Saturday, January 8, 2011

Don't sell your equity...

Are you thinking about buying a house this year?  Looking to sell the one you live in?  Here are some facts you should know in this market that will affect the price you ask for your home.  Everyone knows that curb appeal matters, but how much exactly?  Simple things like cleaning and decluttering your yard can have as much as a 500% return, simply put, invest $50 in a rake, bags and a trash can and you can increase your sale by as much as $2500, that's an amazing return on your money and not much is earning that in this economy.  A little landscaping can go a long way too, a few flowers or even using seeds which cost even less can greatly increase your curb appeal and increase your value across the board.

Other, more involved, home improvements include upgrading your front door and/or garage door(s).  According to Realtor Mag if you upgrade your front door to a great looking steal door that is finished on both sides you can get a return of 102.1%, in their example the door cost was $1,218 making the resale value $1,243.  The other project, replacing your garage door doesn't come out with more earnings, but it does keep people looking at your house.  According to the Magazine, if you "remove and dispose of the existing 16-by-7-foot garage door and tracks. Install a new 4-section garage door on new galvanized steel tracks; reuse the existing motorized opener" you can expect to recoup 83.9%, in their example they used a garage door costing $1,291 making the sale value of that project $1,083.  I is disheartening to see that your are not going to get back 100% of your investment but if you look at the amount of people it can potentially draw in to look at your house which can help sell faster, then its surely worth the investment. 

Looking for ideas for the interior?  Try moving your furniture to make the room flow better and remove clutter, this allows potential buyers to visualize their things in the space.  A great example is our own home, we have a small area off the kitchen that I put sofas in because we entertain upstairs in our living room, people kept coming through our open houses saying we had no dining room, they couldn't picture putting a table where the sofas were so we had to put our kitchen table there.  I don't think its that people can't think for themselves, its just that a lot of folks look at four or five houses in a day, and only after they have narrowed down their search on the Internet, which brings up the next point.  Make sure your MLS listing pictures are fantastic!  Consider it Internet curb appeal and if your pictures are small, blurry or too dark people will just move on, you also don't want just one picture of the house and 15 of your property, they can see the property when they get there, on the Internet they are looking for a home.  Another interior project that won't break the bank but will add to your house appeal is painting.  Just by painting the walls you can add instant freshness to your home, its like a house face-lift and can take years off how old your home looks.  If you have any sort of odor problems from pets or smokers in the house take a look at the new Dutch Boy Refresh Paint, its designed with Arm and Hammer to absorb odor, plus, if you sign up to be a preferred customer Dutch Boy will send you coupons towards your purchase.

Have you bought or sold a house recently?  I wold love to hear what odd things you may have seen along the way.  During our buying and selling process we have had quite some interesting things that's for sure, like the one that prompts this tip; if you have a house showing to a potential buyer, take your undergarments off the cloths line in the bathroom, we don't need to see if your bra and panties match.

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. Really? People don't need to know if your bra and panties match to buy your house? Huh. Who knew?

    All great tips. Mr. Bernie's sister and niece are starting a business here in Billings to address those issues. I will have to send this to them. The Dutch Boy paint might a tip they can use.

    Nice post!

  2. I do enjoy reading your blog. FYI, I clicked on the link to 'Wytchwaytothekitchen' and it only allows invited readers.


I love to read your comments, but due to spamming I have had to turn on the word verification again. Sorry for the extra step.