Friday, April 20, 2012

Local Home Prices Are Just a Starting Point!

When it comes time to put their home on the market, the Number One topic area sellers focus on is local home prices:  home prices historically, home prices this April, projected home prices in the future. What many sellers don’t truly realize is that they have more control over the price their home fetches than they may think.   

Smart application of remodeling dollars to maximize a property’s salability is the earliest and most important action a homeowner can take. If you plan to remain in your home for the foreseeable future, lifestyle and personal preference issues will rightly get your attention. But if a move is on your planning horizon, remodeling decisions should be hard-eyed business decisions. In my experience, there are three rooms that buyers are particularly interested in – and homeowners bent on raising their own local home prices should share that interest!  

Kitchens can drastically raise or lower home prices.  Since kitchens have evolved into the major social hubs of American homes, increasing its size can be superbly cost-effective. If there is a possibility of and opening it up to living space by knocking down a non load-bearing wall, it is well worth considering. Upgrading appliances to stainless steel, replacing countertops with granite or other stone, and refinishing kitchen cabinets can absolutely give some much-needed appeal to an outdated kitchen. Just switching out old hardware for contemporary substitutes can add appreciably to a kitchen’s appeal. 

Families spend much of their time in their living rooms – and even if they don’t, psychologically, it can seem the center of family activity. A cramped, cluttered and dark space will detract from other more attractive features of a home. A living room can be made into a bright and welcoming space by making inexpensive changes, such as removing all but essential furniture, painting walls a neutral color, and removing drab window coverings to let in as much light as possible. Replacing worn carpet with a wood laminate -- or refinishing long-covered wooden floors -- can take a bit more elbow grease and budget, but can be worth the cost. 

In the master bedroom, homebuyers want to visualize a sanctuary where they can escape from the trials of their busy lives. Simple but effective changes can make all the difference. Remove large pieces of furniture (particularly desks and computers)…in other words, aggressively de-clutter.  Find pale, tranquil and soothing colors for the walls, and choose simple bed linens in complimentary colors (think “hotel luxury”). Make sure that clothes are not on show and that closet spaces are tidy, even if it means putting some of your apparel into storage. 

The goal is always to make changes that allow buyers to see the potential in a home; it’s how individual local home prices can rise above general market trends.  If you’re considering selling a property and would like to discuss home prices in our area and ways to maximize values, give me a call today so we can schedule a free consultation! 

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