Value Added Projects to Prepare Your Home for Market
Many of our clients are first time homebuilders, but they are not first time homebuyers. Which means, when they move into their new, custom McCoy Home, they leave an old home. Often times, they reach out to us and ask how best to prepare that old home for market. Over the years we have put together a short list of our “biggest-bang-for-your-buck” suggestions. Below is a list of our top five projects.
REPAINT Interior Walls
In a recent USA Today article, Dan DiClerico, a Smart Home expert at HomeAdvisor, suggested that painting a home before putting it on the market can decrease the amount of time it takes to sell and increase the total sale price. “While it varies a lot, we estimate that fresh paint adds 1% to 3% to a home’s final sale price,” he says. On a $300k home, a seller might potentially expect to earn $3k to $9k more – just for putting on a fresh coat of paint.
Once a homeowner has made the decision to repaint, the next big challenge is to decide on a color pallet. Fortunately, when it comes to preparing your home for market, less really is more! A simple, three to four color color-pallet will likely be your best bet. A cool pallet will best enhance a space which features cooler finishes. Similarly, a warm pallet will best enhance a space with warmer tones.
REFINISH Hardwood Floors
An old wooden floor can be a beautiful thing – a time keeper, if you will. Its dents and dings serve as a record of all the different living room configurations you tried while you lived in that house. Its scrapes show where the baby’s highchair – or perhaps it was a stool? – was scooted from here to there. The dull spot by the door marks the spot where the children sat to put their shoes on every morning. While you and I may have a soft spot for such “character marks”, we’d be wise to remember that a prospective buyer is looking for a home into which they can etch their own history.
Refinishing hardwood floors is generally not a task you’ll want to DIY. It requires the removal of the top coat (typically polyurethane), the delicate sanding of dents, dings and imperfections, a thorough cleaning, and a careful resealing. Suffice it to say: refinishing hardwood floors is a big undertaking. That said, this project does not have to cause a headache or cost a fortune. The first paragraph of this article has some suggestions for picking a good general contractor – the same principles apply when choosing a subcontractor.
RESURFACE Popcorn Ceilings
Ditch the popcorn. If any of the ceilings in your home have a matte, bumpy finish, scrape them smooth (or hire a contractor to scrape them smooth). Popcorn ceilings are magnets for dust and cobwebs and are notoriously hard to clean. They have also been “out of fashion” for nearly two decades. Nothing sours a first impression quite like a popcorn ceiling. According to Charleston Homes RealEstate Blogger, Danielle Faulk, having a popcorn ceiling in your home can diminish your property value by as much as $10K!
Fortunately, removing a popcorn ceiling might be easier than you think. In fact, many sellers tackle this project on their own. If you choose to go this route, you’ll need to thoroughly dampen the ceiling and then scrape the popcorn material until the ceiling is smooth. It’s best to work in small sections. Proper preparation is paramount! You’ll want to use drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect your floors and furniture. Keep in mind, you’ll want to repaint the ceiling once it is smooth. Check out Danielle’s Article for more detailed instructions, tips and tricks.
Plants are expensive, trees are even more so! Landscaping can add a great deal of cost to a “simple spruce-up” project. While, in some cases, a landscaping overhaul may be worth the expense, many sellers can get away with a lot less.
Cleaning up flower beds is a fairly easy no-brainer. Remove dead plants, weeds, and encroaching grass. Trim untidy stems and branches. Make sure to water your beds regularly so they’re as bright and fresh as they can be when prospective buyers come by.
For homes that need more than just a clean up, we love hanging baskets and planters. Why? They’re rich on detail, low(ish) on cost, and… unless your buyer writes them into the purchase, they can come with you when you move – so the money spent feels less like a waste! Below are pictures (with links) to a few of our favorite planters and hanging baskets.
If, as you read through this article, you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d be more than happy to introduce you to one of our trusted realtor friends.