We’re here to help you sell your home…
Many things determine the price you can expect to receive for your home. The first impression by the prospective buyer on the “physical” condition of your home is probably the most important.
Even before you announce your intention to sell your home, you should be certain that everything is clean and in good repair. The following check list and suggestions for minor touch up is provided to help you increase the appraised value of your home with very little additional investment.
HOW DOES THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR PROPERTY LOOK?
Take a drive around the block and stop in front of your home and take a fresh look through the eyes of a potential buyer…
A well-groomed lawn may or may not add hundreds of dollars to the value of your property, but evidence of dandelions, buckhorn, thistles, etc, is a turn-off and will automatically decrease the value substantially.
If you know you are going to sell your home sometime during the year, put some fertilizer (and weed killer if it is needed) to green up your lawn. Your nearest Lawn and Garden Store can recommend the best brand to use for your type of soil. Farm Stores also have inexpensive fertilizers with a high percentage of nitrogen for quick results.
Ragged looking shrubs and trees will also detract from the overall appearance and affect the appraised value of your home.
Some Lawn and Garden Store managers will send someone out to review and recommend changes to improve the looks of your landscape at no cost. He can give you an estimate on those improvements and you can decided how much, if anything, you want to invest. The main thing is , you will know where the problems are and what minor trimming you can do yourself to improve the overall appearance.
Check for settling cracks in the cement and for grass growing over the edges.
If you don’t have a gas or electric powered trimmer, using a flat shovel or sod hoe to trim the grass along your driveway and sidewalks will make a tremendous improvement in the looks of your yard. Inexpensive patching cement can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store. After patching and smoothing out, you might consider covering the entire surface with an inexpensive cement paint. This is very easily applied with a paint tray and roller with a long handle. (Do not use house paint or enamel.)
If your porch or patio has a wooden deck, look for any loose boards or chips in the stain or paint.
Tighten any loose boards. If you don’t have a power washer, rent one and scrub off any mildew or loose paint flecks. If you are still not pleased with the look, you might consider sanding down and applying a coat of new stain or paint.
Check for any evidence of paint peeling around your windows, doors, over-hang, etc. Every appraiser and potential buyer will take a look and judge the overall condition of the house accordingly.
It may not be necessary to paint the entire house. If you still have a can of the paint used, you can probably get by with some minor sanding and touch up. If you do not have any paint left, take a chip or a sample of the paint color and Lowe’s, Home Deport or most home improvement stores can match the exact color of the paint.
Check for any loose shingles. Thinking they may have the expensive cost of replacing the roof may turn off a potential buyer or they will want to reduce the estimated expense from your asking price.
A small can of roof patching dope can be purchased at a hardware or home improvement store to fix any loose shingles. However, unless you have some leftover shingles from the exiting roof, it may be impossible to match any missing shingles, but it will be worth the try.
Look for leaves and other debris hanging over the edges. Check to see if any down-spouts have pulled away for the house. Check for any noticeable and repairable dents or chipped paint. Potential buyers will notice these things.
Normally, it is the weight of the leaves, debris and standing water that pulls the eave troughs loose from the house. You should clean out the debris and use a garden hose to wash down the troughs and down spouts. Take a hammer and tap the nails holding the trough back towards the house. With the weight of the debris and standing water gone, the trough should stay in position. If not, you may want to considering applying more nails.
Check for weather stains , fingerprints, or chipped paint on the front door. If the door has glass check for chips or cracks in or around it. Make sure it is clean. Check the floor inside the door. Is there any way to improve it?
Make sure the entrance area is clean and inviting. Everything else he or she sees in the house will be added to or be taken away by this initial impression. It is important the buyer starts with a favorable reaction.
IS THE INSIDE OF YOUR HOME CLEAN AND IN GOOD REPAIR?
Check for chips, cracks in the plaster or drywall seams. Look for nails and nail holes. Check for dirt around door knobs and light switches.
If the chips, cracks and holes are bad, they need to be repaired and the room repainted. With a small can of plaster patch, a putty knife and a fine grit of wallpaper, you can repair and cover these problem areas. If you still have the same paint, you might get by with just touching up the areas of repair. The room could look like new and add to the appraised value of your property.
Check the wood and tile floors for dirt in the corners and dust on the baseboard. Check for dirty spots on the carpeting.
You can usually rent a portable carpet cleaning machine at your supermarket, hardware or home improvement store. They are normally inexpensive and easy to use. Clean and wax your hardwood and tile floors. Clean floors will add dollars to the appraised value of your home. When you sell your home, your buyer will like to brag to his or her friends that all they had to do was “move in”.
Decide what appliances you want to keep and which you will include with the sale of the home. (Usually negotiable.) Check for grease and lime deposits. Check for dirt on top of your kitchen cabinets and around the door handles.
The kitchen is usually the “showplace” of the home for the woman of the house. The same is true for the female buyer. Make sure all appliances are clean and in good repair. Wash and wax the kitchen cabinets and floors. The refrigerator should be spotless. Consider any affordable upgrades before you list your home for sale. Be sure the cost of these upgrades doesn’t exceed any potential increase they may make in the appraised value of your home.
Most people and particularly the ladies are very conscience about a clean bathroom. Check for any rust or lime around the bathroom fixtures, tub, shower and stool. Check for any chips or cracks in the wall paint. Check the floor tiles and baseboards for dust and dirt.
Get a bottle of “Lime Away” lime and rust remover, toilet bowl and tub and shower and tile cleaners and start scrubbing. Clean any dirt or water marks off the walls. Touch up any chipped paint. If there is a chip in the porcelain or on the seat of your stool, or if the stain is too intense to be removed, it might be wise to replace them. It could make the difference on whether or not you sell your home.
Check around door knobs and window sills one at a time.
Clean around all door knobs and window sills. If paint has been used, be sure to scrape all excess paint off of window glass, brass hinges and door knobs. If doors and windows are stained, wash with a cleaner and use a scratch remover “crayon” to cover any scratches. If drapes and curtains are being sold with the house, be sure they have been cleaned and are hanging properly.
Check out the condition of the walls, ceiling and floors.
Sometimes, just simple ideas for additional work and storage space can influence a buyer that yours is the home they have been looking for. Study each area of your home to see if you can improve them without spending too much money.
GET AN APPRAISAL TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY:
Now that your property is ready to sell, you should have an appraisal made. Mr. Webster defines the word “appraisal” as an act of setting a value or price. It is important that an appraisal be make to determine a fair market value. We can arrange to have the appraisal made for you.
How will an appraisal help sell your home?
A. It will help determine the market value or a fair price to ask for you home and will
help substantiate you “asking price” topa prospective buyer.
B. It will help the prospective buyer when he applies for a mortgage loan. It the price you are asking is too high, the buyer would not be able to obtain adequate financing and consequently, you may lose the sale.
How is the “market value” of your home determined?
Many considerations by the appraiser are necessary if he is to give you an intelligent opinion of the value of your home.
A. Location – The appraiser needs both the legal description and street address.
B. Property rights – More than just the value of the physical condition of the home and property, he needs to estimate the worth of the zoning rights or limitations.
C. The date of his opinion is also important because of varying factors that can increase or decrease the value of the property.
The appraiser needs to analyze general information about your property.
A. The neighborhood – What are the zoning controls, what utilities are available, how close is the home for schools and shopping facilities, and what is the typical land use in your immediate area.
B. Economic concerns – Comparative construction costs, current interest rates and trends, and the estimated values of other properties similar to yours.
Depreciation is another factor determining the value of your home.
This estimated value is based on the assumption that a new home built just like yours would have advantages and values yours does not have.
A. The age of your home and the normal deterioration affects the physical condition and will reflect on the appraised “depreciated value”. This is why we mentioned the importance of fixing, patching and painting your home before placing it on the market. The penalties of depreciation are minimized on a clean and well kept home.
B. If the style or design of the home and the age of the fixtures and appliances are not as desirable as a new home, it will also affect the depreciation figured in the total market value by the appraiser.
C. Depreciation factors you can’t control – Deterioration of your neighbor’s property, large electrical towers and power lines being installed, widening of streets and re-routing traffic or an industrial expansion in your neighborhood will, unfortunately, also affect the depreciated value of your home.
Normally, the appraised value of your home is based on location, the value of other homes in your neighborhood, and the condition of your property.
You probably would have thought of most of the home improvement information presented in this segment of our website. The checklist is provided to help you establish priorities for upgrades as they apply to your home. You may not have the time or choose to spend the money to accomplish them all, but, the more you can finish before we list your home for sale, the more value your home will be appraised and the higher price you can ask for your property.
When you are ready to sell, give us a call. We’re ready to go to work for you.