How to Get Top Dollar When Selling Your House
If you’re like most Americans, your house is your most valuable financial asset. It may amount to as much as 50 to 75 percent of your net worth — possibly more.
Thus, when it comes time to sell it, that will also be one of the most substantial transactions in your financial life. In order to get top dollar, you need to be intentional and strategic with your decisions.
Four Tips for Boosting Home Value
Home values are, for better or worse, directly tied to location. A house with the same age, square footage, features, and lot size might be worth $90,000 in rural Mississippi, but $1.5 million in San Francisco.
Although location may set the upper and lower limits on your home’s value, you have more control over other factors. By doing the following, you can boost your property’s value and enjoy more return on your investment.
Improve Curb Appeal
First impressions are significant in real estate … and that goes both ways. If a prospective buyer pulls up to the house and is totally turned off by the sight of weeds, overgrown shrubs, rotting wood on the front porch, and trash in the yard, it’s going to be a challenge to get a full-price offer (even if the visitor likes the rest of the property).
On other hand, if that same potential buyer pulls up and is blown away by how neat, clean, and beautiful the yard and front porch are, you’ll have some margin of error to work with. Your visitor will be much more likely to overlook small issues and still put up a competitive offer.
So spend some time and money pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, mulching beds, planting flowers, pressure-washing hardscapes, and repainting shutters, doors, and trim work. You’ll get your money back and then some.
Modernize Dated Features
“While most design issues are cosmetic and can be fixed, the average buyer has a hard time seeing through things they don’t like,” Green Residential points out. “In today’s market, dated design trends like wallpaper, popcorn ceilings, wooden paneled walls, glass blocks in the bathroom, vertical blinds, and shag carpet will keep you from getting top dollar.”
Walk around your house and do a critical search for design elements that no longer look contemporary. You may need a fresh set of eyes to do this, so feel free to ask your real estate agent to come along. In most cases, you’ll see a positive ROI if you address these problem areas.
De-Clutter and De-Personalize
According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, sellers can take a number of simple steps to increase the sale of their home just before listing. “One agent surveyed recommended that you prepare your house as if your boss were coming for dinner,” 415 Group explains.
“It’s also important, they say, to depersonalize the house of family photos so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the home. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, professional organizers can be hired to help.”
Know When to List
Certain times of year are better for selling than others. Though every individual market may have its own particular peaks and valleys, Zillow points out that the first half of May is generally the best month to sell, and Saturday the best day of the week to list.
|“Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more, compared to average points in the year,” Zillow goes on to say.|
Get More Bang for Your Buck
Be careful not to settle during the process of negotiating a final price. You may be in a hurry to move and buy another property, but it would be unwise to rush at this critical point.
These tips should provide you with a better idea of what it looks like to be intentional about selling your home.