Friday, August 24, 2012

Repairs that Help Boost Your Bottom Line

Quick fixes before selling your house always pay off, but which repairs bring the biggest return?  Specific answers to this often asked question mostly depend on a variety of factors such as: The time of year, location, market stability and your competition.  There is no hard fast rule.  But there are general guidelines that apply to most houses.  Floors, ceilings, walls, kitchens, bathrooms and roofs have at least one thing in common buyers want them in good condition and you will receive a generous return on your investment.

Wood floors are a hot item in today’s market.  If your home has hardwood flooring under the carpeting it would pay to remove the carpeting and spruce up the hardwoods.  Still some buyers prefer carpeting or ceramic flooring.  If you have carpeting then replace it or make sure it is in tip-top condition.  If you have ceramic replace chipped or broken tiles.  But in my opinion you should not install ceramic it’s to expensive unless it can be placed in a small area such as an entry way.

Buyers spend more time than you would think looking at ceilings and walls.  As for ceilings they are mainly looking for signs of a leaky roof.  You do not want them to see stains from smoke, or grease nor do you want them to see cracks.  Ditto for walls.  Nothing says fresh like new paint.  Painting is the most cost effective improvement you can invest in.  Paint with a neutral color such as light tan – think of coffee with extra cream.  In our area wood paneling is commonly found.  Dated paneling must go prime it and paint it a soft neutral color. 

Kitchen improvements are a must and are typically the most expensive.  If your appliances are a dated color paint them.  If your cabinets are dated and beat-up it is a must to repair and repaint them you can also replace your cabinets handles and hinges for a more modern look.  Remodeled kitchens have a return of nearly 100%.  New countertops will make an unbelievable difference in the presentation of your kitchen.  Granite countertops are not necessary.  Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks pay a substantial return.

On a national average the recoupable cost for bathrooms is more than 100%.  New floors, fixtures and lights pay off.

If your roof needs replacing bite the bullet and do it.  Buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs replacing.

When remodeling or updating your property all sellers should learn the difference between an improvement and maintenance.  An improvement will add value to your property where maintenance is sometimes costly but normally adds little to no value to the property.  An example of an improvement is adding a room; an example of maintenance is replacing faucets because they leak. Maintenance is one of those necessary evils that are a must in order to sell the property.

Overall, a large majority of buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical, heating & air conditioning, modern conveniences and is move in ready.  A dear friend of mine who is also a REALTOR® has a great saying: “To get top dollar your home must look top dollar”.

This article is to be used as an informational tool and does not guarantee the sell of your home.