If you’ve been in your home long enough – and dutifully paid your mortgage – you are quite likely to sell your home for a profit. In general, your first five years of mortgage payments go toward the loan’s interest. So, the longer you live in your home after the five-year mark, the more profit you should be able to obtain. However, these numbers rely on a stable housing market. You must also remember that your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Often selling your home for profit in today’s market comes down to increasing its resale value. Improving value means taking steps to make your home the most sought-after one in the neighborhood. The best real estate agents have this art down to a science. They understand what appeals most to a home buyer and can make sure the important selling points are prominently displayed or can make sure your home adds those selling points before showing it.
Here are some ways you can enhance your home’s resale value and boost your profit:
Stage the inside
If you show your home as-is, a homebuyer may feel like an intruder in someone else’s life. What you want is for them to be able to picture themselves living right there in that home. So, you need to do a little work to depersonalize the interior. Get started by removing personal photos, putting away religious iconography, decluttering shelves and countertops of collectibles, repainting any walls that may have unusual colors that reflect a unique style, and removing anything that is worn out. After you’ve removed yourself from the picture, you can begin setting the stage for your buyers. Place a book and a small plate of cookies on the table next the cozy armchair by the fireplace. Put a comfy throw blanket on the couch in front of the television. Set a fresh bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. Have the dining room table set and looking ready for an enjoyable meal with friends and family. Make all beds in the house and have the top corner of the master bed neatly folded down as if inviting the buyer to rest and forget the troubles of the day. It’s these little touches that can make an emotional connection to the buyer.
Create more space
After depersonalizing the home, go a bit further and create the appearance of as much space as possible. One easy way to do this is by simply brightening colors. Make sure walls are white or another neutral color. Make sure your curtains are made of a light material and are soft in color as well. Once walls are brightened, reduce the number of paintings, pictures, and other decorative items you may have covering them up. Another way to create space is simply to remove excess furniture. Get rid of the extra armchair you keep out of comfort. Anything to give more actual floor space. In an era that favors the open floor plan, do your best to show just how much space your home really has.
Clean your home
Sounds obvious, but remember that an impeccably clean home also seems like an impeccably maintained one. If it seems like you never bothered to clean your baseboards or dust off your fans, how can they trust you to have followed up on regular maintenance of your household appliances or to have properly repaired any troublesome plumbing or roofing tiles? A buyer will find way more value in a home where they don’t see endless maintenance and repair costs in the near future.
Do light maintenance
Just as with cleaning, fixing obvious eyesores makes a home look as move-in ready and maintenance-free as possible. A potential buyer may be willing to pay more for a home they think will cause far fewer headaches than another one. Doing the small things like tightening the crooked cabinet door, fixing the drippy sink, and replacing the cracked window in the back door can pay big dividends.
Pull up the carpet
In today’s market, carpet has fallen out of favor. Carpet can be difficult to maintain. Plus, they can wreak havoc on those with allergies. Many home buyers prefer wood, tile, or other hard surfaces. So your home should receive an immediate boost by tearing up old carpet and having the flooring underneath refinished or replaced.
Boost curb appeal
A master chef will put just as much care into plating a meal as they will cooking it because they know the importance of that visual first impression—this should be the same with a home. Your potential buyer begins evaluating whether or not your home is right for them the moment they pull up to the curb, so serve them up something that looks delicious. Have your driveway and sidewalks pressure cleaned. Replace an old front door with a new one. Freshen up the home’s exterior paint. Clean out unsightly gutters. And don’t forget to landscape; trimming an old tangled tree, straightening hedges and adding some fresh mulch and a few flowers can go a long way.
There are just a few simple ways to help increase your home’s resale value and, in turn, your profit. Another good idea is to hire a professional home inspector to make sure there will be no surprise costs that will eat into your profit as well. Also, enlist the help of a trusted real estate agent to ensure the home is not only staged well but is appropriately priced for the market.