Three Overlooked Home Updates That Will Make You More Money at Closing

Worker with toolsI love walking into a new project and finding small ways to help homeowners make more money when they sell.  There are several some times less obvious home updates that you can make, and here I’ll share my top three.  You don’t necessarily have to break the bank to make these changes, and the returns can more than pay off, with a faster sale, and a higher selling price.

1.  Get rid of those old, worn out switch plate covers.  Switch plate covers are those typically overlooked things that cover all of your electrical outlets and switches, which means they show up in every room.  As buyers walk through, old covers make the house feel a little more worn and dated than it really is.  Covers can be replaced very inexpensively and will make a big difference to the overall look and feel of the house.

2.  Swap out outdated light fixtures for a more contemporary style.  The right lighting in a property may seem small, but it’s critical to setting the stage for buyers to fall in love.  I like to update old fixtures that don’t fit the style or period of the home to create a very specific feeling in every space of a property.  For example, a chandelier, even a modest one, can make a bedroom feel like an elegant retreat at the end of a long day.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to come home to a retreat every day.

3.  Replace or Upgrade the kitchen countertops.  We all know the old adage…kitchens and baths sell homes.  Well not just any kitchen or bath.  For many people, the kitchen is where they will spend the most time with family and friends.  This means that an ugly, uninviting kitchen won’t do anything to get you a faster sale, and make you more money.  Even in an inexpensive home with old laminate countertops, simply upgrading the laminate to one of the more contemporary styles, like granite or marble, can make a world of difference to the feel of the kitchen.  I’ve done this in smaller projects, with great results…translation…a fast sale, at top dollar!

The next time you are selling a property, go through this quick check list.  I guarantee buyers will be more impressed and you’ll get more offers.

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When Painting With Color Is Good For Selling A Staged Home

Soothing Blue Master BedroomWhenever I meet with a client about staging their house for sale, one of the first questions I get is….Should I paint?  Painting is by far the easiest way to make a property feel brand new.  The challenge for most people is that they think that everything has to be painted white or they’re at the opposite end, where they think their red walls look just fine.

Here’s how I decide when painting with color or leaving existing colors (other than white), will help a house sell.

1) Using paint color to highlight architectural details.  Choosing a color other than white, like the pale blue in the picture above, will allow details like crown molding or custom built-ins to stand out as valuable features to potential buyers.  Buyers will pay more for a house with character, so why not show it off.

2) Adding whimsy or playfulness to a children’s room.  Within reason (meaning no neon green), adding color to a room that will be staged as a nursery or young child’s room will make the room feel light and welcoming to would-be-parents or children.  One of my favorite color schemes is soft pastel yellow for the walls with white ceilings and trim.  Buyers expect color in a children’s room, so give it to them.  It makes it easy for them to envision their own children playing there, which translates into more offers for sellers.

3) Make larger rooms feel more warm and inviting.  This is especially true for over sized living rooms and dining rooms, where people tend to spend a lot of time with family and friends.  You don’t have to repaint the whole room, but it could just be one wall which will act as the focal point for the room.  Where people go wrong is they paint the whole room red, or orange, or green….one wall, accent it with furnishings or accessories, and make sure it coordinates with the other colors in the room.

The next time you are selling a house with no color or too many colors, think of these three guides, and you’ll be well on your way to a faster, more profitable sale.

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Four Ways To Work Around Messy Tenants When Selling

022If you’ve ever tried to sell an apartment with a tenant in it, you already know what a challenge it can be.  Tenants typically don’t take care of the place like the owner would, and it can feel like you’re at their mercy.  Whether it’s the pile of dirty laundry, or the worn out couch, a messy tenant doesn’t have to sink your sale.

Here are four ways you can handle messy tenants and still get your client a sale.

1.  Ask the seller to consider giving the tenant an incentive for keeping the place tidy. If your seller has a good relationship with the tenant and has given them notice that they will be selling, way in advance, some times it may be as simple as just asking them to be neater. Other tenants, simply don’t care, and will need an incentive. An incentive could be monetary, i.e. an extra $500 when they move out, or something more intangible, like a glowing reference for their next apartment (a good lease will require tenants to keep a place orderly).
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3 Ways To Make A Space More Inviting When Selling

Many people walk into a house and can immediately tell if they like it or they don’t.  If they don’t like it, nine times out of ten it’s because the house doesn’t “feel” right to them. 

I’m often asked to make small updates and stage an apartment to make the buyer fall in love on sight, which is all about feelings.  The more inviting a space is, the more likely you are to get the offer you are looking for from a buyer.

Here are three easy ways to make a space more inviting when you’re selling: Continue reading

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