Chris Dell (317) 538-0509
Chris Dell (317) 538-0509

Seller Education

Selling your home is a big event that affects your family and your financial future. You want to get it right so you want the right people on your team. We have the experience selling homes in your area to quickly get you the best price for your home no matter what the current market conditions are.

  • Preparing your home. Do you know which repairs are necessary? What upgrades will help your sale the most? We can guide you through all the preparation to get your home ready for the market place.
  • Setting the price. You want to get the best price possible for your home but overpricing your home can be disastrous. Our knowledge of the current market conditions and the local area make all the difference. We help you set the price you can actually get, not a price that will make your home show up later as an old listing with a reduced price.
  • Marketing your home. Today’s selling environment demands advertising in multiple channels. We can market your home online, in print, using signage, open houses and more. We go the extra mile for you to get your home sold quickly.
  • Negotiating. Now that you’ve got some people interested, you want to get as much of your asking price as possible. We are professionals with experience in this. It is always better to have a pro working for you that doesn’t have the emotional attachment to your home as you would. For example, low ball opening bids from a buyer are just a strategy, not an insult to your family home.
  • Closing the sale. Everyone always has questions when it comes to the closing. Relax. We make sure that you know exactly what to expect and ensure that you have a smooth closing.
  • Selling and Buying? Are you selling your current home and moving into a new home? We can help you manage both transactions so you don’t get caught in the middle.

Sell Your Home For The Best Possible Price

In almost every homeowner’s life, there comes the point when, for whatever reason, it’s time to sell your home.  But, although the selling process may seem a bit overwhelming – especially if it’s the first time – it can go a smoother than you might think, and less tiring than the buying process – if you follow the tips recommended by many real estate professionals.

First and foremost, you will need to determine the value of your home.  This is not an easy process -- real estate pros recommend using a variety of sources and methods to find out what your home is really worth.  After that, you can combine the information you’ve gathered to arrive at the “right” price.

Many Realtors will offer prospective sellers a comparative market analysis (CMA) as an incentive to try to win your business.  This analysis is very helpful in that it will let you see the prices of houses – with similar characteristics of your home -- in the local area that have been sold recently.  In addition, prices of similar homes currently on the market can be viewed. 

 The CMA can also allow you to determine if your local real estate market is a buyer’s market or seller’s market by pointing out “Days on the Market” (DOM) figures for each comparable house sold in the recent past.  If many houses have been selling in a matter of a few days, for example, you can safely say your area is experiencing a seller’s market.  If, however, many homes are languishing on the market for some months, it is a buyer’s market.  

If it’s a seller’s market, it’s good to price your home a bit above what you would expect the house to be worth.  On the flip side, for a buyer’s market, you would want to lower the price so that it appears to be a bargain for the buyer, and so that it won’t pine away on the market for too long.

Through a professional market analysis, the Realtor will perform the following services:

  • Examine the appearance and condition of your home’s exterior and interior, and offer suggestions as to refurbishing or repairs, which might result in getting a better price.
  • A comparison will be done comparing your home with others currently on the market or recently sold.
  • A review of the assessed value of your home, its previous sale prices, local taxes, and utility costs will be prepared.
  • An evaluation will be done of your home’s location, size, lot size, age, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, as well as the total number of rooms, in addition to any extraordinary features or amenities.

Based on this data and other local market conditions, the Realtor can give you a pretty decent idea of what your house is really worth.

Professional appraisers can also help sellers to discover the value of their homes.  However a formal written market-value appraisal, which can set you back a few hundred bucks, is usually not needed unless there are extraneous circumstances surrounding your home or property which would make it difficulty to determine its value.  For example, if there hasn’t been much sales activity in your neighborhood as of late, the appraisal could be well worth the money spent.

Another valuable source of information can be garnered from attending some open houses in your local area.  There, you can meet other sellers and real estate professionals face to face to discuss current market conditions, and get a real sense of how the market is behaving.  However, be aware, that the asking price of a for-sale home can be misleading – based on the homeowner’s biased opinion surrounding the value of the house – thus, it’s often not an accurate reflection of the home’s true market value.

Also, the internet can be a very useful tool in your quest to set the “right” price for your home.  And, now that many counties have property appraiser websites set up online, one can access a lot of data concerning current and past real estate sales – often free.

Home Sellers: Avoid Overpricing At All Costs

As you prepare to sell your home, you should be aware of costly do’s and don’ts that should be observed as the house goes on the market.  However, with the possible exception of painting your home’s exterior a bright shade of hot pink, the most significant mistake you are likely to make involves overpricing.

Selling your home can be an emotionally-charged chapter in your life, which makes it all too easy to get caught up in the moment.  Let’s face it – we are all biased when it comes to our homes.  After all, our home conveys a special meaning to us that is unique among all of our possessions.  Thus, we tend to hold onto a biased notion that our home ranks heads and tails above others of similar design, size and location, and, thus, deserves a “special” price tag when we part with it for good.

But, make no mistake about it.  This notion could cost you greatly – in terms of time and money.  And as hard as it may be to shake the conception that your home should easily fetch a price well above what the competition is seeking, you will have to do just that.  

Force yourself to look at your home objectively, exactly as the buyer would.  Also, enlist the aid of your Realtor to help you study the competition and the marketplace (current, as well as recent past.  Try to learn why some houses sold in a matter of days, while others languished on the market for months on end.

You will probably find that many of those homes, which took forever and a day to sell, were most likely overpriced to begin with.  Take note of this, and learn from those sellers’ mistakes.  According to many Realtors, the best opportunity to sell your home comes within thirty days of its first appearance on the market.  If a home is overpriced, most buyers entering the marketplace will bypass it.  Thus, the prime opportunity for the seller vanishes quickly.

Other key reasons why overpricing of your home is a no-win situation:

  • Value – buyers will sidestep your home if they feel it is priced well above comparable homes in the area.  Why pay for a house that is overpriced, if they can purchase a much nicer home for the same amount of money elsewhere?  Also, many buyers who may be on the borderline, as far as qualifying financially for a home comparable to yours, will likely be intimidated and just assume the home is out of their price range.
  • Time factor – if your home is overpriced, it will most likely have to sit and wait it out until all the comparable homes in the area have been sold, since that’s where the home buyers will be flocking.  Problem is – new homes similar to yours, but more in tune with normal market prices -- will continue to enter the market in the meantime.  In this situation, the competition wins while you play a waiting game that may never end.
  • Stale factor – many potential buyers will notice when a home has lingered on the market for an unusually long time.  They will often assume something is abnormal about the house, and will stay away from this “stale” property.  Oftentimes, the utterly frustrated seller will end up trying to unload his property at a below-market price.  Thus, he’s lost the opportunity to make a decent profit, while also losing time during the lengthy selling period -- a time frame in which he could’ve been investing that profit, or enjoying his new home.
  • Financing difficulty – if a buyer (from another world, perhaps) who is willing to pay the unrealistic price you’ve set is actually found, he or she will have to obtain financing from a bank or mortgage company.  In that case, however, the lender will require an appraisal.  Unfortunately, the home would, in all likelihood, be appraised for a lower amount than the seller’s price, resulting in a mortgage loan denial.
  • Emotional/mental strain – The fact that you will need to continue to keep your home in spotless condition for showings while it’s on the market can take its toll on you emotionally, mentally, and, even financially.  After all, it takes time to clean and maintain a home in “showroom condition.” And, as the saying goes, time is money.

It’s wise to remember that, after interviewing a few different real estate agents, it’s not a good idea to go with the one who recommends setting a price that is well above the market.  That should tell you this he or she is either not really in touch with local market conditions – perhaps he or she is new to the area, and is used to working in another market where prices run higher.

Remember, as a guideline, many Realtors suggest that home sellers should not price their homes above 5% of the market average for similar homes in the area.  However, even that 5% threshold may be too high depending on the local market conditions.  A good Realtor should be able to advise you when market factors warrant slightly raising the price above the average.

Depersonalize Your Home To Facilitate The Selling Process

Selling your home can be a very emotional experience, as many successful home sellers can testify.  After, all, if you’ve lived in the same house for any length of time, your home becomes an extension of your identity.  And this is usually reflected, in part, by the way you’ve decorated the place, and the manner in which you’ve arranged your mementos, photos, and other personal objects – each one with its own unique place.

So, needless to say, it is often an emotionally painful process when it comes time to pack up your possessions, knowing they will never again occupy those little personalized spaces in the house you’ve been calling home for some time.  

Realtors recognize there are several crucial things a seller should do to prepare his or her home for optimum sale potential before putting it on the market.  Many realtors agree that it benefits the sellers greatly by adapting an “unattached” attitude regarding their homes the moment they’ve made a firm decision to sell.

 In this vein, many real estate professionals highly recommend that sellers begin to hide away their personal things even before the real packing begins – actually, as soon as the house appears on the market, and realtors begin showing it to potential buyers.

This is usually difficult for sellers, because it means they will have to detach themselves emotionally from their homes.  Nonetheless, there’s little doubt, that it will maximize their homes’ market viability.  Sellers will need to be able to step back and look at their dwellings objectively, just as potential buyers would.

Keep in mind that buyers need to be able to envision themselves living there as they walk through the house, while scrutinizing each room and weighing the home’s potential as a residence with a personality the new owner will create.

Thus, it would behoove home sellers to act on the following tips:

  • Adopt the right mental and emotional mindset while you go through the home-showing phase of your real estate transaction.  Realize that you will always carry with you the good memories acquired while living in your home.  Likewise, believe that you’ll build lasting, cherished, and even better memories in your new abode.
  • Pay particular attention to photographs attached to walls or displayed in frames – make sure you remove them before you start showing your home.  It’s really hard for potential buyers to project their own personality onto the house when it’s so difficult to see past those ultra-personal kinds of items.  The idea is for the buyer to think, “Wow, I can just imagine myself living here!” or “Gee, my vacation photos would look great on this wall!”
  • Remove books from any bookcases or shelves – these reflect your unique tastes and personality, not the buyer’s.
  • Pack up (or, at least hide) any family heirlooms or other highly-visible objects which shout, “Look, everyone, this is what I’m all about.”  

 Don’t Neglect Areas Which Enhance ‘Curb Appeal’ When Prepping Home For Sale

When it comes to selling your home, the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” has never been more valid. 

And while many home sellers concentrate on their homes’ interior when it comes to prepping the house for potential buyers, it would be wise, indeed, to first focus on the yard -- front, side, and back --  in order to enhance the home’s overall ‘curb appeal.’  After all, besides the house itself, the yard is usually the second thing that captures the buyer’s focus.  And, taking extra steps to get this area in tip-top shape will go a long way in enticing the buyer to want to see the home’s interior, as well.

First, try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.  With that in mind, it’s very helpful to park at the end of your driveway or even across the street to take in the ‘big picture’ of the house and yard, just as the buyer would do.  After that, get out of your car, and be super-observant as you walk along the path the potential buyer would take, paying particular attention to the front yard, side yards, driveway, and sidewalk.

As you observe the overall appearance of these areas, take note of your initial impression, from an objective point of view.  Note anything glaringly obvious that could convey a negative notion to the buyer’s mind, and which would warrant special attention.  

Although you will, most likely, want -- in reality, need --to stay within a budget, try to see the financial benefits of spending a reasonable amount of money on enhancements which would obviously augment your home’s sale potential.  If the financial gains are likely to substantially outweigh the costs involved, it would behoove you to go ahead and fork out the extra bucks.  For example, now might be the perfect time to get rid of the half-rotted tree in the front yard which has been an eyesore for some time, and, which, you were planning to remove sooner or later anyway. 

At the same time, note any positive aspects of the yards, walkways, and driveway, and think about ways to enhance them.  Maybe planting some flowers alongside the uniquely-shaped sidewalk, which has garnered countless compliments in the past, would be enhanced by planting some flowers or other plants  

Yard, driveway, and sidewalks:

Observe the condition of the front and side yards – buyers will notice these areas before they even consider the back yard.  And, unless you’re the type who spends five hours per day transforming his or her yard into something befitting the Taj Mahal, it may be obvious that it’s in dire need of being spruced up.  However, it’s amazing the extent to which you can beautify you yard – and, thus – enhance your home’s overall appeal by association – by following these simple tips – most of which require only your time and sweat (of course, some tips won’t apply, depending on the season):

  • Rake and dispose of the leaves.
  • Prune any unsightly or dead branches from trees, paying special attention to those which obscure the view to your house from the street, or are touching your home’s roof.
  • Trim the hedges and bushes.
  • Edge the sidewalks and driveway.
  • Eliminate any vegetation growing in sidewalk and driveway cracks.
  • Make sure to remove gardening implements, or other objects, which don’t belong in the yard.
  • Mow the yard, and dispose of loose grass clippings.
  • Keep garbage cans out of sight.
  • Sweep, and, if necessary, scrub all hard-surface areas where the buyer may be walking 

Take a critical view of everything afterwards, and note any areas which you think would raise an objection in the buyer’s mind.  For example, if the driveway or sidewalk still appears dingy after sweeping and scrubbing, you may want to invest in a pressure-washing service to make these areas shine.  In addition, if a sidewalk or driveway is so decrepit that it’s basically a mass of countless cracks, is falling apart, or is, otherwise, unsafe, it would be foolish not to have it replaced.  After all, it’s rather difficult to entice a potential buyer to enter through your home’s front door when he or she is hesitant to do so for fear of stumbling on the way there. 

Sense of Spaciousness Enhances Home’s Salability

Be honest.  Do you trip over or dodge at least a dozen things when negotiating your way from the bedroom to the refrigerator door?  Has your garage and/or basement taken on that nuclear-holocaust-preparation look with object after object being stored there?   Is your attic cluttered to the point where even a dormouse would have a problem setting a foot down securely on the floor, let alone walking? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you definitely have some work to do as you make preparations to sell your home.  Realtors strongly advise that home sellers should take the time to eliminate, or at the least, reduce your home’s clutter as much as possible before showing your home to potential home buyers.

And why is that, you may ask.  Two significant reasons come to mind.  According to real estate insiders, your home will project a feeling and look of spaciousness when clutter is eliminated.  It gives the illusion that your home is quite a bit larger than it really is.  Have no doubt -- buyers will like that.

Another reason is how a tidy, roomy-looking home appears to be cleaner and more inviting.  Psychologically, perhaps, a cluttered home brings to mind feelings of disorganization, uncleanliness, and, to some degree, claustrophobia.  In addition, it can put homeowners in a negative light – it makes it look as if they’ve been apathetic in taking care of their homes -- even if, in reality, they’ve acted very responsibly in the area of maintenance and repairs.

In order to create that spacious-feel ambiance, try following these tips:

  • Remove large and/or excessive pieces of furniture, statues or other stand-alone art pieces, especially from the living room.
  • Remaining furniture should be positioned as closely to walls as possible.
  • Make sure all counter tops, closets, cupboards, and pantries – especially in the kitchen -- appear clutter-free.  Don’t forget dresser and chest drawers in the bedroom, as well.
  • Remove excessive items from bookcases, coffee tables, end tables, and shelves – remember, less is best. 
  • Create an illusion of space by adjusting the lighting to eliminate shadows – shadows tend to break up a room into smaller entities
  • Rooms with darker colors can be made to appear larger just by painting the walls.  Beige and pastel colors are particularly good to achieve this effect.  Likewise, smooth textures tend to reflect light, further augmenting the desired effect.
  • Waxing hard-surface floors will also allow them to reflect more light.
  • Clever positioning of mirrors can yield an impression of extra space.
  • Clear out excessive items from the garage, attic, and basement.

Above all, make sure (for those of you with children) that Junior or Princess has picked up all of their toys and neatly stored them away, preferably in an inconspicuous closet corner.  Better yet, if your little ones have accumulated a considerable number of toys – to the point where their room could be mistaken for a Toys-R-Us franchise, hiding them in a storage rental unit (during the home-showing period) would be a wise investment.  This goes for the bulky-looking furniture and other excessive articles gathered from the rest of the home, as well.

Good news is – for the most part, reducing clutter and creating the illusion of more space is free – most likely the only expenses being the cost of a rental unit for a short time, paint, and maybe some floor wax.  This sacrifice, however, is insignificant when you consider the benefits to be had.  In fact, you may very well be amazed when your tidy, roomy-looking home fetches you a quick sale.

Don’t Neglect The Most Important Room When Prepping Your Home To Sell

There’s no doubt that the appearance of your house is crucial when it comes to showing it off to potential homebuyers.  And, while it’s imperative to have the entire house neat, clean, and smelling nice, there is one room, in particular, that deserves special attention.  Surprisingly enough, it’s not the living room.

Actually, according to a lot of real estate pros, it’s the kitchen.  Many realtors agree that a spotless, tidy-looking kitchen with absolutely no signs of clutter is a huge drawing card for most home searchers.  It is especially appealing to families who plan to spend a great deal of time cooking and dining in there home.  The overall appearance of the kitchen, and the impression it confers to buyers, is of prime significance when buyers weigh the pros and cons of a potential residence.

Above all, many real estate insiders note, the importance the seller must place on eliminating clutter in the kitchen is paramount in conveying a sense of organization and more-than-ample storage space.  You should give buyers the impression that there is plenty of room to store all of their things.  In that regard, you should be expecting that buyers will open all of the drawers and cabinets during their visit.  And, if they look cluttered and disorganized in any way, it will likely send an immediate negative message to them – in short, a complete turn-off – even if they find everything else about the kitchen perfect.

In particular, try to focus on the following:

  • A thorough scrubbing of the entire kitchen will be in order.  Don’t neglect the walls, refrigerator top, cabinet tops, and other hard to reach areas, as well as appliances – interior and exterior.
  • Initially remove everything from the drawers, cabinets, pantry/closet to give the interiors a good cleaning – pay special attention to removing any spots, stains, or odors.  
  • Remove, and store away junk, personal items, and utensils from the drawers and cabinets, which you rarely or never use.  For the drawers containing often-used utensils, organize them as neatly as possible.
  • Cabinets containing dishes, glasses, cups, etc. also should be organized neatly.
  • Remove (at least temporarily) any small appliances from the countertops – this can create a sense of extra space in the buyer’s mind – a real turn-on.
  • The area underneath the sink is also vital.  Besides being spick and span, any water spots, or signs of past water damage or leaks should be eliminated.  If there is any structural damage – for example, rotted wood as a result of water damage – it should definitely be repaired first.
  • Air out the room (that goes for the entire house) shortly before potential buyers are scheduled to arrive, but close the windows immediately before they enter your home – this will provide the room with an aura of inviting freshness.  Also, any curtains or blinds should be opened to allow the maximum amount of light into the room, but leave the artificial lights off -- natural lighting provides its own unique charm – something many buyers look for.
  • As for the walls – even if the best of cleanings won’t take off all those years of grease, grime, or Junior’s best imitation of Pablo Picasso, it would be wise to apply a coat of neutral-color paint.
  • Pets are a no-no – get rid of all signs of them, especially the odors   Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to turn little “Fluffy” loose into the woods once and for all.  Just make sure they won’t be inside the house when buyers are present. – after all, not everyone will be a fellow-pet lover.
  • No dishes should be visible in the sink, or anywhere else for that matter – clean or dirty.   Also – don’t leave anything in the dishwasher – many buyers will open and inspect its interior.
  • Remember, for the cabinets and drawers with things remaining inside, less is better, so, if you must leave items inside them, do so very sparingly.

It may seem like a lot of tedious effort, but be aware that there have been more than a few instances when a home for sale was rejected based on Miss Jones or Mrs. Smith’s conclusion that there just wasn’t enough kitchen space to display here beloved Cuisinart food processor or prized rooster napkin holders.

Don’t Forget the Second Most Important Room When Selling Your Home

So you’ve just replaced the cracked molding in the living room, repaired the leaky kitchen faucet, retiled the utility room, and even managed to get the front yard (a former disaster area) in tip-top shape.  Great, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

But wait, there’s one room you may not have given enough attention to -- as you prep your home to sell -- despite the fact that many real estate experts stress it is the most important room in the home -- after the kitchen -- to showcase.

Sorry, but no, it’s not your prized trophy room – it’s actually the bathroom.  And, fortunately, except for that rare case where there’s really no alternative but to replace or repair virtually everything in the room, the task of making the bathroom facilitate a quick home sale shouldn’t be a financial burden at all.

Experts agree that a home featuring modern, immaculate, luxurious-looking (at least in appearance), functional, well-maintained bathrooms can shorten the amount of time the home spends on the market.  Many also note that, although a home may contain more than two bathrooms, most of the focus should be directed toward just the master bathroom and the guest bathroom.  

Think about it – the guest bathroom will most likely be visited by many of your potential buyer guests.  According to real estate insiders, the time a home shopper spends in this room is also time spent in evaluating the home as a whole.  So, it stands to reason that if they are surrounded by spotless walls, shiny fixtures, and well-functioning faucets and toilet, it will leave a lasting, positive impression on them.   And, of course, the prominence connected with the master bathroom – as a kind of companion piece to the master bedroom -- can’t be denied.

So given the significance that should be placed on upgrading/enhancing your bathroom(s), keep in mind the following useful suggestions:

  • Create space – An illusion of spaciousness can be achieved by effectively positioning mirrors (think about those stretching from sink counter top to ceiling), and bright lighting – especially over the sink area.  Also, if it’s within your budget, a new floor made up of large tiles with a shiny surface (for reflecting light) will augment the illusion of extra space.
  • If putting down a new tile floor isn’t in the cards, make sure the floor is spotless and shiny, and, if you find it’s not possible to make the grout spotless white, regrouting should be the alternative.
  • Pay particular attention to the sink, bathtub, shower, and toilet.  If it appears that it will be impossible to completely remove all stains/discoloration from these items or if cracks are visible, including the shower floor, they will really need to be replaced. Oftentimes, for example, when examining the condition of your toilet, you may notice that only the toilet seat will be cracked.  In that case the simple, inexpensive job of replacing the seat would be in order.  However, even if the toilet itself will need replacing, most people can actually do it themselves, despite daunting first thoughts about the procedure.  And as far as the bathtub is concerned, if replacing it is the only practical solution (due to cracks or discoloration, or just plain old age), try installing a modern whirlpool-style tub – it will add a nice touch of class to the entire room.  As for the sink, if it looks like it has seen better days, is beyond restoring, and your budget allows for it, installing dual sinks – especially in the master bathroom – adds style, elegance and, practicality, and draws buyers like a magnet.  In fact, many home shoppers expect this feature to be present.
  • Walls – If wallpaper covers them, it would behoove you to tear it off and apply a fresh coat of paint.  This is another inexpensive and easy way to present the room in a bright, new-looking aura.  Concentrate on light, neutral colors, though.
  • Shower curtains – If at all possible, they should be replaced with a sliding shower door – it’s not only more elegant-looking but more functional, as well.  At the very least, replace old shower curtains with new ones.
  • Accent the room with large, fluffy towels folded and elegantly displayed, scented soaps and/or candles, and a few strategically-placed green plants.
  • Faucets and other plumbing fixtures (including pipes underneath the sink) should be modern-looking, gleaming, and trouble-free in their functionality.
  • Taking out the old-fashioned medicine chest altogether (if present) is strongly suggested.
  • Keep hidden any personal articles such as shower caps, kids’ toys, shampoos, hair brushes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
  • Above all, make sure all surfaces (including windows and mirrors) are squeaky-clean, with no hint of toothpaste, soap scum or other residues visible.  When the cleaning is done, the room should smell fresh, and appear light and airy.  Avoid sprays which leave behind an overly-perfumed aroma.

It may seem like a large task on the surface, but the time spent converting your bathrooms into rooms which bespeak sophistication, as well as functionality, will be well worth it, and you should easily be able to recoup the money you’ve spent in remodeling and repairs.

Be Cautious About Home Improvements

There you are, Mr. or Mrs. Home Improvement -- all gung-ho about renovating this, or remodeling that, with an eye toward making it all pay off via increased home resale value at selling time.  If that’s the case, a word to the wise is in order: Caution.  

That is, proceed with caution, and don’t go overboard just because your friend’s second cousin supposedly recouped two thousand percent of his kitchen renovation costs when he sold his place.  Even if that were true, that would be an extremely rare situation.  

As a matter of fact, many experts advise you to plan your remodeling projects based more on the amount of satisfaction you’re likely to attain, rather than renovating based solely on the resale gains you’re likely to reap later.  The catch phrase in this regard should be: “Don’t overdo it” 

That being said, it’s hard to get away from that resale value thing.  So, if you’ve been planning a home improvement project or two for a while -- mainly for you and your family’s benefit -- but with a focus on future return-on-the-dollar, there are some projects that fit the bill nicely, according to real estate experts.  For example, remodeled kitchens are highly likely to provide you with a nice return-on-investment (the ratio of money spent on the project to how much it’s worth to a potential homebuyer).  That’s due, in large part, because a kitchen is a focal point of the home for many buyers.  

But, here again, caution is first and foremost.  You should be aware that a minor kitchen upgrade, mainly consisting of painting, repairs, and perhaps a new appliance or two can run between $8,000 and $9,000.  On the other hand, a major kitchen redo – appliances, new flooring, lighting, cabinets and wall improvements can easily extend beyond $30,000.   But, here’s the really interesting part – the minor kitchen renovation project has been shown to return to their owners upwards of 90% as a return-on-investment, compared to only 71% for the major remodel.  Therefore, unless you can really afford it with no financial strain, the minor kitchen redo would be the way to go for most homeowners.

Bathroom remodels are also way up there in terms of returning excellent value.  Statistics show that a bathroom redo will set you back about $9,000, while a bathroom addition will run upwards of $14,000.  In both instances, you could expect about an 80% return-on-investment.  You’ll want to consider your immediate needs as to which one will benefit you the most.

An outdoor deck addition is another home upgrade that can pay nice dividends when you sell.  The return-on-investment for adding a deck is around 55%, according to some real estate analysts.   But consider the price tag carefully – approximately $8,000, as well as your own enjoyment factor, before proceeding.

In addition, don’t get too extravagant with your remodeling upgrades to the point of showing up your neighbors.  That is, making home improvements, well beyond what is considered to be the norm for your neighborhood, is oftentimes detrimental to your wallet.  Noticeably raising the price of your home in an effort to recoup excessive remodeling costs can come back to haunt you.

Likewise, beware that using bold colors – for flooring, walls, exterior, etc., or adding eccentric design elements to your home may seem perfectly normal for you, but can be very disadvantageous when you sell.  Try to stay with neutral colors – they will be more appealing to most potential homebuyers.  Experts also advise that extremely pricey flooring and lighting fixtures can make a home harder to sell, particularly when it outclasses surrounding homes in the area.  Astute homebuyers realize that high maintenance (often a trademark of super-expensive floors) often tags along with high price.


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