With mortgage rates plummeting, buyers are out in droves ready to buy your home. But with so many sellers competing for the highest asking price – how can you stand out and increase your home’s resale value? In this week’s Sell Like A Legend series, we’re focusing on key ways you can improve your home’s resale value, without breaking your budget. In fact, these key tips won’t require major remodeling at all (unless your home desperately needs it). Learn more about low cost, unique ways to make your home a quick-sell for more.
The Average San Angelo Buyer
Today’s typical buyer spans across multiple generations. Millennials are starting to buy their first or second homes and other generations are looking for great values they can jump on. In the National Association of Realtors 2019 Buyer & Seller Generational Trends Report, they detail these changing demographics in detail. They find that Millennials and older Generation Y buyers are most active in the buyers market currently.
However, with mortgage rates so low and the average down payment at low rates, more people across the spectrum are also getting in on the home buying action. Overall, when you’re trying to figure out what people are looking for – look at your neighborhood and other houses in the area.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What’s unique about my home?
- Does my home have a history?
- How can I improve the livability of my home, while keeps it’s charm?
- What can I handle to repair, remodel, or innovate as a seller?
All of these questions are good starting points when trying to evaluate your plan for increasing your San Angelo home’s resale value. Over the next few sections we’re going to go over the most common areas of the home that see the biggest rate of return for sellers. When you’re creating your plan, keep in mind who your ideal buyer might be and where your home sits amongst others in its neighborhood.
Key Areas of Your Home To Remodel or Rethink
Generally, experts recommend a few areas of your home that have the most potential for a larger return on investment. However, sellers don’t always have to completely remodel or renovate their homes for a great turnaround. Learn more below about the best areas of your home to make adjustments to and increase your home’s resale value before hitting the market.
1. Curb Appeal
Often the most commonly upgraded part of your property, the front of your home is what the buyer sees first as they pull up. First, you should think about your yard and landscaping. Do you have a green yard? Does it require a lot of maintenance? Buyers may like the idea of making the yard perfect in their minds, but maintaining it is a whole other story. Make it easy for them to make a decision with low maintenance landscaping. Instead of making dirt beds for flowers and shrubs, use mulch or rocks for little maintenance.
An upgrade that requires a larger budget, but yields results is adding a sprinkler system. Most home owners don’t want to spend hours outside, watering their lawns (nor do they want to spend money post-sale installing a system themselves). If your home showcases a larger, green lawn that requires maintenance, this might be a good pre-sale project you could undertake.
For those on a budget, you can make some simple changes that make a big difference in buyer’s first impressions. For example, touching up the exterior paint where it’s flaking or dull can really bring out the accents on your home. If you decide to opt for a new paint job, also painting your trim and front door can go a long way too. Also stay in trend by using a bright or eye-catching color on the front door. When paired with the neutral tones of your home’s interior (or exterior), it can really stand out and welcomes the buyer into the home in a unique way.
Most buyers (including Millennials) will be more interested in certain kitchen appliances, upgrades, or stylistic touches when looking for their next home. However, going overboard can work against you however if your kitchen looks like it a part of another house. That’s why it’s important to identify the key areas you can upgrade or remodel, without completely refacing your kitchen. For example, having modern, Energy-Star rated appliances like a dishwasher, fridge, or stove provides the highest rate of return for sellers. Theses appliances are good for the environment and will save your buyers money once they purchase the home. Even if you don’t plan on upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, you’ll still need to upgrade to newer models if they’re older than 5 years.
A more budget-friendly way of making your kitchen buyer-friendly includes a fresh coat of paint. Buyers love seeing updated, modern paint in the kitchen. If you choose to repaint your kitchen, you should also look at low-VOC paint. It’s eco-friendly and helps ensure your family (or the buyers family) isn’t breathing harmful chemicals (like benzene).
Also installing a faucet water-filter, a garbage disposal, or even upgrading your light fixtures can be low cost ways to improve your kitchens overall value. In any case, make sure the upgrades you decide on don’t take away from the home’s initial charm and that they kitchen is still connected with the rest of the home.
3. Lighting & Floors
Although on the smaller side of home renovations, making meaningful changes to your lighting and floors for the future can help change the entire look of your home. Large and ugly light fixtures can be a major turnoff for buyers. Even millennials care about the way their lighting looks (and the light source that it supports). By investing in modern light fixtures like a slim chandelier or energy-efficient ceiling fans can help bring your home into the 21st century.
In regards to millennials and generation y buyers, they often have a focus of more energy-efficient homes. If you notice a younger demographic in your neighborhood, you might want to make an investment in LED light bulbs across your home. Although small, it can make a big difference for eco-friendly buyers.
Another big way to make your home easier to sell includes reviewing your current flooring. Most buyers, young and old, are opting for homes with wood or tile flooring instead of carpeting. It’s easier to maintain (buyers want homes that are easy to manage) and doesn’t need to be deep cleaned and replaced as often.
One option to consider is paying for a professional company to re-floor your home. If you don’t have the capital to be able to replace all the carpeting with a company, you can DIY hardwood floors with some hard work and patience. Planning on adding wood floors to your home is much easier now than it used to be. Many hardware stores have tools and new technology for making the process simpler and much less expensive than hiring a professional.
4. Increase Your Livable Square Footage
The biggest return on investment for increasing your home’s value is adding more livable square footage to your home. Arguably one of the most expensive options, building an add-on to your home can also give you the biggest increase in your home’s resale value. However you plan on adding on an additional space, make sure it is up to code and meets buyer’s standards in reference to the rest of your home.
If you don’t necessarily want to add-on additional square footage, but still want to change up your home’s floor plan there are other ways you can impress buyers without the massive price tag. For example, if your home has a lot of sections of drywall that keep the rooms (kitchen, living room, etc) secluded, opening up a wall can make a big difference.
By opening up your floor plan where the main areas of your home flow together, you can cater to all types of buyers (and it’s not overly expensive). However, make sure you have a professional ensure the wall you want to remove is not a load bearing wall and doesn’t have any additional problems. It can cost you much more than even adding on more square footage if something goes wrong.
5. Outdoor Space
A big way that sellers are increasing their asking price is by building an outdoor space to relax. Adding a deck or outdoor space can improve your buyer’s outlook of the home, while adding more value to your resale price.
This project is also an easy DIY if you have the tools and manpower to do it. Most buyers, especially in West Texas, are looking for a way to bring the outdoors into their living space. Setting up a beautiful backyard deck can also lead the way to a sitting area, grilling space, fire pit (make sure your up to code), and more that buyers will love.
Even adding additional landscaping and decorative factors can also improve how buyers see your new outdoor space. Just remember to try to keep everything fairly neutral, so the buyer can envision their own furniture and personal effects in the space.
6. Updating Your Bathrooms
Similar to your Kitchen, the bathroom is also one of the best ways to increase your home’s value. Buyers are sure to spend a large chunk of their time there getting ready for the day, so it’s important to focus your budget on it.
One of the best ways to impress buyers is making sure you have great water pressure and the shower head/hose is updated. Buyers want to know that they’ll enjoy their shower/bath once they live there. Making a difference in that crucial time for them each day can help buyers make a decision about your home.
Same as your toilet, sink, and other bathroom features. Make sure there’s no pre-existing plumbing problems that will cause problems down the road and that the bathroom is clean and refreshing to be in. Buyers will turn and run the other way if they encounter a dingy bathroom that’s falling apart.
If you’re trying to save money, updating the shower heads, faucets, and lighting can make a huge difference when paired with a fresh coat of paint. You should stick with stainless silver features to appeal to the modern buyer.
7. Make Your Home Smart
Everyone has seen the newest gadgets made specifically for your home. Whether it’s the Nest Thermostat that links with your phone, Google Home Hub that lets you control your smart devices from one place, the Ring doorbell, smart lighting products, security solutions like SimpliSafe, or any of the other many technologies that have taken over the market – you can make your home a smart home for less.
Remember how we said buyers love easy to maintain homes? Making the jump to smart home devices can help do just that (while appealing to the younger buyers). They also often include energy-efficient technology to help homeowners save money. If you’re looking for a way to make your home energy-efficient, high-tech, and unique – looking into smart home technology can be your solution.
These are just a few ways to make your home more appealing to the wide range of buyers in today’s market. Whether you want to stay budget-friendly or you’re looking for the biggest return on your money, these tips can help give you a starting point. The best advice for whether you need a full home remodel or just a few quick updates is to trust your Realtor and yourself. Only you know the problems of your home and what it’s like to live there. Use that knowledge to your advantage by thinking about how a buyer will feel when they live there in the future.
If you’ve made big changes (adding square footage, major repairs, upgrading your electrical or bath, etc) always get your home appraised. This gives you a solid home value that references the newest changes you’ve made. Having a licensed and experienced REALTOR in your corner can help you make decisions like these and more – all directed toward helping you sell your home faster and for more money. When you need a real estate professional to help you prepare to list, call NextHome Legends today and let us help. We can give you the best advice for your specific home and bring in the experts needed to ensure you’re getting the resale value you want.