Resell Remodeling in Lincoln

0

So you’ve decided to sell your home, but there are some things you need to do to get it ready to put on the market. This is a scenario that just about every homeowner will encounter, whether they plan to sell in the next week or the next year. There are plenty of great projects that are desirable to buyers and add significant value to your home, and we’ve highlighted a few ideas and tips to get you started!

First things first, when considering projects that will add value to your home you’ll want to ask the professionals who assist with buying and selling homes on a daily basis—a real estate professional.

Photo_Derek_Kats_Avenues_Real_Estate_Brokerage_Lincoln_Nebraska

Derek Kats
Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage

Derek Kats, a real estate agent and owner of Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage (www.reathebrokerage.com) , offers his advice for those who will be deciding on improvements to make to their home specifically with the intention of putting it on the market:

“From a financial standpoint, there are some primary factors that sellers should be aware of when making the decision to invest in remodeling their home specifically to sell it.

–Return on investment (ROI) is the first thing that sellers should take into consideration when debating what updates, if any, should be done to the home. Many homeowners and first-time home renovators run into trouble spending too much money on the wrong updates to a point where they can’t recoup the cost of those updates when the property sells–and at times it prevents the sale completely. At Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, we feel that it is important to get in contact with a top-ranked Realtor who understands what areas would offer the best return on investment and which updates buyers value most, as well as being the most profitable to the seller when the sale is closed.

–Our straightforward ROI remodeling approach to getting a home ready to sell in today’s market has been a tool that has served as a great aid to our sellers while consulting with them during a listing appointment. We find our sellers to be greatly relieved of the common concerns associated with remodeling to resell after we have had time to meet with them and explain our approach. At Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, we are up-front with sellers to inform them on what buyers are looking for in a home (understanding buyer’s expectations) as well as establishing a budget and realistic remodeling expectations to get their home ready to sell. In most cases, we’ve found that a seller would rather maximize their sale price (and profit accordingly) by updating their home and pricing it near the top of the market while waiting for the right buyer, rather than sell it “as-is” and settle for a quicker sale but at a lower price point. With this knowledge, we focus on realistic remodeling expectations that will maximize the seller’s return on their remodeling investment. We also have a list of qualified contractors in various fields to call upon for nearly all types of repairs/updates a home will need before putting it on the market.

–Major concerns for most buyers are the big ticket items such as the roof, siding, windows, furnace/air, and foundation walls. If it looks like one of these big ticket items could be a problem, it might be worth looking into what it would cost to get it fixed. Then make sure to either have that estimate ready for the potential buyers when they tour your home, or go ahead and have the repairs/updates done so it will be one less worry for the potential buyer and one less hurdle to overcome when it comes to the home inspection.

–Our Marketing Plan and overall marketing exposure is the top service we can provide our sellers, and is by far the most popular aspect of our offerings. We focus on a modern professional’s approach to real estate sales that puts emphasis and added attention on an incredible online and social media presence. However, our approach also still maintains its belief in, and marketing dollars towards, traditional forms of marketing that most others who do not want to spend the proper amount on marketing say are ‘dying’ markets such as the newspaper, print magazines, and other publications. After all, it is only proper that an ‘all inclusive’ marketing plan should display your home on all reasonable marketing mediums available.

Research has shown time and time again that the areas that you can improve in a home which are most attractive to potential buyers are the kitchen and bath areas. In today’s market you can achieve a good return on your investment if you have the ability to spend a few thousand dollars in the kitchen and bath areas, but how many sellers have the ability to put $5,000 – $20,000+ back into their home just before selling it? Not the majority, so at Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, we like to focus on realistic remodeling expectations that provide the highest return on investment, not just the highest sale price:

–Light fixtures can be updated at a very low material cost and are fairly basic to install. With the right style and finish color, light fixtures are definitely a high return on investment and can help a home with outdated fixtures have a newly updated look, in many cases for only a few hundred dollars.

–Curb appeal, whether that pertains to upgrades to the front landscaping or to the front of the home itself, can easily be a top return on your investment. Curb appeal can also be an easy sweat equity one-weekend project to really add value to the front ‘gallery’ picture that most websites use to first display your home.

–Interior paint is the final improvement suggestion that provides for the highest return on investment because it is low in material cost but high on labor costs, with the benefit being that most home-owners are capable of providing painting labor rather than having to hire a specialized contractor such as one would typically do when updating countertops, etc. Overall, painting is one of the most cost effective ways to add that fresh feeling to a home just before it hits the market.

Our brokerage has a good amount of experience when it comes to providing the most beneficial tips to get a home sold. These tips are very basic, yet are the most beneficial tips when it comes to selling a home. Many Realtors focus on obvious but high dollar items that will help your home sell such as updating a kitchen or bathroom, replacing flooring throughout the house, or finishing a basement. That is great if the seller can afford to pour thousands of dollars into the home before it is listed, but many sellers should focus on more attainable, easier on the budget projects such as the following examples:

–Declutter the house and remove all personal pictures and excess personal property as to help the new buyers picture the home with their own possessions inside instead of seeing the life that the previous owners have lived in the home.

–Fix any wear and tear or deferred maintenance in and around the home. Common repairs would be fixing holes, touching up paint, replacing carpet in high traffic areas, or other minor problems that have been getting put off. The closer the home looks to ‘move-in ready’ the higher chance of the home selling faster and at a higher price in today’s market.

–Clean the home as if the sale depended on it, because many times it does. One would be amazed by the amount of transactions that never come together simply because the home is not clean enough. In most cases as the Realtor, I would be able to suggest requesting a cleaning allowance to put the deal together, but others may not have the experience to get past that hurdle.

–Avoid falling victim to the hot market by not performing your due diligence when selecting a Realtor to represent you and the sale of your home. The marketing exposure of your home still plays a pivotal role in expediting the sales process. Even in a strong market, a weak marketing plan will be detrimental to the sale of your home. When interviewing Realtors to list your home with, always request to see how encompassing their marketing plan is, after all that is what the majority of your commission fees should be going towards, so make sure they are being allocated appropriately.

For a free sales consultation, please contact Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage and we will arrange for a top sales agent to tour your home, provide a resell remodeling consultation and explain our exhaustive marketing plan, give you an estimated sales price based on a comparative market analysis of nearby homes, and answer any other questions you may have.”

Photo_Sandra_Larsen_Bancwise_Realty_Lincoln_Nebraska

Sandra Larsen
BancWise Realty

Sandra Larsen, a Realtor with BancWise Realty (www.bancwise.com), further explains, “Buyers are attracted to homes that look great, smell good and have the shortest ‘To Do’ list after they take ownership.  Having your home pre-inspected is one way to take the guess work out of the equation.  Past that, assuming there’s attractive paint and carpet in current colors and all aspects of the home are clean and edited, kitchens and bathrooms trump everything else.  Installing new cabinet hardware, countertops, new sinks, plumbing fixtures if they clean to a shine, plus a new tile backsplash and light fixtures will get that ‘Wow Factor’ you need.   Or to add to your curb appeal, punch up the front door with a new color like turquoise and install new hardware for a great first impression. I hear Joe Courtney say in the office all the time, ‘You only have one chance to make a good first impression’ and it’s so true. Every home, no matter the price range, has the potential to be great.  Doing even simple improvements will help the buyer have a positive emotional response to the home when they first approach and walk in.  Then completing projects that keep that feeling going throughout the showing is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

As far as resell remodeling, here are some ‘Do’s’ to keep in mind.  Do keep your updates light and neutral so they will appeal to a wide range of buyer’s.  Do clear all flat surfaces leaving only one or two things on the counters, dresser tops, and nightstands.  Do remove furniture pieces to open up the space.  You’re moving anyway; do pack up all the knickknacks, personal collections, family photos and extra items in closets and drawers.  Do remove heavy drapes to let in natural light.  Do infuse pops of color using flowers on the kitchen table and at the front entry, throw pillows and art work.  Do make the yard look its best. Do complete that ‘honey-do list.’ Do minimize, edit and clean throughout.  Don’t take buyer feedback personally, but do use it to your advantage and be willing to listen to the valuable information your agent will gather for you.”

In response to being asked what a homeowner should take into consideration when making the decision to invest in a remodel of a home specifically to sell it, she adds, “They should take into consideration and be informed about what buyers are expecting in their neighborhood and price range.  An experienced real estate agent will have valuable first-hand knowledge about this so call in an expert early in the decision making process before investing in improvements.  An agent will provide invaluable guidance and help you spend your limited dollars in the right way.  We know buyers in any price range or area do expect a very clean house that is edited and free of clutter and personal items. If at all possible, start with a professional cleaning of the house and windows. Investing in improvements specifically to sell is a great way to get the highest sale price.  If carpet is stained and stains do not come up with a professional clean, the carpet should be replaced.  Fresh paint and carpet in current colors trends is the No. 1 way sellers can help a buyer fall in love with their house.  These simple investments are a good way to get started.  Inviting your professional real estate agent over for a tour is the best way to start gathering information about what you should and shouldn’t do to get ready to sell your house.”

Roger Reynolds Woods Bros Realty

Roger Reynolds
Woods Bros Realty

Roger Reynolds, an agent with Woods Bros Realty (www.woodsbros.com), also advises, “Having remodeled hundreds of homes in Lincoln during the past 30 years, I was often asked the same question over and over… ‘Will we get our money out of this project when we are ready to sell?’  My answer was usually ‘No, but you will get the benefit of enjoying the new space for as long as you live here.’  That intangible benefit is worth a lot more than dollars and cents in my opinion.   Now, in my second career as Realtor, I often hear, ‘We just spent $30,000 on our kitchen, so shouldn’t our home be worth at least that much more now?’  My answer now is,  ‘No, but you have enjoyed your new kitchen while you lived here and now, your home will be market ready and should sell quicker than if you had done nothing.’   Kitchens and bathrooms are the two areas that buyers pay close attention to.  It makes sense to keep them updated to current trends and functionality if you want to sell your home quickly and for the highest price.  Just don’t expect to reap 100% of what you invested.  One reason for that is the new owners may not value the super expensive custom-made tile you chose or instead of the unique whirlpool tub you installed, the new buyers would have rather had a large walk-in shower.  If you are remodeling for the sole purpose of getting your home ready for sale, my advice is to keep things neutral and don’t go overboard on big ticket items that are not absolutely necessary.

Tyler Reynolds Woods Bros Realty

Tyler Reynolds
Woods Bros Realty

“Remodeling your home to sell will reap some additional dollars in your pocket and it will also certainly make your home more attractive to potential buyers,” agrees Tyler Reynolds, the second half of the Reynolds team (www.woodsbros.com). “We are finding that the majority of buyers are looking for more of a move-in ready home these days than for homes that require a lot of updating.

Some of the best things to do to increase the market value of your home are also the least expensive.  The caveat is they require a little sweat and effort.  Decluttering is always a good idea.  Box things up and rent a temporary storage unit if you have to.  It will pay off in the long run.  Buyers don’t want to walk into a cluttered, crowded home.  It makes it harder for them to visualize how they would use the space.  A good thorough deep cleaning is a no-brainer.  Dirty counters and floors, dust, and clumps of dog hair are not things buyers want to see.  If your home smells bad from smoking or pets, there are companies that can help neutralize those odors which are an instant turn-off to many would-be buyers.

The first impression buyers get is from the street as they drive by.  Homes that have what is known as ‘curb appeal’ are inviting because they don’t have peeling paint, overgrown landscaping, missing downspouts, etc.  Spend a few hours or a few days, if necessary and do some pruning, painting and deferred maintenance on your exterior and you will increase your odds of that would-be buyer wanting to see the inside of your home.

Once you get the prospective buyers inside, that is your opportunity to sell them on the features and benefits of how you have maintained and updated your home.  If buyers are looking at your home, that means they have already decided that it is in the area of town they want to live in and your home is in their price range.  If you have made significant improvements, make sure you or your Realtor points those things out.”

In fact, more often than not when it comes to looking at homes on the market, it all starts with curb appeal. Your home’s exterior should be welcoming and well-kept for optimal presentation. Furthermore, as outdoor entertaining spaces are also growing in popularity by leaps and bounds, adding a few extra touches here can even help the right buyer imagine themselves and their family living there before they’ve even seen what the inside of the home has to offer. Most times you won’t have to make a major investment, but rather, just spruce things up a bit with a few “tricks of the trade.”

ken svoboda rays lawn care lincoln nebraska

Ken Svoboda
Ray’s Lawn & Home Care

“Landscaping, finishing touches to the house and property, and outdoor living spaces are features that are particularly important to consider because they draw significant attention from potential buyers,” advises Ken Svoboda, owner of Ray’s Lawn & Home Care  (www.rayslawn.com).  “Much like staging the interior of the home, the outside of your home should be equally appealing.  Furthermore, outdoor living areas and family rooms are easily becoming as important as the interior family rooms.”

Many times for the seller it may not be about adding a great deal to the landscape, but about fixing problems that already exist.  “Generally speaking, the biggest problem occurs when a lawn or landscape is out of control,” he explains.  “If regular maintenance isn’t so regular, the lawn can become full of weeds and undesirables and the trees and shrubbery can be overtaken with weeds and growth.  Ensuring that the property is staged and appears well cared for is essential, so you may need to look into the best way to make this happen with a minimal investment. Here it is wise to utilize the expertise of a professional. Most professional landscapers have the knowledge and experience that a normal homeowner does not.  Though most home owners have internet access to research the proper landscape, there’s nothing like the face-to-face consultation we provide.  All professional landscapers have already made the mistakes that can sometimes be costly if left to the inexperience of do-it-yourselfers, so its advantageous to utilize that experience.”

Improving or adding features to your existing landscape can make a big difference in the appearance and value of your property.  Rays Lawn & Home Care will work with you to stage your property through renovation or a fresh new look, giving it the curb appeal that will draw in the right buyer.  The company’s extensive knowledge of landscaping, helpful ideas, planning and attention to your budget are all complimentary features with any project.  In addition to landscaping, planting, mulching, shrubbery shaping, and tree trimming, pruning and treatments, Rays Lawn & Home Care also offers lawn care, power raking, gutter cleaning, and can build or repair retaining walls and water features as well.

Bill Budler of Nebraska Outdoor Living Headshot

Bill Budler
Nebraska Outdoor Living Center

“Today’s prospective home buyers are looking for a home, someplace where they can live comfortably inside and out,” agrees Bill Budler, owner of Nebraska Outdoor Living Center (NebraskaOutdoorLiving.com) . “Good curb appeal or a nicely arranged yard is certainly good. But an outdoor living area that is inviting and comfortable is a real plus. Improvements that make the deck or patio usable, such as a retractable awning or solar screen to provide protection from the harsh sun will make the property much more appealing and easily provide a good return on the investment.

A few years ago when the real estate market was really tough, I was speaking with one of our clients who had recently sold their home. He told me that even though the market was very soft, they had three different buyers bidding on their home and ended up selling it for more than their asking price. ‘It was all because of the shade system we had on the deck,’ he told me. ‘The shade set us apart from other homes, and the buyers really wanted it.’

Next to a kitchen or bath remodel, an investment in the outdoor living area has a very high return on investment. Truly, and even according to our client, it makes all the difference in the world when it comes time to resell.

He adds, “Because outdoor living is so popular, be sure to stage your deck or patio. De-clutter the area and freshen up the stain on the deck if needed. New patio furniture (or at least cushions), a fire pit, and a clean grill will help prospects to see themselves enjoying outdoor living in their new home.”

Jason Olberding - J-Tech Construction - Buying a Home

Jason Olberding
J-Tech Construction

Jason Olberding, owner of J-Tech Construction (jtechconst.com), also offers some exterior projects that will enhance the curb appeal and value of a home:

“Often times when it comes down to remodeling specifically to sell a home you will find yourself needing to have some roof work done. You’re going to want to work with a professional who you can trust to assure that the roof is in good condition. If there are issues with the roof you are going to have issues with selling the home. Usually your Realtor will have a professional that they can recommend to come out and inspect the roof for you. At J-Tech we are very proud to be able to say that a large portion of our work comes referred to us by Realtors. We know that the selling and/or buying process can be stressful at times but we believe in friendly service, quality work, and all in a timely manner.

As far as the aesthetics of your home goes, seamless siding can make a world of difference. If you are looking to add value and attractiveness for reselling your home I recommend at least getting a quote for seamless siding. You will find that the price to upgrade to seamless is generally comparable to a high-end vinyl siding. With an investment like that you will definitely find it to be a great selling point. The smooth seamless look really catches a buyer’s eye and will give you the curb appeal needed to sell your home.

Another recommendation would be to look into upgrading your windows. For instance if you have a basement ‘bedroom’ that does not have the proper windows to be considered a bedroom in your listing, adding an egress window can really increase the value of your home. This will take your listing from a four bedroom house to a five bedroom house and that might make all the difference!”

He also emphasizes the importance of working with professionals to get your home ready to put on the market. “Always meet with a professional. Whatever it is that you have decided needs to be upgraded for your sale, make sure you are getting a trade professional’s opinion. You want to make sure everything is done to code and that all the proper permits and such are taken care of. Also, there are certain things that insurance companies are requiring before you can sell. These things are the type of projects that you want to be sure to have a professional on your side.”

You may not be selling your home in the near future, but it’s still important with any major renovations to consider their potential value should you choose to put your home on the market. There are plenty of improvements that will not only hold their value, but will be extremely desirable to buyers in the future and will ensure that your home sells fast and at a price that provides a return on your investment in the long run.

Pat Killeen - Engineered Controls - Buying a Home

Pat Killeen
Engineered Controls

“Automated home systems are in high demand among homebuyers in the current market, especially the systems that include comprehensive, or ‘Total Home Connect’, features that also include remote access,” advises Pat Killeen, owner of Engineered Controls (www.engineeredcontrols.com) . “As I recently mentioned on the topic of residential remodeling, according to many indications our industry has seen a major push in smart home system installations and remote viewing of IP cameras within people’s houses. A recent survey by the Coldwell Banker real estate firm of their sales associates shows solid interest from home buyers for smart homes, with 65 percent responding that their prospective home buyers want security systems in their new houses and also want control of their home security, thermostats, and devices to be available from their smartphones or other wireless devices. In fact, some people close to the real estate industry have said that in three to seven years they foresee houses being completely outfitted with smart technology for improving both functionality and lifestyle in our homes.

What I found interesting in this report was that there has been a great increase in home listings that claim the house has smart technology and features. There is also some evidence that smart homes sell faster. So this means that the investment in smart systems and devices can be recouped by the homeowner, and they are increasing the value of their property by having these systems installed. These systems not only serve to protect our families, possessions, and buildings but they will also increase the value of homes and the salability of that value.”

He adds, “The most important benefit to upgrading a home control system during a remodeling project is that homeowners can now take advantage of new, cutting-edge residential technology that improves their environment and living comfort, reduces energy use, and provides increased security.  Today’s smartphones and wireless devices will keep homeowners connected everywhere.  Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized web portal with mobile apps that allow the homeowner to stay connected to their home’s heating and cooling system and home security system from their smartphone, tablet, or personal computer.

Total Connect by Honeywell has made a dramatic positive impact on home control technology. Total Connect allows the homeowner to remotely monitor and control their home at any time and from anywhere.  With Total Connect, you can take advantage of all of the amazing benefits next-generation digital technology has to offer – including enhanced communication and the ability to stay connected to your home from anywhere in the world.  The state-of-the-art security, lighting, and HVAC controllers provides you with an affordable way to control your security system, video cameras, and heating/air conditioning needs all in one simple to use system.

Homeowners can receive alerts via emails, view live video, control and access their security system, control lighting, lock and unlock doors remotely, and more.  Plus the simplicity and comfort that Honeywell’s wireless Prestige IAQ HVAC system provides offers a full suite of wireless enabled accessories that help you meet the homeowner’s comfort and security needs.  Items such as universal diagnostics, water sensor alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and ventilation filtration alarms are just a few of the added benefits of owning such a home automation system.  The system also provides customizable reminders for replacing the humidifier pad or UV lamp replacement reminders.

Homeowners can also perform these functions wherever they are with Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services.  A built-in web server allows users to control their systems anywhere in their homes on smartphones, tablets, web-enabled TVs, or any compatible wireless mobile device anywhere in the world.

Also, when looking into remodel your home, don’t overlook the importance of improving your home’s environmental control system – it will improve the air you are breathing, increase your HVAC equipment’s energy efficiency, increase your home’s comfort, and offer peace-of-mind by increasing your home’s safety and security.

Now more than ever we are able to offer connected home technology of the future – a home where heating, security, and entertainment are fully automated and all of the latest gadgets enable creature comforts with the press of a button or a spoken command. From award-winning wireless thermostats and zoning systems to control your home heating and cooling comfort system, to security and monitoring technology like wireless occupancy sensors and cameras to give homeowners the peace of mind they are looking for. And the beauty of it is Engineered Controls already has integrated smartphone apps for the end-user interface from both Androids and iPhones. So when it comes time to sell, these things will be a major draw and an excellent investment that you’ve also been able to enjoy.”
From the perspective of the local remodeling contractors, there are plenty of great projects that can be done around your house to add value when it comes to selling in the future – or choosing to stay in your home longer after the improvements have been done!

Nate Bahm - Nate’s Custom Renovations - Buying a Home

Nate Bahm
Nate’s Custom Renovations

“First, it’s crucial to invest wisely as far as the rooms of the home that you are targeting for improvements,” advises Nate Bahm, CGR, CAPS, owner of Nate’s Custom Renovations, Inc. (lincolnrenovations.com)  “Generally as previously touched upon the kitchen and bathroom(s) are the top two places where buyers are looking to be impressed, especially the master bathroom. Second, make sure not to go overboard with your selections. As an example, for those in a neighborhood with the price range of $150,000-$200,000, you’d want to stay away from cherry cabinets, high-end granite, high-end fixtures, and other facets that won’t get you the money that they should because of the location. The value of your home will largely be evaluated in comparison to the other homes in the neighborhood, so it’s generally not advantageous to have the nicest house in the neighborhood unless you plan on living in it for quite some time. Staying in a reasonable, average price range for the neighborhood with respect to any remodeling projects is a safe bet to get the right price for your home when it comes time to sell. There are many things that won’t get you the extra investment back that you’ve put in, so you’ll be thankful for making smart decisions in the long run.

However, there are numerous upgrades that will positively affect the resale value of your house and are investments which you have the propensity to recoup your expenses and even gain more back than what you originally put in. Upgrading surfaces is a major draw, including countertops, flooring, tile or shower surrounds, or anything that would benefit from a ‘brand new’ appearance. This also includes fixtures and hardware, especially if you’re giving the room a more modern look by replacing brass with brushed nickel or oiled bronze. Going back to surfaces, painting makes a big difference but it’s not a costly endeavor. Usually if you cover the bases of surfaces and fixtures, your home will have a brand new appearance and feel that will be appealing to buyers and will get you the most out of a smaller investment. Whereas if you get into too big of a project, such as moving walls around, it’s a large investment that you won’t get back if you’re looking to sell within a few years.”

He adds, “It helps to understand that what buyers are looking for goes hand-in-hand with what is in the seller’s best interest. Buyers want to see modern homes, not ones that will need to be updated. Also, it’s difficult for potential buyers to see past the small things and they want a home to be move-in ready, especially since the home itself is a major investment. So if you’re living in your home for five more years or longer, try to do gradual updates during that time. Then, when it comes time to sell, you’ll have a far shorter list of the other small things that need to be taken care of and you can focus more on decluttering, cleaning, and staging.

You may also find that when updating your home along the way, you’ll sell yourself into staying longer just by doing a project that transforms the space. A lot of times we work with clients who may have been intending to sell their homes, but after seeing the possibilities or even the end result they fall back in love with it all over again. So above all, make sure to at the very least schedule a consultation with a professional to discuss the best areas of investment and exactly what the possibilities may be.”

lindsey reinke john henrys plumbing lincoln

Lindsey Reinke
John Henry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

“Before selling a home it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer to better understand the features they want,” agrees Lindsey Reinke of John Henry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning (www.jhlincoln.com) . “As we get quite a few requests to help clients update their kitchens and bathrooms, we can assist our customers with both their decisions and installations.  Having a beautiful kitchen and bathroom can definitely make the difference whether a property sells or not, considering you may get a 100% return on investment or more with a responsible, professionally done remodel of these two areas. Also, take into consideration that if you are planning on selling in three to five years, why not perform the remodel now and enjoy it until you sell your home? There’s definitely a chance that you may like the remodel so much it will entice you to stay!”

She continues, “Preparing to sell a home is an important step in the sales process. This is especially important if your next home purchase relies on the sale of your current home. If you are in doubt about what is needed, ask professionals for advice or help so there are no surprises or disappointments. Another advantage you can gain when selling your home is having a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning inspection conducted immediately before you list it so that you can share documentation of the evaluation with prospective buyers. This can be done separately or in conjunction with a full home inspection, depending on your preference.  You’ll effectively take some of the basic worries out of the purchase because it indicates that you as the owner are willing to back up the quality of your home in writing.  If you discover your heating and air conditioning system will not pass an inspection, you can then have it repaired or replaced prior to listing your home without having any issues arise during closing. This is important because items that do not pass inspection can be a deal breaker for most buyers. The more advantages you have in your favor when your home is ready to sell, the better the odds are of selling and getting your asking price with minimal concessions.”

Flooring is indeed one of the surfaces of a home that is subject to a lot of wear and tear, making it one of the most common things that will need to be replaced prior to selling.  Whether you are replacing carpet, tile, wood, laminate or vinyl flooring, EMO Flooring has you covered.  Jacque Lee of EMO Flooring (www.emoflooring.com) advises, “When it comes to flooring, make sure to select materials and colors that will appeal to a majority of home buyers.  This includes materials and colors that are suitable and practical for both aesthetic appeal and durability.  In this particular instance, neutral colors are recommended as opposed to what is trending in the latest design magazine or TV show.  There is, however, an exception to the rule as a current color trend in every flooring material is a grey toned palette that also works very well for remodeling specifically to sell the home.  If you are in doubt on what will attract the most buyers or will work best in your home, we have interior designers on staff who can help with the selection of flooring materials as well as matching paint, countertops, and so on depending on the scope of the project.  As selling a home is time sensitive in most cases, if you will be replacing any flooring my best advice is to plan ahead and select materials well in advance of when you will be putting your home on the market.  Due to lead times on ordering materials and scheduling installation, all decisions should be made and the necessary products should be ordered at least a month in advance.”

randy king king's inspections lincoln

Randy King
King’s Home Inspections, LLC

So in conclusion, there are some major checkpoints to cover when you’re getting your home ready to sell. Randy King of King’s Home Inspections, LLC (kingsinspections.com) offers the following tips on preparing a home for sale:

1. Get a storage unit and move out about half your furnishings. Less is more. Your rooms will look larger with less furniture.

2. Repaint to neutrals or modern colors. That hot pink color your daughter had to have in her bedroom when she was 13 may have been cute then; it isn’t now.

3. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. If you are going to spend some remodeling money, that is the first place to do it. New faucets, new drawer hardware, new curtains, new light fixtures are among the inexpensive items that give a bright new look to old cabinets, countertops, etc.

4. Get your outside vegetation under control. Prune shrubs, mow and trim/edge lawns, seal cracks in driveways, replace broken sections of sidewalks, scrape and paint all exterior wood trim, and give your deck a fresh coat of stain. Ensure doors open and close correctly, garage door rollers are lubricated and openers operate correctly, drains clear well, gutters are clean and spikes aren’t loose, and the seals around sewer vent stacks are in good condition. Hiring a handyman to go over your house and fix all of the little things shows a potential buyer you have cared for the home. As previously mentioned, you only get one shot at a first impression.

5. Have a pre-listing home inspection done. This identifies issues you may not be aware of, and the inspector can recommend things to repair or upgrade prior to listing that house ‘For Sale.’ Also, having a pre-listing inspection helps with the sale in that it removes fear. That is the number one obstacle in selling a house–fear that there will be things wrong with it. When you present a pre-listing inspection report, and can demonstrate that you have repaired some or all of the items found during the inspection, it removes fear from the buyer about the house.

6. Buy a home warranty for the house when you put it on the market. It will cost $400-$600 on average, but it protects you and the new owner when the dishwasher decides to leak three weeks after they have moved in, or the furnace fails, etc.

7. Have the shingles assessed for approximate service life left and decide accordingly. If your shingles have about five years life left and you are planning to sell in three years, it may be wise to consider replacing them. Old shingles are usually a major factor in marketing a house.

8. Enlist the services of a Realtor. Their marketing experience, knowledge of the valuations in the area, and their ability to take care of the mountains of paperwork, conduct open houses, advertise, and expose your home to potential buyers is well worth the commission that they charge.

While the market is definitely in favor of sellers currently, buyers are still looking for key things in prospective homes.  Moreover, there are plenty of ways to add value to your home so that you are able to sell it for price that it’s worth. Ensuring that all the bases are covered will make for a quick sale and a smooth, satisfactory transaction for all parties!