Below are some of the universal suggestions that I believe will help to obtain top dollar and potentially a strong return on investment. Of course there are other factors such as price and current condition of your home that come into play when deciding if making any of these changes are worthwhile. We would discuss this at the initial meeting.
Paint– A coat of paint if needed goes a long way to make the home feel fresh. Sometimes it is not necessary to do anything more than touching up trim or risers on the stairs where most of the scuff marks happen. Any colors that are more of a personal taste could also be neutralized. This is not to say that your home should be painted “relo white” as Realtors use to suggest, but instead picking the “in” neutral colors of today which usually are those seen in new homes could not hurt. I am always happy to help home owners select colors if needed.
The exterior paint should also be refreshed if it is peeling. DO NOT paint over wood rot. Buyers who see this will think that you were trying to hide an issue or that you don’t properly maintain your home. The more issues you have the more the potential Buyers will think that the home has not been cared for over the years.
Removing Wallpaper– Most Buyers in New England do not like wall paper. It can be very personalized and many feel it is dated. In most cases if your home has wall paper it usually makes sense to remove the majority of it if not all. Buyers feel that removing it and repainting is a costly job (which it isn’t) and it is one more thing that they will add to their list of “things they must do” and therefore could deter from them considering moving forward with your home.
Carpet-If your carpet is stained or torn; replacing it will go a long way. You can then let the Buyers know that you have just installed new carpet and it will be one less thing they will feel that they have to do once they move in. Depending on where the carpet is located, and the price of the home, I also suggest that if you are planning to replace the carpet, it wouldn’t hurt to get a quote on what it would take to install hardwood floors instead. Many Buyers prefer hardwood due to allergies and homes with more hardwood usually will obtain a higher selling price since it is a desirable feature to many and considered “high end”.
Hardwood- If you have hardwood floors that are badly scratched many Buyers will notice it and will want to plan on refinishing prior to moving in. Depending how bad they are damaged you may want to get them refinished. For most Sellers however, refinishing the floors prior to listing their home is too intrusive unless they plan to move out permanently before coming to the market. In those cases it may help to let the Buyers know up front that a specific $ amount will be offered as a credit at closing which could be used to refinish the floors. This shows the Buyers that you have acknowledged the issue and are willing to help to take care of it.
Tile- Tile Floors tend to wear well in most cases. The most common problem with tiles is that some may get cracked or the grout will fade or crack. Both these issues can be easily fixed for very little money assuming you have extra tiles and the current floor has not faded.
KITCHEN AND BATHS
The condition and upgrades in the kitchen and baths of a home are always one of the first things that are noticed by the potential Buyer. When these rooms are updated the Buyers are willing to pay more. Even small changes can go a long way in these rooms. Again, depending on the size, condition and price of the home it may or may not make sense to renovate.
Kitchen- The first thing a Buyer will notice when entering your kitchen is the cabinets, countertops and appliances. If you have upgraded cabinets but your countertops are not granite or another high end material used today, then it may make sense to get a quote to upgrade. You DO NOT however want to add granite on top of cabinets that are cheap or dated since most Buyers will see right through that and still say that they will want to renovate the Kitchen.
If you have one or two older appliances that are in need of replacement, and the rest of your Kitchen is in good shape then it will most likely make sense to upgrade the older appliances. The brand name of the appliances and their cost will vary depending on your Kitchen and the price of the home. More expensive priced homes will require more expensive appliances.
If your floor is linoleum then upgrading to hardwood or tile can increase the value assuming the rest of the Kitchen is in good shape.
The easiest and least costly fix that can sometimes be all you need to give your Kitchen a small lift is to replace the cabinet knobs with a neutral updated style.
Baths- The first thing a Buyer will notice in a Bathroom is the vanity and the floor. A new vanity can be a very reasonable investment and go along way assuming the rest of the Bathroom is in good condition. If your bathroom floor is linoleum or older dated tile it may make sense to get a quote on replacing with a newer more updated tile.
Tub/Shower- If your bath tub or shower is tiled and the grout is cracking or in poor condition then re-grouting is a must assuming all else is acceptable.
If you do decide to replace multiple items in the Bathroom but not renovate or “gut” the whole room, since much of it is in good shape already, you can still let Buyers know that your Bathroom is “recently updated” however it is best to disclose which items you have recently changed.