If you’re thinking about getting your home ready to sell, you undoubtedly have a lot of stuff on your to-do list. Packing boxes, organizing the removal van, and meeting with the estate agent – it’s all important. But if you want to get the most money possible for your existing home, you have to fix up issues that are holding it back. It’s almost always worth it.
The people buying your property don’t actually value it directly: that’s the estate agent’s job. These professionals are trained to seek out issues that tend to affect the value of a home adversely. If they find problems with yours, then they will include that in their valuation assessment.
Interestingly, though, the market for homes isn’t entirely “efficient.” Estate agents don’t always get the price right. Most of the time, they will subtract too much value from homes with problems, instead of evaluating the real-world impact on the buyer. So, for instance, it might only cost you $40 to repair the caulking in your bathroom. But the estate agent might see a tatty bathroom and subtract $500 from the value of your property. Do you see the difference?
The same applies to a host of other interior and exterior issues we discuss in this post. Often you can ratchet up the price for which you sell your property using some pretty cheap and cheerful techniques. But you need to know what you’re doing.
Let’s take a look at some of the issues that you’ll want to address to get your home ready. Read on to find out more.
Give Your Home an Open-Plan
Ten years ago, estate agents wondered whether open-plan living was a fad. But given that it’s still going strong today, it seems like it’s here to stay. In the view of many buyers, dining rooms and living rooms should be zones in the same room.
Knocking down walls and creating arches between currently separate rooms might sound like a lot of fuss – and it is. But it can also have dramatic ramifications for the value of your property. Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for open-plan floor plans above and beyond the cost of creating them.
Don’t spend a vast amount of money embellishing your open plan living areas with expensive furniture and drapes. If you’re moving soon, focus exclusively on the layout itself, and work towards improving that.
Ensure The Roof Is In Good Condition
Estate agents and surveyors don’t take kindly to damaged roofs. If they think that there’s a chance that the new owner will need to replace it, they’ll knock down the asking price substantially, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Repairing an old roof is very expensive – often tens of thousands of dollars. It’s no surprise that many homeowners avoid it. The truth is that you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get your roof into a better condition. Often, it’s just a matter of replacing the damaged parts with new material. This way, you can avoid estate agents coming to the belief that the whole thing will soon need replacing.
The trick is to only spend money on the parts of the roof in need of immediate repair. If you can nip problems in the bud fast, you can avoid things like damp and rot gaining a foothold. And that can extend the life of the roof considerably.
Don’t carry out work on the roof yourself. Get a professional to take a look at it and offer recommendations. Honest contractors will inform you of precisely what you need to do get your home ready to sell. Then you can work out whether it is worth spending the money now or not.
Remove Popcorn Walls And Ceilings
Popcorn walls were all the rage towards the end of the 20th century. But today, they’ve fallen out of favor. Buyers really hate it.
Ripping them out is a simple task to get your home ready. You wouldn’t think that it could have a big difference in the price that people are willing to pay for your property, but you’d be surprised. It costs virtually nothing to remove and repaint, but houses with a lot of stuff can fetch five percent less on the open market – a substantial amount of money.
Popcorn walls are mostly just prefab plaster, so removing them is easy, especially if you have brick backing. Just be careful you don’t damage the insulation between floors when you remove it from your ceiling. If it comes in sections, temporarily remove any fiberglass sheets and then unscrew the panels. If they’re nailed into place, you’ll just have to use the end of a hammer and prise them out. It makes a mess, but don’t worry: it’s all pretty easy to clean up.
Repair Your HVAC System
Experienced property investors immediately check the boiler before anything else. They know that if that works fine, then everything else is just a cosmetic job. Trusted HVAC repair and installation experts recommend that you regularly maintain your HVAC system. It sounds like a hassle, but it actually saves you money in the long-run. And it makes it more likely that your home will receive a high valuation.
Here again, estate agents and surveyors can go over the top on their penalty calculations. Broken boilers and air conditioning systems are a big no-no in their minds. They will often subtract double or triple the cost of carrying out repairs, especially if your boiler is old.
The hassle of getting your HVAC fixed, though, is minimal. You just call up a repair service and get them to carry out the work. There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s an easy step to getting your home ready. In the minds of buyers, it’s a big deal, and that’s why estate agents will punish you so much.
Exterior Locks Replacement
If you bought a new-build property and nobody lived in your house before you, then you can skip this section. But if you have no idea who used to live in your home, you’ll want to read on.
Changing the locks on an old property before you move out is important. You never know who the previous owner might have given the keys to. And so you don’t know if new sets have been cut. Replacing the locks for the benefit of the new buyer, therefore, is a nice touch and something you can use to sell the house. If you go down this route, you’ll want to do it in the weeks before signing the contract to minimize the delay.
Improve Your Bedroom Shelving
Bedroom shelving is dirt cheap, yet it can make a massive difference to your home’s perceived value. Because it is a built-in feature, buyers are much more likely to pay attention to it.
Take a look at your closets and ask yourself whether you could improve them with additional shelving and features. If you get stuck, ask an interior designer for their input. They could draw up plans to show you what your closets could look like if you got them renovated.
If you go ahead with fitting them out, make them presentable, like a showroom. Place your bags on ledges, shoes in racks, and ties on tie hangers. Try to make it as artistic as you can – nothing will sell your property better.
Sort Out Drafts
Drafts are a big issue for two reasons. First, buyers hate them because it wrecks their comfort levels and makes them feel like they’re living in an icebox. And second, it means higher bills in the future.
The same issue applies here that we’ve discussed so far: estate agents will usually punish the asking price of homes more than the cost of sorting out the draft. The reason for this is simple: they have no idea often what’s causing it or how much it will be to fix. They just assume it’s a big problem and that buyers will hate it.
Sellers, though, don’t have to put up with these adverse evaluations. You can solve most draft problems reasonably quickly. The simplest method is to fit a draft excluder to the bottom of your exterior doors. You can also use expanding insulation foam to plug gaps around windows if they no longer sit in their frames properly.
Drafts can also come through vents in the walls. You can modify this by installing extra barriers between the inside and outside walls to prevent air from rushing in one direction or another.
Spruce Up Tired-Looking Walls
Finally, you’ll want to spruce up tired-looking walls to present your property in the best light possible. Even plain walls can accumulate dirt and grime over time, and paint can fade. Refreshing it costs very little and allows you to transform the appearance of your home completely. You can either go down the DIY route or hire professionals to get the john done. Either way, it can make a big difference to the overall impression your home creates when buyers look around.
Get your Home Ready to Sell
Fix these issues to get your home ready for sale, and you’ll be able to sell your property for more than you think.