Our Easy Guide To Increasing Your Home's Value This Selling Season

We’ve all heard the old adage that success is the result of preparation and opportunity.  If you’re thinking of selling your home in the next few months, you’re probably hoping for a bit of success when it comes to listing your home.  You hope that it will show well, you hope to get offers quickly after it hits the market and you hope for a smooth transaction.  We can give you those opportunities, but if you want success, follow our easy guide to increase the value of your home and prepare for this year’s selling season.

  1. Organize, clean and declutter.  This probably falls under that list of things you’ve been meaning to do since last year, but having a clean and clutter free space is of paramount importance.  Not only does it lend the notion that the house has been well-maintained, but also that it’s bigger in size.  GT tip: when it comes to closets, if you can’t see the floor, or the back of the closet, you have too much stuff.  Take this opportunity to decide what’s going to the new house, and what’s going in the garbage.
  2. Lighting is everything.  Any decent real estate agent is going to run around and turn on the lights before their homebuyers walk through the door.  Not just because it feels more like a home, but also to see the dark areas better.  Ideally, you’ll want three sources of light: overhead lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting.  Make the investment in recessed lighting in the common rooms if there isn’t any.  Add task light lamps to bedside tables and desks, or pendants above dining tables and kitchen sinks, and add mood lighting such as art lights or dimmers.  GT tip: use halogen, or spot light bulbs, as opposed to flood lights, in your recessed cans during the time it’s on the market.  Spot lights produce a narrow beam of light, and can completely transform the look of the house.
  3. Get an inspection.  Knowing what repair requests a buyer might make ahead of time can add huge value to your home and make it far more appealing.  An inspector can point out any plumbing leaks,  electrical problems, leaky windows, furnace issues.  This could save you a lot of time and money down the escrow road.
  4. Paint.  You don’t want homebuyers pulling up to your house only to be disappointed that their realtor brought them here.  You want them to be excited to see what’s inside.  The biggest point of reference is going to be the exterior facade of the house.  Most homebuyers are going to be ok with painting an interior room here or there, but not the whole house.  A fresh coat of exterior paint will help add that wow factor.  GT tip: make your home stand out in photographs online by balancing light and dark colors on the outside.  A light neutral color paired with a darker trim is bound to be eye catching when homebuyers are flipping through homes online.  If your interior walls are pink or yellow, we commend you for trying to select a neutral shade, but if it dominates the whole interior, you’re better off painting it.
  5. Replace dirty and worn out carpet.  You may have chosen shag carpet 10 years ago for it’s style and comfort.  Chances are, it’s worn down and the dog has had a few accidents.  Choosing an inexpensive carpet as replacement is sure to add value to your home that buyers can see firsthand. GT tip: choose carpet that’s in stock.  It’s generally less expensive, and has shorter lead times.
  6. Improve the most important rooms.  The kitchen and the master bathroom are generally considered the two rooms that homebuyers are most attracted to.  This doesn’t mean you need to take out a loan to renovate the kitchen, it just means do a bit of updating–paint the cabinets, replace outdated countertops with a simple granite, and add stainless panels to any black or white appliances. GT tip: use adhesive title setting matts for an easy way to update your backsplash.

For the Love of Chocolate Covered Bananas

We’re big fans of the diced bananas dipped in dark chocolate at Trader Joe’s.  We’re also big fans of the fact that Trader Joe’s is a stone’s throw away.  We’re even bigger fans of the thought that home appreciation may have a direct correlation to Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s locations, and maybe our chocolate covered bananas.

Two of our most basic needs as humans are food and shelter.  RealtyTrac looked at home values, their appreciation and their adjoining property taxes in U.S. Zip Codes with a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to determine the best combination of food and shelter.  Both stores have a cult following, but does that cult follow lead to greater appreciation?

The study found that homeowners near a Trader Joe’s have experienced better home value appreciation since their original purchase, but also pay higher property taxes on average.

Here’s what we also found in the report:

Homeowners near a Trader Joe’s have seen an average 40 percent increase in home value since they purchased, compared to 34 percent appreciation for homeowners near Whole Foods.

Homeowners near a Trader Joe’s pay an average of $8,536 a year in property taxes, while homeowners near a Whole Foods pay an average of $5,382 per year.

Included in the methodology of the report is the fact that only zip codes with at least one OR the other were taken into account.  Neither zip code had both.  There’s much more to take into account in considering average home value and appreciation, but the thought is interesting.

For more information visit www.realtytrac.com