces), or the house’s face looks run-down due to chipping paint or dirty siding, their first impression isn’t great. Tidy up the yard, power wash the siding, and address any peeling paint.
Unattractive Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets
Some of the best upgrades for ROI happen in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because remodeling a kitchen seems pretty overwhelming or because potential home buyers imagine that upgrading in the kitchen will be cost-restrictive. However, it’s worth it in the long run if your kitchen is running off potential buyers.
Replace or even refinish cabinets that still have good bones and consider replacing countertops that are in less than stellar condition. Home buyers also tend to expect appliances that not only function well but are also beautiful.
Paint that Doesn’t Please
If the color palette in your home is already in keeping with current trends, this likely isn’t really an issue. However, if you’ve got bright or dark colors that aren’t en vogue at present (or even ones that are, sometimes), you might consider repainting.
A lighter, neutral palette tends to please almost any buyer, even those who may ultimately want a bolder color scheme. Chances are, few buyers’ dream colors are precisely the same as yours. Buyers who think your neutral color scheme is boring can at least rest assured that it’s easy to paint over.
Old, Moldy Bathrooms
There’s little that turns a prospective buyer off more than a dated bathroom. Oftentimes, the things that make bathrooms unappealing, like awful wallpaper, ugly tile, or a tub or shower that needs some real TLC are difficult to address. If your bathrooms are really offensive, it might be worth it to complete a remodel before selling your home. One good indicator that your bathroom needs help from a buyer’s standpoint is the inability to make it look completely clean. Gross grout, dirty caulking, and chipped up counters or tubs are all big problems.
Deciding if You Should Take Action
A real estate professional is likely your best resource to determine whether it’s worth your while to fix an issue or leave it alone. If you need some help choosing which projects to tackle to sell your home faster and for more money, contact Amherst Madison.