The Consumer Reports National Research Center estimates that more than five million home will be sold in 2017. If this is the year you’ve decided to sell your property, expect a healthy dose of competition. Sellers navigate competitive markets in a variety of ways; some reduce their asking price to make their home a value-buy, but there are additional routes you can take that will help you improve your home’s value.
Remember, the point is not to make your home the cheapest option on the block just to attract more prospective buyers; it’s to show your buyers that they’ll get the most bang for their buck by purchasing your property. A full-scale renovation is always a tried-and-true method to achieve this, but even something as small as a few interior design alterations can yield comparable benefits.
To help you navigate all the possibilities, here are some reliable strategies for improving your home’s value and negotiating the highest closing price possible.
Opt for Small, Savvy Kitchen and Bathroom Updates Instead of a Complete Overhaul
Kitchens and bathrooms often leave the strongest impressions on buyers, but that doesn’t mean you have to hire a bathroom or kitchen remodeling company for a large-scale renovation if your space isn’t completely cutting-edge. The key is investing in fixtures and furniture that have a striking design and clear functional benefit—without carrying too much of your own personal aesthetic preferences. Buyers prefer that their new homes be blank canvases, where they have full control over the interior décor.
The key is not to overthink these updates; even something as simple as a fresh paint job with a neutral color will give your home the look of a younger, well-kempt property without being aesthetically alienating.
Invest in Stainless Steel Appliances to Give Your Home a Modern Look
Sometimes, a large-scale home overhaul is unavoidable, especially if your property’s most crucial appliances are depreciating or not up to code. Swapping your old water heater with a stainless-steel equivalent or installing a new fixture like a sleek dishwasher will not only boost the overall functionality of your home; it will also give your interior a more contemporary look. Purchasing a new home is a costly life investment, so above all else, buyers want a place with longevity and style. Few things do as good of a job leaving that impression as stainless steel appliances.
Don't Make a Huge Down Payment on a Fixer-Upper
If you’re looking to rehab a fixer-upper and resell it in a few years, resist plunking down a huge down payment on the property. Instead, reserve a portion of that would-be lump sum and invest it into renovations that will immediately improve your home’s value, like installing energy-efficient windows or a contemporary metal roof. The alternative is being forced to aggressively pay off a loan for a home that may not appreciate as much as you initially anticipated. Plus, if your fixer-upper has a lot of chronic maintenance concerns, you may get locked into a renovation loop, where any new remodeling capital you have must immediately go back into fixtures or appliances you’ve already repaired.
Have Your Home Inspected Before Listing It
Nothing greases the wheels of a home transaction like a streamlined process, and home inspection—while a crucial part of that process—can lead to a lot of scheduling issues and general confusion since it’s recommended that the buying party, selling party and their respective agents attend the inspection. It’s easy to see how coordinating that many schedules can become hectic. Your prospective buyers will have a lot to juggle, especially if is their first time navigating the home buying process, so having a certified, detailed home inspection report that you can provide at the outset will alleviate a lot of buyer anxiety.
There are countless other ways to increase your home’s resale value, but they should all be centered around one objective: making your prospective buyers feel comfortable with the current state of your home, as well as its long-term structural integrity. Full-scale renovations are a common—and costly—course of action for sellers looking to do just that, but it’s, by no means, the end-all-be-all solution. Before you put your home on the market, make sure to honestly assess your property’s needs and make small or large changes accordingly.