Adding value to a for sale by owner
Adding Value

Every home seller I meet with wants to get as much money as possible for their house. Often I have found they want more money but don’t want to spend any. That makes sense but isn’t always possible. So how do you add value to your for sale by owner? What is the secret to getting more money. I will show you how to decide what improvements to make.

Remodel projects will generally increase the value of your home. The idea is to get the most bang for your buck. Figuring out first what needs to be done to get your home ready to sell. What updates are needed and what small changes can be made that will make the most difference. Then estimating what the cost will be.

What you want to try to avoid is spending more money than you will get a return on. Technically that’s called an ROI, or return on investment. Any improvements will help the marketability of your home but some could lose you money at the same time. I have seen sellers take on remodel projects that lost them money. Crazy things like a full on kitchen remodel, including cabinets, counter tops and flooring, that really only needed a sprucing up.

Always keep in mind a house will only sell for so much. Appraisers and real estate estate agents use comparative analysis to determine value. That means they compare past sales in the area to determine the value of a house. Those huge and expensive projects will sometimes price you right out of the neighborhood.

There are home remodel projects, or additions, that can actually devalue your home. Think swimming pools, shake roofs (who does that?) or weird paint colors.

Which Remodel Projects Add Value?

Start with the exterior. At least 85% of the homes I show to clients need an exterior paint job. When a house isn’t kept sealed with caulk and paint water gets in and deteriorates the siding and sheathing. If the garage door is old and decrepit, replace it. It’s not that expensive and in fact replacing a garage door is one of the most cost effective ways to add value and saleability.

By starting with the exterior of you’re home you are also creating a great first impression which is super important.

The big remodel projects are Kitchens and bathrooms. They add the most value but are also the most expensive, so be careful. When replacing countertops or flooring always use something neutral that will appeal to the masses. Check your kitchen faucet, it’s a really inexpensive upgrade that can make a difference.

If the flooring needs replaced carpet is the cheapest but not always the favorite. Check and see what trends are in your area. If putting down new wood laminate it’s tempting to use the really cheap stuff but that will show and discourage buyers. You don’t have to spend a ton of money but get something of at least a decent quality. .

The one item I have the most difficulty convincing sellers to do is paint the walls. Painting is not costly, and again, makes a big difference. Use neutral colors.

Another thing to consider is DIY projects. If you’re the handy type remodel costs can be reduced significantly by not using contractors but do not take on projects you are not able to do like the professionals. Watching an episode of HGTV does not make you talented, Be honest.

How Much Should You Spend?

All of these suggestions will add value to your for sale by owner. It’s all about the ROI mentioned earlier, return on investment. Only do projects that are necessary. Of the projects that are decided try not to inject your own opinions or tastes. Research design and home decor trends in your area and match that.

Shop around for the best deal on materials and contractors. Sometimes you can find free installation or flooring and other supplies at a great discount. There’s a lot of competition for your dollar so spend it where you save the most.

If you haven’t already you need to research price trends in your neighborhood and figure out what your house is worth. And what it could be worth. With that information you can now figure out what projects you can do and how much you have to spend.

Do I Have To Remodel To Add Value?

The question of how to add value to your for sale by owner comes down to what condition the property is in currently. If your house has been kept updated throughout the years you may need to do very little. Sometimes simply a good thorough cleaning will do the trick.

Replacing cabinets is costly. Most times all they need is a sprucing up. Consider painting old outdated cabinets. You can use white but check what’s trending. Sometimes the stain has begun to wear off. If that’s the case simply take a rag soaked in stain, matching of course, and rub it over the wood. Then wipe off the excess with a clean rag. Sometimes you may have to spray on some flat varnish depending on how bad the cabinets really are.

If your home is in good condition and somewhat updated it may just be a matter of getting it ready for market. Find out more about that here.


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