As a Certified Home Inspector in Southern NH, many clients request a Pre-Listing Home Inspection and frequently ask “What can I do to add value to my home before I sell?” Of course, that is usually accompanied by “…without spending much money.” Honestly, I don’t get involved with house values much, if at all. For specifics, I suggest you contact your Realtor. Are you looking for one of the best NH Realtors? I’d be happy to introduce you to a few that I know, like and trust!
I digress. There are a few no-brainer home improvement tips that are frequently over-looked, yet will certainly help speed-up the sale of your home and will likely give you the best return on your investment.
1. Pet Damage: If you have pets, they likely have left their mark on the home. This can really drive the sale price down, particularly on appearance alone. Do everything you can to make evidence of pet ownership disappear! Replace or repair carpets, flooring, fencing, grass, etc… as needed. Have they done a number on your furniture? Check with local staging companies to get some temporary furniture that looks nicer!
2. Flowers and Mulch: Yes, it’s winter as I write this, but make your house look presentable once spring hits! Chat with the helpful folks down at your local garden supply center for hardy, colorful flowers and freshen up mulch beds. No one is interested in paying top-dollar for a house that looks like it needs a lot of work outside.
3. Appliances: If your appliance are old, tired and/or mis-matched, it will probably pay-off to replace them. Chances are, your prospective buyers are going to factor-in the cost of new appliances when they are making an offer on your house. Don’t give the buyers any more of an excuse to drive the selling price down. (As an added bonus, new appliances hint to your buyer’s home inspector that you cared for and maintained your house, and he will likely communicate that to your buyer).
4. Kitchen and Bathroom: If you have Harvest Gold or Lime Green counter tops and fixtures right out of the 70′s, make them go away. At the very least, repaint the cabinets, freshen-up the hardware and get the special paint to re-do the counters to give them that updated look. If that faucet is old, creaky and drips, replace that too! If your kitchen looks old and beat-up, buyers and your inspector are going to suspect the same thing of the plumbing contained within.
5. Carpets and Flooring: This goes hand-in-hand with pet damage. If it’s worn out and dingy, buyers are going to take that in to consideration when formulating an offer. Unless you specifically state an allowance for new floorings, spend the money and make your floors look nicer – chances are you will get the money back at time of the sale.
6. Windows: If they are worn out, rotting, or have broken glass, this is a sure indication to the buyer (and their home inspector) that you didn’t care for your house. There are inexpensive replacement windows available that spruce-up the curb appeal of your house, while still increasing efficiency and keeping the elements out. Of course, if you are going to tackle a project such as this, please stay away from the cheapest windows you can find – that is one way to ensure that you are wasting money.
7. Doors: If your front door is rusted and beat-up, at the very least put a fresh coat of paint on it so prospective buyers feel welcome in your home.
8. Fixtures & Hardware: If you have mis-matched door knobs, missing drawer handles or pulls, replace them. A matching set makes your house look well cared-for and keeps buyers happy. Happy buyers spend money. ’nuff said.
9. Downsize: Go through all your clutter – anything you haven’t used in 4 or 5 years, make it go away. All those boxes of Halloween and Christmas decorations overflowing the attic and garage space – find an off-site storage unit! You, your buyers and your Realtor will appreciate it. So will your home inspector – to an inspector, a cluttered house looks like the seller is hiding problems behind mountains of junk!
10. LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR!!!! I can’t emphasize this one enough. If your Realtor recommends you change, move or improve something – don’t ask questions – just do it. You have consulted a professional for their expertise – use every single bit of it to your advantage.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Southern New Hampshire, please contact us today with any questions or concerns you may have – we are here to help!