Improve the Resale Price on Your Home – Tips from a Realtor’s Point-of-View

It’s not a secret that home values are down. To top things off, it’s a buyer’s market, meaning that there are more buyers than homes for sale. So, most of you are thinking “How do I sell my house for the most that I possibly can?”

As a realtor, I have the privilege to tap into my client’s thoughts, wants and needs. So, when I take my buyers home shopping usually the woman is the one that falls in love with the house and tells her husband how she will decorate it, what she would change, on and on. So, in essence, she persuades her husband into loving and buying the home. Knowing this, it’s important to know that you should have more of a feminine aesthetic for your home. Start thinking pretty, light, and airy.

Set your budget and stick to it. Don’t reinvent the wheel, stick to what you already have including the kitchen cabinets and all appliances (even if they’re avocado green!) I’m going to give you secrets that most realtors don’t even know.

DE-CLUTTER

First off, get rid of clutter. When you think you got rid of it, get rid of more clutter including all family pictures…consider only the essentials. Think- bins under the beds, cardboard boxes in the attic (where most buyers don’t go). Hey, this saves you from packing everything all at once! This will make your home seem larger and without your pictures, the buyers can more easily see this as “their” home, not “yours.” This will also prep your home for the next step.

NEUTRALIZE

Now, take down wallpaper and paint all the walls neutral, I know, everyone says that, but this really makes a difference and opens up your home.

Think eggshell colors and no high gloss and definitely not hospital white. Go for the affordable paint, not the expensive brands. Most people can’t tell the difference.  Keep all trim and doors white.

Glidden Paint has about 30 colors in their Off-White Palette. Click on the Off-Whites to choose your favorite. Glidden is very affordable and can be found at Home Depot and Walmart.

I find that sticking to one paint color throughout each entire floor creates an easy flow of the home and doesn’t make it feel so compacted. The same goes true for floors. Most clients hate seeing more than 2 different types of flooring on the main floor of the home.

Don’t forget the garage and floor. If your basement has a musty smell, try cleaning with very diluted bleach on the walls and paint over them with an anti-mold agent mixed in. Home Depot has staff that can help you find the right paint.

CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

Get your wooden floors buffed and carpets cleaned. Consider renting a carpet cleaner instead of buying new carpets. Try to use a heavy duty pet deodorizer if you have pets or are a smoker to get rid of odors. Please clean all mold and mildew off of all grout in the bathroom and kitchen.Use diluted bleach. There’s no point in turning a buyer off when bleach can be bought at the dollar store.

THINK LIKE A PHOTOGRAPHER

Rearrange the living room and other rooms to create focal points for when your realtor (hopefully, me!) starts taking pictures of your home. Doing this in real estate is called staging. Look at the difference in the rooms in the gallery below and try doing the same with your furniture.

SELLING POINTS

Your top selling points in your home are THE KITCHEN and THE BATHROOMS. With my tips and resources, don’t get overwhelmed if your home is not updated.

Here is what you do:

THE BATHROOM

CABINETS

1. Start with the cabinets in your bathroom first. The reason for this is if you mess up you can easily fix it and it won’t cost as much as it would with your kitchen.

2. Declutter the cabinets and take off all hinges and knobs. (Please don’t paint these, it will make your bathroom look cheap) Fix holes, dents, etc with putty. Clean all surfaces.

3.  There are two options to reface your cabinets.

Option 1 (the affordable option)

Use Rustoleum to paint your bathroom cabinets. Why? This is an easy to do kit with no stripping or sanding, they provide you with videos, it’s cost effective and they give you many options. Start with a small patch inside the cabinet to make sure you like the color and you get your technique down.

Note: This is not the time to be artistic— think neutral, light and airy.

They have all in one kits if you want to paint or revive the wood of the cabinets. I believe the wood kits are only for real wood, so make sure to read everything there is to know about whichever method you want to use. I highly recommend sticking to the closest color when reviving your wood. When using a paint color add a glaze to give it a special touch.

Colors to use in the bathroom: White, Cream, Black, or any Light to Medium Woods.

Cost $150 for the kit

Option 2

Contact a company that can do the refacing of your cabinets. Granite Transformations is a company that offers this service and you may get a deal if you decide to have your kitchen countertops made by them. Click here to see their colors

THE BATHROOM COUNTERS

Most people overlook the counters in the bathroom unless they are dated or in bad condition. Don’t paint over the bathroom counters. This will make it look worse.

Measure your existing counter, get the length and width. Also get the length and width of your desired backsplash.

You can find affordable options at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They give you many options including backsplashes and with a bowl.

Go for the most cost effective option.

THE KITCHEN 

CABINETS

1. Now that your a pro on cabinet refinishing take a step back and figure out if your kitchen is contemporary, vintage, or traditional. Stick to that theme. Remember don’t reinvent the wheel.

2. Declutter, clean, take off all cabinets and hardware (don’t paint the hardware-BIG NO, NO).

3. Paint- I checked out Rustoleum and it seems that they have it down regarding easy to do, no sanding and no stripping in one kit. They even have wood colors and stains! (Click here to go to check out their Kitchen Virtual Makeover Tool)

The 2 top colors for kitchens are WHITE (very light gloss) and any MEDIUM TO LIGHT WOODS. These colors are such an easy sell (remember light and airy) and they go with everything. Don’t use bright colors or this will be a turn off.

Note: Paint on a hidden part of your kitchen and make sure you like the colors and have your technique down.

Cost $150 for the kit

APPLIANCES

If your appliances are all one color, like White, Black or Stainless Steel, then leave them alone.

I recently discovered there is a more economical solution to the dilemma of mismatched appliances: Appliance Art. This company makes films and panels to go over your existing appliances.  If just one appliance is a totally different color or you’re appliances are all completely dated, try this super affordable new way to cover them up.

This company has been featured on QVC as seen on their website and it shows you how nice it can make your kitchen look.

They have the Stainless Steel look in real panels, magnetic panels, and adhesive film.

I would recommend the stainless steel, white or black magnetic panels to cover your appliances.

The company has decorative panels as well and I really don’t recommend to go artsy with your appliances. (Think light & airy)

If you really want to cover up the entire appliance color try the adhesive film.

COUNTER

If you have a dated or cheaply made counters now is the time to think of upgrading.

The high end route would be to get a granite overlay on your existing countertops.

This will significantly add to the value of your home without paying the price of removing your existing countertops or installing whole granite slabs. This is a new trend now, Home Depot or Lowe’s don’t offer this option that I know of and some granite places may not either.

I did find a place near Bucks County, PA called Granite Transformations.

They have a variety of options from granite veneers to glass overlays for your kitchen cabinets.

They also have cabinet refacing options if you choose you don’t want to risk refacing the cabinets yourself.

Granite OverlayGranite OverlayAgain, find the most cost effective way, stay within the kitchen theme, don’t be artsy and keep it in a light color scheme. Remember you’re trying to get a Return On Investment.

Make sure to go to 2 or 3 places to get estimates on price ranges of products, delivery, and installation costs. Any reputable company should be able to give you an estimate based on your measurements.

A more budget friendly option for replacing your countertops would be solid wood countertops that can be cut, sanded and treated as required. They come in a variety of wood types and provide a warmth some other materials simply can’t.

What do you think of this kitchen?

Wood Countertop Kitchen

If you have any questions, check out my website at http://www.newhoperealtor.com to learn about my services that I offer. My consultation for you is always free!

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