Tips for Selling a Home: Get More Dollars for that House

Plan to make as many improvements as possible with the least amount of money. Choose the ones that are more likely to appeal to prospective buyers and increase the home’s value. Money spent on modernizing kitchens and bathrooms helps a home sell, and thus is money well spent. A new roof will make your house look better, but buyers probably won’t pay extra for the new roof, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Improvements that Sell Houses

Sellers want their homes to appear younger than they are, but dark paneling, fogged windows, outdated appliances and stainless sinks mark a house as old. The trend for newer homes is toward lighter paneling, and porcelain or marble sinks and bathroom fixtures.

Some home improvements add to the family’s enjoyment, but they may or may not increase the value of the home. Swimming pools, for example, may add to the home’s value if most of the other homes in the neighborhood have pools. If most of the other homes in the neighborhood do not have pools, a pool addition may not increase the value of the home.

It is important to keep improvements in line with those in the rest of the neighborhood. Updated electrical fixtures, sprinkler systems, and ceiling fans add to the overall appearance of a home and may attract buyers, but additions to the home such as rooms or patios may seem out of place in the neighborhood.

Attention to Details

Appearance is the key to attracting buyers. The more attention the sellers pay to details of appearance, the higher the selling price is likely to be.

  • Paint or wash the walls inside and out if needed.
  • Clean carpets, bathroom tiles, and wood floors.
  • Clean inside all closets and storage areas.
  • Clear debris from gutters outside.
  • Make sure the windows are clean inside and out. Replace any that are cracked or broken.

Eliminate clutter in the house and in the yard. Boats, old cars, motorcycles, and toys scattered outside detract from the home’s appearance. Make sure the grass is cut and the yard is neat, advise real estate experts.

Family photos and mementos that are priceless to their owners may turn prospective buyers off, but professional art work can enhance the home’s appeal. If there are pets, keep them outside, or make sure that any pet odors have been eliminated. An owner may not notice a pet’s odor, but prospective buyers will.

The keys to getting top value for a home can be summed up in two words: maintenance and appearance. Regular maintenance, and paying attention to appearance now can pay off for later in terms of a higher selling price in the future.