For most Americans, a sizeable chunk of their net worth is tied up in the value of their homes; the average homeowner invests upwards of 35% of their income in mortgage payments and home maintenance. It’s no wonder then that people count on recouping their investment when it’s time to sell their home. Your home’s sales price ultimately depends on making it attractive to prospective buyers. Curb appeal, fresh paint, and a good location are obvious advantages, but there are also less obvious factors that significantly impact the value of your home.
A High-Maintenance Yard
The yard is the first thing prospective buyers see. You may love your elaborate heirloom rose garden and carefully tended fescue lawn, but potential buyers see lots of yard work and maintenance to look forward to. Conversely, if you’ve neglected your lawn and it’s covered in weeds and dead grass, potential buyers see hard work and expensive landscaping in their future. Plant easy-care grass and appealing low-maintenance flowers and shrubs to increase curb appeal.
School Districts That Don’t Make the Grade
A home in a great school district sells faster and has more value than a home in a less desirable school district. Even buyers without school-aged kids typically prefer a home in a good school district because they’re aware of the impact on the home’s resale value. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if your school district has a less than an ideal rating. Make sure your home is in tip-top shape to improve its sales potential.
When appraisers evaluate your home, they always consider the appearance and condition of surrounding homes. A nasty neighbor can have a huge impact on your home’s value. What’s a nasty neighbor? One who doesn’t keep his home up to the same level as the others in the neighborhood, whether that involves accumulating trash and junk, neglecting the lawn, parking lots of cars on the street, or having a barking dog fenced in the yard.
The smell of smoke is impossible to disguise, not to mention the sticky film that adheres to walls and fabrics. A survey of Canadian realtors showed that sales prices were 29% lower for homes of smokers: A $250,000 home, for example, lost $72,000 in value. Worse still, more than one-fourth of homebuyers won’t even consider purchasing a smoker’s home. If you smoke, stop smoking indoors, and have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned and deodorized before you put it on the market.
Higher Than Average Crime Rates
Neighborhood crime rates affect home values. Potential buyers have access to information about crime levels on the Internet, and most will factor that information into a purchase decision. If crime is on the rise in your neighborhood, or is higher than area averages, be sure to install secure locks on doors and windows. A home security system will increase the value of your home; research shows that neighborhoods protected with personal security alarms have lower crime rates. When you’re ready to buy a home alarm system, SecurityChoice.net shows you ways to protect your home.
This is where it gets tricky. A home should reflect the personality of its owners, and it’s very rewarding to design and decorate your home. However, that trendy ultra-modern concrete and steel kitchen you love could be a deal-breaker for a buyer looking for something more traditional. Kitchens and bathrooms have outsized importance for buyers; keep designs, appliances, and fixtures clean and classic so they work with a range of decorating styles. Also, make sure that additions and renovations are in line with other homes in your neighborhood. Overbuilding rarely adds value and can even detract from your home’s appeal.
Before you contact a realtor to list your house, do a walk-through to see what you can do to increase your home’s sales price. Clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize your home. Fresh and tidy homes command higher sales prices and attract more potential buyers. Addressing the issues above will make sure you get the best price for your home.
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