Every homeowner wants to boost the value of their home. In order to help you narrow down what to do in order to get the most bang for your buck we found this article. We hope it helps!
This is a great time to be selling a house???or buying one. With housing prices at recent highs (in some neighborhoods they???re exceeding pre-2008 valuations), it???s no wonder about 5.3 million homes are expected to change hands in 2015, up about 30 percent from the bottom of the crash, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Buyers as well as sellers can benefit. That???s because purchasing a home is comparatively cheap right now, thanks to still-low interest rates (they recently dipped below 4 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage). ???A home buyer with the U.S. median income who buys the median-priced home will pay 15.3 percent of their income on their mortgage now,??? says Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, the online real estate marketplace. ???The historical number is 22.1 percent.??? And although home prices will continue to climb in 2015, they???re expected to do so at a slower rate than in 2014.
So how do you make the most money, no matter which end of the transaction you???re on? For answers, the Consumer Reports National Research Center turned to the people most in the know for answers???the real estate professionals who broker almost 90 percent of residential sales.
A panel of 303 pros from around the country (covering markets big and small, hot and cold, city and suburban) completed our recent online survey, filled with essential questions: What are the costliest mistakes sellers make? When is the best time to put a home on the market? How negotiable are broker???s fees, really?
The answers may surprise you. If you???re a seller, advice from the pros on smart presale fix-ups, coupled with our expert product ratings and tips, can help you get the best sales price for your home???an additional 12 percent, on average. With median single-family home prices hovering at about $205,000, that???s a potential gain of $24,600. In pricier markets, the profits will go many times higher.
And both buyers and sellers can come out ahead with our guide to savvy financial and negotiating moves. Avoid the most typical mistakes and you could gain 11 to 20 percent, and even more in some markets, of the home sale???s price.
April through June is prime home-selling season. So let???s get started!
Spruce up the kitchen
Cost range: $300 to $5,000
Potential return: 3 to 7%
It???s a real estate adage that the kitchen, more than any other room, sells the home. In fact, 53 percent of real estate professionals told us that the kitchen is among the most important rooms of the home to have in good shape before selling.
But that doesn???t mean you should drop tens of thousands of dollars on a new one before putting your house on the block. ???Given all the volatility in the real estate market, you can???t spend megabucks on any project, even a kitchen, and expect to get that money back,??? says Bill Wilson, a real estate professional in upstate New York. His first advice to clients is to make all of those minor repairs that can lead to serious second thoughts for buyers???the leaky faucet, the loose light fixture, the burn mark on the countertop.
Once you???ve made the kitchen fully functional, think about a gentle spruce-up. For a few hundred dollars, you can probably paint the walls, update the cabinet hardware, and add new curtains, which will give the space a clean, fresh look.
If the kitchen is badly outdated, increasing your bud??get to $5,000 might make sense, especially if you could be in the home for a few more years. A couple thousand dollars will get you a top-performing refrigerator, range, and dishwasher, all with popular stainless-steel finish. New countertops and floors will cost about the same, especially if you go for DIY-friendly laminate and vinyl, both of which proved very hard-wearing in our countertop reviews and flooring tests. That will leave about $1,000 for odds and ends, such as light fixtures and a new faucet, as well as any necessary labor costs.
Paint the rooms???selectively
Cost range: $100 (DIY) to $1,000 (pro)
Potential return: 1 to 3%
A fresh coat of paint is the quickest way to transform a room. But it probably doesn???t make sense to have your entire house repainted prior to putting it on the market. ???I???ve seen people spend three, four, even five thousand dollars on a massive paint job, when all they needed to do was hit the walls with a Magic Eraser and maybe redo one or two rooms,??? says Redfin???s Bree Al-Rashid. (Sixteen percent of real estate professionals said interior painting is an important element in fostering the sale of a home.)
Kitchens and bathrooms are two candidates for a complete paint job given the high traffic they see. You should also paint any brightly colored rooms. ???Most people do not have the vision of what a room could look like, and instead they walk away and later say, ???Oh, that???s the house with the purple bedrooms,????????? says Kim Parten, a real estate pro from Horseshoe Bay, Texas. ???I???ve had homes not sell, or sell for less, because of purple bedrooms.???
Whites and off-whites tend to attract the most buyers; the neutral palette allows them to focus on a home???s attributes. ???Grays and beiges are both very reliable,??? says Al-Rashid. ???They???re not too warm, not too cold, and they work with most types of furniture, so buyers will be able to see themselves in the space.???
As for the paint itself, if you???re getting your home ready to sell, choose a paint that does a good job of hiding old paint and leaves a fairly smooth surface; several in our interior paint Ratings meet those requirements for less than $30 per gallon. Invest in a top-quality product if you???re planning to be in the home for a while. Our tough tests, which include scrubbing the finishes with harsh abrasives, found eight winners. Because a brand???s flat, eggshell, and semigloss formulations perform similarly overall, we???ve combined the scores into one to simplify the process.
You can paint the walls yourself or pay a pro about $300 per room, paint included, with added rooms costing $200, says Debbie Zimmer, a spokeswoman for the Paint Quality Institute.