What’s one of the most important rooms in your home? When it comes to selling your property quickly, and for the best price, the answer is clearly the kitchen. In fact, one of the most common explanations buyers often give for not making an offer is, “I liked the house, but I wasn’t too keen on the kitchen.”
That doesn’t mean you must do a major renovation. However, you should do what you can to make the kitchen as attractive as possible to buyers.
Here are some ideas:
First, clear the countertops. Put away the toaster and other items. You want to make the entire countertop area seem as spacious as possible.
If the cabinetry is old, you can spruce it up by installing new knobs, handles and other hardware. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling can also make the kitchen look like it has had a major renovation – but will only cost a few hundred dollars. According to an article on the website HGTV.com. “The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware.”
Replacing the countertops is a more expensive renovation, but may be worthwhile if the current counters are old and worn.
Finally, when preparing your kitchen for a viewing, make sure it’s clean and tidy. The garbage and recycling bins should be empty. Buyers will open cabinets, so make sure items on shelves are neatly organized with the front labels facing forward.
Have you ever driven up to a restaurant and been disappointed by your first impression? Perhaps the windows looked dark and gloomy, the façade was worn and unattractive or for some other reason it just didn’t look like a tempting place to eat.
It could still be a fantastic restaurant – a real gem. But, your first impression has soured your anticipation. If you still walk through the front door, it will likely be with much lower expectations.
This scenario often plays out in the real estate market as well.
Buyers drive up to a home for sale and quickly form an impression based on what they see “from the curb”. That’s why you’ll hear real estate experts talk about the importance of “curb appeal”. It’s one of the most important selling points of a property.
If you plan to put your home on the market, you want your home to look as attractive as possible from the street. Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to improve curb appeal.
For example, you can trim shrubs and hedges, plant flowers, clean the walkway and driveway, paint the front door and garage door, and clean the exteriors of the windows. All these projects are relatively easy and inexpensive. Yet, each can have a dramatic impact on a buyer’s first impression.
Don’t be like the great restaurant that’s hidden behind an unkept façade. Make sure your curb appeal reflects the overall value of your property.
Looking for more advice on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today.
As technology evolves and becomes more affordable, homeowners should consider replacing their older equipment with a completely new security system, rather than patching together outdated units that provide specific functions in isolation.
A modern system will wake you up in the morning to your own personalized display screen, adjust your room temperature, turn on your lights and operate other household functions. When you leave the house, wireless technology will allow you to watch your property, both inside and out, from any number of computing devices. This means you can also program household functions from afar.
These newer residential security systems can coordinate a wide range of functions by remote control, from locking windows and closing the garage door, to adjusting the thermostat, drapery and lighting. They can even notify you if a room has been entered or a cabinet has been opened. Commercial-type closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) with live video feed are also being introduced to residential systems in many average-sized homes. In addition, these modern systems coordinate driveway and doorway cameras (connected to your home computer or TV), monitor for break-ins, provide smoke and CO2 detection, and include water sensors for the detection of a burst pipe, leaking water tank or an overflowing tub.
In the near future, residential video surveillance will distinguish pets from people, and even burglars from letter carriers. The latest CCTV cameras can identify intruders using motion or heat sensors or even activity pattern recognition (e.g. climbing a fence or jimmying a lock).
If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to find the kind of property you’re looking to buy. After all, getting into a more desirable home is the main reason many people move in the first place. Should you be concerned?
There are a couple of things to consider:
First, think about the last time you purchased a car. You probably had a price range in mind and a general idea of the kind of vehicle you wanted. After visiting a few dealerships – or shopping online – you probably discovered seven or eight models that fit your criteria.
Even with that limited selection, you were likely able to pick one that was right for you.
Well, that’s good news. In the real estate market, there are probably dozens of properties available that meet many or all of your criteria. So, the odds are with you that you’ll find a property you love.
Secondly, new properties come on the market all the time.
Is it possible that you still won’t find a home that’s absolutely perfect for you in every way? Of course it is. However, there is an excellent chance you’ll get into a property that has everything you need and most, if not all, of what you want.
If you haven’t sold a home before, the process can seem complex and even intimidating. It really isn’t. In fact, the steps to selling your property – quickly and for the best price – are straightforward, although not necessarily easy.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the steps to expect:
Determine what your property will likely sell for on today’s market. This is referred to as the Current Market Value.
Decide on a list price. Doing this properly is crucial. If you set the price too high, you’ll discourage buyers from seeing your home. On the other hand, if the price is too low, you may be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Prepare your home for sale. This involves cleaning, de-cluttering, fixing and staging so that your property wows potential buyers.
Market and promote the property to the marketplace. This needs to be done effectively to maximize the number of qualified buyers who find out about and become interested in your listing.
Show your property to buyers interested in seeing it.
Negotiate offers effectively so that you sell your property for the best price and conditions.
Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited-edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway – with your name on the ownership papers?
You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car.
If you did, then, someday, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited-edition car of your dreams.
What does this have to do with real estate?
Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a community you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.
By focusing on a specific community, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.
Of course, community targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need a real estate professional who can keep an eye on that community on your behalf, and alert you to opportunities that become available.
Then, if a listing that’s a good fit comes on the market, you can decide whether or not to make a move.
Determining whether you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama, they make reality TV shows about it!
So, if you’re wondering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider:
1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?
If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, given the layout of your house, it might not be possible to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cozy fireplace, then a renovation could make that happen.
Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.
2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home?
It’s important to get accurate estimates of both the cost to renovate, and the cost of a new home, so you can make an informed decision.
Renovations often have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. Remember, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.
3. Beware of compromising versus settling.
Whichever decision you make – to renovate or to sell – you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.
For example, consider the impact of adding an extension to your house. It would be a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home that already includes the space you need?
When people renovate or remodel a room, they almost always overlook the door. However, changing the style of an interior door, or adding a new one, can dramatically change the look of a living space – often for the better.
Although the most common type of door is the traditional solid 6-panel door, there are many other choices available. Want to add light and a greater sense of space to a room? Consider a door with glass panels. Do you have an interior door that gets in the way when opened? Change it to a bi-fold door, which cuts the distance of the swing in half.
There are also specialty doors that are designed to block noise, and sliding doors that tuck neatly into the wall when opened.
Interior doors are typically much less expensive than their exterior counterparts. So, making the decision to upgrade or add a door to a room is an affordable design option.
Visit a door showroom and explore the possibilities.
Remember the last time you visited an upscale furniture showroom? The furniture and fixtures on display probably looked great. The colors and textures jumped out at you. It was a feast for the eyes!
There is a good reason why: Lighting.
Of course, the quality of the products has a lot to do with how appealing they look when on display. But smart retailers know that proper lighting is key to making those products look their best. In fact, some retailers even hire lighting consultants!
What does this have to do with selling your home quickly, and for the best price?
Obviously, when showing your property to potential buyers, you want your home to look its very best. Proper lighting can be a big help.
When preparing your home for sale, review the lighting in each room and make sure the space is sufficiently well lit. You want the lighting to be strong enough to prevent dark or shadowy areas, yet not so strong that it’s uncomfortable for the eyes.
Pay particular attention to traditionally dark areas, such as the garage and closets. Make sure those areas are bright too.
If you have a viewing scheduled during the day, take advantage of natural light through windows. Open the curtains!
Finally, one of the most important areas is the foyer. Always make sure the entrance has sufficient lighting.