TOP TEN HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT BENEFIT SELLERS
Getting top $$ for your home is the target of a real estate agent- and the best way to hit the center mark is to make sure your home is in the best conditon you can make it. I always go through a seller's home to assess the minimum that should be done to achieve this goal and it does not have to be expensive or labor intensive.
The home valuation company, HomeGain polled 1000 real estate agents to come up with a list of the most important, least expensive, and most value intensive improvements that sellers can do to prepare their home for the market.
Since they started the poll in 2000, the #1 task has been . . . decluttering the house. How cheap is that? Labor intensive, maybe, but the most important thing you can do is simply put the clutter away. You're moving right? Just get some boxes and start filling them up! If storage space is a premium, renting a storage unit or Pod is a good idea.
Here's the rest of the list of improvements that sellers might want to consider before offering their house for sale:
2. Home Staging
3. Lighting and Brightening
5. Plumbing Repairs
6. Electrical Updates
7. Replacing or Shampooing Carpets
8. Repair Damaged Floors
9. Painting Interior Walls
10. Kitchen Update
While de-cluttering costs almost nothing (HomeGain gave a price of $200) the return on investment is 842%! Obviously, some of this work, especially in the North Shore suburbs of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, and Northfield, will cost more than a "minimum" amount.
Keep in mind that these improvements are meant to be inexpensive. A kitchen update should not be undertaken simply to increase immediate value unless it's a do-it-yourself job such as painting worn cabinets and replacing hardware. To do anything more than that would not be money well spent.
Keep this list handy if you are considering putting your home on the market. There are few homes that don't need any touch ups - be honest and take a buyer's view of your home. The reward will be a faster sale and higher price.