Selling a home is very challenging today. The supply of homes for sale is way up and values are down, leaving a wide variety of homes for buyers to choose from. Homes that need little to no work are now selling for low enough prices that people don't need to bother with a fixer-upper to get a great deal. People looking to buy a home will look at many houses before they consider making an offer. If yours is very clean and in move-in condition, a buyer will be likely to remember that when they are ready to make an offer.
Even if you are not selling your home, life is so much better when there are no loose-ends, unfinished projects and things that need fixing. Here are some tips for sprucing up your home to make it more comfortable to live in and much easier to show and sell.
There are things that are very expensive to fix in relation to the return you get upon resale. For example, plumbing, heating and electrical items are things that most people take for granted, therefore, a buyer is not likely to pay an extra $20,000 for your home because you have repaired or replaced these items. If you are living in the home, chances are likely it is functional and these things are in good working order.
Cosmetic repairs are what offer the greatest return for your investment. Paint, carpet, light fixtures and cabinets are what the buyer sees. Updating these items gives your home a clean, well-cared for look. Caring for your home shows how you loved living there and you're confident that your buyer will love it as well.
You can do this yourself, but it would probably take months. Hire a handyman service to complete this in 10 days or less. Yes, it will cost a little more, but your home will be ready to list, show and sell more quickly. The way real estate values are dropping, you won't be saving anything by taking the extra time to do this work yourself. A handyman service will be less costly than a general contractor. There is no need for a general contractor if your home is functional and there are no structural defects. Like the general contractor, the handyman is qualified, licensed and bonded. He is also more likely to be customer friendly. He will listen to your concerns and clean up after himself, leaving you more satisfied with the job once is it completed. General contractors are better suited for new construction, or working in homes that are not occupied.
Start with paint, choosing a high quality paint that is durable and washable. The price difference is minimal compared to the quality of the finished job. Most of what you spend for the paint job is labor; you won't be saving anything by using cheap paint.
The same thing applies to carpet. Cheap carpet will wear quickly, especially in the traffic areas. If it takes 6 months to sell your home, cheap carpet will already start to show some wear. Using a good quality padding will help maintain the quality of the carpet.
Lighting is another great investment. Updated light fixtures add a nice touch to a home. Many new fixtures are also energy efficient, another plus in today's economy. Dimmer switches add a very nice touch. Rocker switches are much nicer than the old fashioned switches too. Older fixtures are heavy and cumbersome. Newer fixtures give a nice clean look and many are designed so that it is much easier to change light bulbs.
Kitchen cabinets can be refaced if they are not in too bad of shape. Sometimes just cleaning them up and replacing the handles will make a huge difference. The same applies to the bathroom vanity. Or, if your bathroom is very small, consider a nice pedestal type of sink, with no cabinet for a nice look. A large canvas shoe holder comes in handy for all the items that are usually kept under the sink. Simply hang it on the door for a unique, space saving place to keep your powders, lotions, hair dryer and all the other items that clutter up the cabinet.
Don't forget about the outside! Clean up the yard and flower beds, cut the grass, seal coat the deck and driveway and power wash the siding. Get rid of hornet nests, wash the windows, repair or replace the mailbox. First impressions say a lot. A well-maintained yard will make a person more interested in seeing the inside of your home than one that is overgrown and littered.
Cosmetic work and repairs are what the buyer sees first. If your home is cleaned up on the outside, and has fresh paint and carpet and a few updates inside, it will give the appearance that you have loved living in your home and the new buyers will love it as well. Otherwise, you give the impression that you are tired and overwhelmed with a home that is difficult to maintain. In today's market, you may not be able to ask a whole lot more for your home by doing this work, but you will give a buyer less room for negotiating your price down.
This article was written by Aaron Abbott of HandyPro Handyman Services. HandyPro offers a home seller program, where they do the cosmetic repairs and you don't pay until you sell your home. Their pre-screened contractors are licensed and bonded, and customer friendly. They guarantee customer satisfaction with quality work and they clean up when the job is complete. http://www.handypro.com services Dallas Texas, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Rowlett, Mesquite, Dallas, Irving, Grand Prairie, Duncanville, Desoto, Lancaster, Seagoville and neighboring cities and communities.