Home improvements that boost home sales

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JEFF (J.R.) LEIGHTON – If you want to compete for buyers in today’s hot market you have to invest in a simple facelift for your home – at least.

A facelift will boost your home’s appeal and give buyers a fresh, new perspective on your home.

Here’s what you need to accomplish.

Before you list

As you prepare to sell your house, put yourself in buyers’ shoes. Think about what you want to see in a home if you were on they other side of the deal. Compare and find inspiration in online listings to obtain ideas for your efforts.

De-clutter and de-personalize your home. It’s crucial that you rid your home of as much stuff as possible.

  • Box up your possessions.
  • Have a yard sale, or two.
  • Sell unwanted items on Craigslist and other online classified and self-selling web sites.
  • Donate to charity.
  • If you can’t part with items, rent storage space and sock it away.

Clearing your home of as much as possible will let you see it as a canvass for your work and it will make room for a thorough cleaning – do it yourself or hire a company to do the work.

Cleaning will help you further reduce clutter, as your home looks bigger and brighter.

Outside, include several basic curb appeal projects, including mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, clearing sidewalks and driveway, and painting faded window trim. This work heightens the drive-up appeal of your home.

Time to update

Readily available research will reveal which home improvement upgrades pay off best. They included bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, basic landscaping changes, and front door replacements.

Kitchens and bathrooms typically make or break a home sale. Upgrade either or both of these rooms and you’ll see a return on your investment from 70 percent and 80 percent.

Again, simple improvements that don’t require you to gut the entire room can be the best approach.

Look around for anything glaringly outdated. Replace that old harvest gold refrigerator with a newer model and generate a more contemporary feel for the entire room. Even something as small as a new light fixture can set the tone for a room. Extensive renovations aren’t always necessary to make your house shine.

The kitchen and bath can require a bit more work because of their impact and high rate of return. And you’ll be amazed how the entire home perks up when you upgrade these things first.

In the kitchen

  • Install granite countertops.
  • Bring in stainless steel appliances, sinks, and faucets.
  • Add a backsplash.
  • Install new floor tile.

In the bathroom

  • Replace the tile.
  • Paint the walls to update and freshen the room.
  • Install new fixtures, lighting, and countertops.
  • Update your sinks and faucets.
  • Install a modern rain showerhead.

On the other hand, some improvements rarely benefit a potential sale.

Convert a bedroom into a home office and you could limit buyers looking for more bedrooms. Buyers prefer the clean look of hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting so they can envision their own carpeting or floor covering.

Finding good help

If you need to hire out for help obtain multiple referrals from friends, family, co-workers, real estate professionals and others you trust, who’ve had a successful experience with those referrals. Ask contractors, housekeepers and other workers to see their license, references and some of their recent work.

Supply houses and big box home improvement warehouses are also good sources for referrals.

These web sites are a sample of sites where you can also find pre-screened professional:

Contractors’ bids should come with detailed information and estimates, including the SKU (stock keeping unit) numbers, prices, and locations where they’ll get the items you’ll want and need. Make sure that contractors warranty their work for at least a year; be wary if they don’t.

By taking steps to open up, lighten, brighten and enhance your home, you’ll enable buyers to better envision your listing as their dream home.

Jeff (J.R.) Leighton is the owner of Action Homebuyers, a Washington, D.C. real estate investment company that buys houses in as little as 7 days as a solution for homeowners looking to sell their property quickly, “as is,” and without real estate. Leighton, who also works closely with Fortune Builders from A&E TV’s “Flip This House,” can be reached on his LinkedIn page.

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