Along with lower temperatures and the brilliant fall foliage we enjoy in Colorado this time of year comes another seasonal transition: less real estate competition as the market begins to cool a bit in the autumn months. If you're planning a fall or winter home sale, now is a great time to plan a home remodel or a few simple upgrades in advance of your listing. Read on for insight into the most effective projects for your remodeling dollar.
National home sales stats point to kitchen upgrades, complete kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations and new wood flooring offer the most buyer appeal and high resale value. The key is to set a reasonable budget and not to go overboard; studies also show high end kitchen or bath makeovers ($45k +) tend to recoup a lower percentage of the investment at closing. Overdo it and you'll waste time you could've been on the market and money you won't see again, all for the sake of someone else's kitchen or bathroom. Save the big bucks for your next home. (And work with commission free TRELORA to save on your next sale or home purchase, of course.)
If you are ready to move on from your current house and you're not interested in a major overhaul, there are lots of minor upgrades you can make for a small investment of time and money that will impact your home's appeal to buyers without a big hit to your wallet.
A new tile backsplash in a smaller kitchen.
New paint in any room. Don't forget ceilings; if you've lived in the home for several years or the ceilings seem dingy, borrow a ladder and pick up an extendable paint roller rod at the hardware store. For a hundred bucks or so in crisp white paint on the ceiling, every room in your home will feel refreshed and a bit taller.
Freshly painted trim will give a similar effect of newness. Just make sure you are prepared to spend a fair bit of time painting every speck of trim in your home, or investing in someone else doing the job. Painting trim takes time.
New faucets, door knobs or cabinet hardware in kitchens and baths. Choose classic finishes rather than following trends. You'll find more affordable options and more buyers will appreciate the look.
More paint! Paint the front door and if necessary, modernize the hardware. Replacing an entire front door set up can be a bit more costly, but painting the door an attractive new shade will draw potential buyers in and cost you half a can of paint and a Saturday afternoon.
Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. Dimly lit rooms can appear dated, dingy and downright dirty. At minimum replace your light bulbs with attractive GE Reveal bulbs and consider updated main floor ceiling fixtures and exterior lights. For a smaller investment you can take with you to your next house, pick up a pair or two of classic lamps to update the living room and master bedroom. A bit of symmetry can pull a space together and well-put-together spaces feel like a better investment to buyers, which can mean more cha-ching for you.
Get a new shower curtain for every bathroom and consider replacing dated or fussy drapes with something more neutrals. A tip? Drapes should hang several inches above the top of the window and break at or just past the floor. You wouldn't wear highwater pants to a job interview, don't hang highwater drapes on the windows when trying to sell your home.
You can make a big impact on the interior of your home without bringing in anything new or spending a dime; donate or pack up 10-20% of your stuff - especially anything personal, religious or highly taste specific (not everyone loves Coca Cola collectibles, cuckoo clocks or medieval stone crosses, as an example). Your home will feel more spacious and buyers will be able to see themselves in it more easily.
Don't forget the exterior of your home. Top off the mulch in your flower beds (even if nothing is growing there now), trim grass along fences, hedges and decorative areas, even if you normally skip that task. Consider edging the lawn if you've never done that. Trim back unwieldy bushes or shrubs, or hire a professional to do it. Clear gutters and any other spots likely to trap leaves or other debris. If you'll go on the market soon, pick up a few pumpkins or a couple of hardy potted mums to bring autumn cheer to your entry.
Autumn is a great time to list your home for sale with less competition and a trend toward serious buyers and fewer looky-loos. Contact us for a referral to a qualified local tradesmen, advice on which projects to tackle and which to pass over, and how you can save thousands on the sale of your current home and purchase of your next home in the Greater Denver Area. We think commission free real estate transactions are kinda cool - and we're pretty sure you will, too.