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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Repairs Before Selling Return Rewards

By Elizabeth Weintraub, About.com

Quick fixes before selling a home always pay off, but which repairs bring the biggest return? Specific answers to this often-asked question largely depend on a variety of factors such as:

· Time of year

· Location of the home

· Market temperature

· Competing inventory

There is no hard and fast rule. But there are general guidelines that apply to most homes. For example, the National Association of Realtors publishes each year the Cost vs. Value Report with Remodeling Magazine, which features various home project costs and returns in four regions, including a national average.

Flooring Fixes
In my neighborhood, most of the homes were built in the late 1940s, which means the floors are original, hardwood oak. Wood floors are a hot item today, but preferences over the years have changed. Carpeting became popular — like with lots of consumer products — after somebody figured out how to get the government to pay for it. When vets returned home from WWII, housing was at a shortage. Homes were sold with newly installed carpeting because the cost for the carpeting could be rolled into government-insured (VA) loans.

Then carpeting became vogue in the 1960s. Some homes today, sadly, still sport ‘60’s shag carpeting. The final movement away from hardwood happened when installing hardwood floors became too expensive. Plywood was easier to obtain and faster to install. Plus choices in carpeting were plenty. It’s still relatively inexpensive to install carpeting.

· Hardwood Floors
If your home has hardwood floors, that’s what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.

· Carpeting
If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.

· Ceramic
Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don’t install ceramic (it’s too expensive) unless it’s for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.

Paint Ceilings & Walls

Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don’t want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it’s the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan - think of coffee with cream.

· Wallpaper
It’s not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper - because it’s your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.

· Wood paneling
Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it’s all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.

· Textured ceilings
Older popcorn ceilings with the “sparkles” often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to it. But even recently sprayed ceilings turn off buyers. It’s not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off. You will need to repaint.

Kitchen Improvements
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don’t have to replace them, you’ll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren’t replaced.

Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don’t return as much as the mid-range or minor kitchen remodels. Most buyers won’t pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, undermount sink or travertine floors. If you live in the Midwest, your return will be less than for those who live in other parts of the country.

· Cabinets
Resurfacing is your best option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware . If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.

· Counter tops, sinks & faucets
Granite counters are not necessary. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks sell. Buyers don’t want leaky faucets or stained sinks.

Bathrooms
The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New floors, fixtures and lights payoff.

Roofs & Exterior
If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs to be replaced.

· Patch cement cracks in sidewalks
· Resurface asphalt driveways
· Plant flowers
· Caulk windows and doors
· Replace doorknobs and locks
· Fix or paint fences

Conclusion

Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

1 comments:

  1. It becomes necessary to find local businesses for the installation and repairs of electrical appliances so that it becomes feasible to hire them at the time of need. If you want to hire experienced electricians at northern suburbs of Cape Town, you should not hesitate to visit their local page to contact them directly.

    ReplyDelete

 

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