When it comes to houses I tell my clients, they are a lot like people for the main reason that as they age, they need a bit more love and a bit more work. When you buy a new home, there are barely any changes or fixes that need to be made, you get to start with a clean slate. But let’s say you decide to buy a home that is 20, 50 even 100 years old. You know when you walk into that house that there are going to be a few things not up to par. There might be foundation problems or roof issues or parts of the house not exactly up to code anymore. As a buyer, you are already preparing yourself for what might come when you buy a house with some age on it. But on the other hand, many of those things are out of your control and even the seller’s control. The things that are in the control of the seller is over the years how much love they gave back to their house, how much time and money they invested into updates and cosmetic changes to keep the home up-to-date. A lot of times if my buyer walks into an older house and sees that they will have to put a substantial amount of money into updating and revamping the house, it will discourage them from putting in an offer.
So sellers, this blog is for you as you are preparing to put your aged house on the market. Even in this hot Denver market, you still want to get the most bang for your buck, and the one of the best ways to do that is to keep your house updated on the inside and on the outside. I have compiled a list of updates and cosmetic changes that will in return help bring you a higher asking price for your house when you decide it is time to sell:
Remodeling your bathroom and/or kitchen – These are the two areas people really look for updates when touring a home because they are the most expensive. Buyers aren’t going to want to necessarily sink thousands of dollars into these areas when they are putting down a lot of money to buy the home. The return at resale for these updated rooms is around 100% that means you will make your money back for keeping these rooms up-to-date.
Landscaping – Curb appeal people, it is HUGE when buyers first pull up to the house. If they pull up to an untamed jungle, it is an immediate turn off. Keep your outside as put together as your inside, plant flower beds, make sure your grass is taken care of and don’t let weeds be the most prominent “plant” in your gardens.
Paint – I do not know how many times I have told my clients that paint is pretty inexpensive and easy to throw up over shabby walls and peeling exteriors. When you are ready to sell, pick a neutral color for your inside walls and make sure the outside of the house has a fresh coat.
Create open space – Recent surveys by Bankrate have shown that at the top of the list for many buyers is having a home with open space inside or as we like to say, that open floor plan. Right now buyers are looking to have all their rooms flow into one another, making it easier to interact. If you have walls that can be taken down, consider doing it.
Add light where you can – Ever walk into a house and think, what great natural light? Buyers do that all the time I know it is one of the things I look for when I walk into a house. Adding windows that really allow light in will pay off in the long run and, adding light fixtures to areas of the house that are dark will also help light up the space.
When in doubt, clean – This may sound silly but I know keeping your home updated can be an overwhelming task at time. Homeowners are constantly working to keep up with their house that is a never-ending daunting list. If you are not a person who likes to clean, hire a cleaning service to come monthly. The more clean you can keep your house, the easier it will be to put on the market when the time comes.
Keeping your home up-to-date is a never-ending process and the bottom line is to not take on too many projects at once. You will overwhelm yourself and then no projects will get done. Take them a day at a time, schedule out for the year what you hope to accomplish and save up for your bigger projects. If you are having some trouble deciding what to do with you home, feel free to give me a call and I can come out to your home and together we can discuss what changes might be best to make to get the offer you want.