Planning on listing in today’s sellers’ market? With our current low inventory, it shouldn’t be hard to find a buyer in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. But it’s important that you prep your home in advance so it doesn’t lag on the market. (Homes that stay on the market for a long time are often deemed unappealing by buyers.) Here’s how to ensure that when you list, you’ll immediately draw the interest of buyers in your price range.
First, start with the exterior of your home. While it’s true that web appeal is the new curb appeal, online home buyers still look for an exterior shot to determine if a home is worth seeing in person. Repaint your house or fix any cracked siding, and landscape the lawn with plants and shrubs. Consider buying a new front door if yours is outdated – the cost of a front door replacement earns homeowners in the metro area 72% back upon resale. (Remodeling Magazine)
Next, move on to the interior and remove personal items. Smart homeowners “stage” their homes by removing personal items like picture frames, knick-knacks and clutter. By offering a neutral appeal, buyers can more easily picture themselves in the home.
Of course, it’s also imperative that you deep clean the home from top to bottom before listing. Rent a wet/dry vacuum to remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach corners and small nooks. Wipe down surfaces you sometimes ignore, such as ceiling fans, window blinds and baseboards. Minimize odors from pets, compost and even workout gear to ensure buyers walk into a fresh-smelling home.
Third, you may want to consider a partial or full kitchen remodel. Many older houses have smaller, closed off kitchens – but modern homeowners want the kitchen to be the heart of the home. Consider remodeling for flow, by knocking down the walls that surround the kitchen. Another option is to update things like cabinets, countertops, floors and appliances. In our metro area, the average amount recouped on a kitchen remodel is 72-75%. (Remodeling Magazine)
If you’re dealing with outdated appliances or features, go green to enhance your carbon footprint and buying appeal. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that high-efficiency HVAC systems, ENERGY STAR appliances, programmable thermostats and high-performance windows are the most popular green energy features. If you’re considering wood floors to replace carpet, look to bamboo flooring instead. Bamboo is not only highly renewable and affordable, it’s also trendy and distinct. Remember - by going green, you may qualify energy efficient tax credits or incentives. Search for your state here to see what is covered in your area.
One last word of advice on renovations: When deciding which projects to take on, keep the improvements practical. “It’s important renovations stay within, but not exceed, community norms,” said Appraisal Institute President Ken Wilson. “If they don’t match what’s standard in a community, owners could have difficulty recouping their investment when selling the property.”
Last, some sellers are making the mistake of pricing their homes too high. While it’s a seller’s market, it’s important not to price so high that you turn buyers off. Work with your REALTOR® to determine the right price for your home. Everything from nearby parks and schools to roof conditions can affect your asking price. Reach out today for a free comparative market analysis, which gives you the estimated asking price for your home in today’s market.