What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

If there is one question I hear from home sellers over and over it is, “What changes can What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?I make to get more money for my home at resale?” I’ve had some say they were going to add a pool, do a major kitchen remodel, completely gut and remodel a bath, and I always say, “STOP!”

You definitely don’t want to add a pool. There is a narrow market of home-buyers who would want a pool. If you’re going to do a major kitchen remodel, do that while you live there so you can enjoy it, and why would you want to do a radical bath remodel? What is wrong with the current bath? Here again, if it needs a remodel, do it while you’re there and can enjoy it.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Minor remodeling gives more bang for the buck.

The kitchen

Minor remodeling of some of the key areas can give more bang for the buck much of the time. Paint, flooring and good lighting can make a major difference in a bath or kitchen. Painting kitchen cabinets can bring them new life, and that has become a thing today. Rather than a $50,000 cabinet replacement, a couple cans of paint and a little patience can go a long way.

Counter-tops are always a plus, but granite counters can run into the thousands quickly, and you may not recoup your costs. Also, granite is porous and can collect permanent stains. A less expensive alternative (not radically less) is quartz. Quartz will not hold on to stains like granite, but it will give the same appeal.

The bathrooms

The bathrooms are another buyer hot-spot. If the bath appliances are dated, you may want to have them replaced, re-glaized or have them repaired. There are companies that can place a cover over an outdated pink tub and make it look brand new. It’s a less expensive option and it accomplishes the same goal. You can also pick up new bath appliances at Habitat for Humanity Restores for a song.

Simple things like a new sink, toilet, toilet seat, towel racks, light fixtures and even a great shower curtain can make a bath look completely different. Paint and flooring are always a plus. Always make sure the caulk around the shower, sink and toilet are fresh and clean. Simple changes can give an 80%-100% return on your efforts.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Throughout the house

There are a few areas that improve your homes appeal with a small investment.

  • New lighting – Consider LED rings for recessed lights, and swap out other light bulbs with more efficient whiter light LED bulbs.
  • New flooring – replace worn and stained carpet.
  • Hardwoods – if you have worn hardwood floors, having them sanded can add a lot of appeal to buyers.
  • Keep everything clean and put away – it makes the house look larger when it is not wall to wall stuff.
  • Make sure the windows can let the light in. Light is your friend.
  • Paint the walls with a neutral color.
  • Better insulation (one of the highest returns)

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Outside

Curb appeal is always a good thing to concentrate on when preparing your home for sale. Landscaping is an inexpensive plus. Make sure your mulch is fresh and spread What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?well. Add a pop of color throughout the flower beds and keep the flower beds weeded throughout the sale period.

Another often overlooked option is the front door. Bankrate.com rates a new entry door as a 90.7% return on the investment. That’s a pretty good return if it causes your home to sell, and it can make a great first impression to your entry.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? What doesn’t return the most money?

  • A major kitchen remodel
  • A basement remodel
  • A family room remodel
  • A major bath remodel
  • An addition
  • New Windows – lower sale return, but a good investment if you’re going to live there.

These are all things that will make the home more enjoyable while you live there, but if you’re doing them to increase your home’s value for resale, you may be giving money away. For instance, a family room addition may not return more than 69% of your investment. A basement remodel is nearly the same at 70%.

Spend your money where you can get the most for the effort and you will be sure to walk way from the closing table happy. Sometimes, less really is more. Always make sure you do your homework before selling your home and find out  where the best return is for the sale. When you’re ready to sell your home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

 

 

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report – 11/2016

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report – November 2016

Well, there are 11 down and 1 to go. Months, that is. The Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market is back in stride after the election slowdown. November still had signs of an election hangover, but like an Alka Seltzer and a good nights sleep, time will cause that hangover  to fad away over the next weeks.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: By the numbers

The overall sales for November 2016 (this would be homes contracted in late September, October and early November) were 140. That’s a 10% increase from the same period in 2015. Of that number, Stephens City carried 20% of those sales. Frederick County had 114 sales, and the city of Winchester had 26.

The only lagging number in local real estate sales was the total days on the market. November 2016 showed 109 Winchester - Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report - 11/2016average days on the market compared to 64 in 2015. Here again, an election year affects how the market responds to the uncertainty of an election cycle. Mid-term elections have a very small impact on the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market, but presidential elections can have a large impact on the market.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: What’s in the numbers?

There were a number of very positive changes in the numbers this November. The average sale price is up $23,008 from 2015. The November average sales price was $268,024, compared to $245,016. Home prices have been steadily climbing in 2016. A recent Real Estate News article on Realtor.com revealed that home prices have surpassed 2006 numbers.

One of the most encouraging numbers is the distressed properties. Distressed properties are short sales and foreclosures (or REOs). The distressed properties in the 2015 November market were 19% of total sales. In the November 2016 market, that number fell to 8%. Eight to nine percent have been an average for most of 2016. The large decline year to year is another great sign that the market is back on track. Mortgage Daily News reports that negative equity is down 24% year to year.

That is a good sign for home sellers. Buyers will pay a little more for homes in 2017, but home sellers who have been treading water for the past 6-8 years are finally going to get a little relief in their ability to sell at a profit.

As noted above, the only negative numbers for November relate to the days on the market, and it is reasonable based on historical facts to pin that increase in days on the market to the election uncertainty. Peering into 2017, the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market looks poised to have a great year.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: Get a home-buying-selling advantage in 2017

If you’re a buyer or seller in the in the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market, make sure to call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. We are your local real estate sales pros.

 

Make your home inviting when you list it to sell.

Make your home inviting when you list it to sell.

Make your home inviting when you list it to sell. That makes sense, right? But, how do you do that? If you are still living in your home, there are many ways to make your home inviting, but let me give you my favorite simple inexpensive ways to do it.

  • Make sure you have the lights on when a potential buyer shows up. Light is make your home invitingalways your friend. You want to set the mode for a buyer to feel like he/she is coming in from the day.
  • Have paddle fans on low to move air and keep the rooms comfortable.
  • Make sure it’s clean and smells fresh. No incense. No burning scented candles. No air fresheners unless they are extremely faint. A clean smell is better than a perfumed smell. You don’t want it to smell like bleach, but you want it to smell fresh and clean.
  • Leave a music channel on your stereo (do people still have those) or on your TV as background noise. Keep it to something smooth and soothing like a smooth jazz or classical (especially strings, no vocals) station. You don’t want it to be loud, but you want it to be noticeable.
  • Make sure the bathrooms have fresh towels neatly folded over their towel bars.
  • Make the beds and stage them with throw pillows.
  • Keep your closets neat and arranged. Shoes in order. Clothes neatly hung. Shelves should not disheveled, but arranged orderly.
  • Make sure your dresser drawers are closed with no clothes hanging out.
  • In the kitchen, keep the counters clean and free of unnecessary items. Keep the cabinets closed and neat inside. Buyers may open them to see what the inside is made of.
  • Leave a list of upgrades on the kitchen counter so buyers will know right away how you cared for your home.
  • You may also want to leave a list of when your systems were replaced or serviced. A water heater, furnace, roof or other big-ticket item is always a concern for a buyer. If you’ve maintained those items regularly, or if you’ve replaced them recently, let the buyer know that.
  • Keep a bowl of snacks available for buyers to enjoy. Make it simple like mini-candy bars, mints or some sort of hard candy. Avoid cracker type treats. Leave a welcoming note encouraging the buyers to enjoy a snack.
  • Put sports equipment away, and freshen sports clothes, bags and shoes to avoid unnecessary odors. I have two sons, and I can tell you that some of those sport clothes, bags and shoe smells could send a buyer running out of a house.

You can see how simple it can be to make your home inviting. It doesn’t have to be a big financial investment. You want the buyers to feel welcome when they walk through the door. You want them to imagine coming home after a day away and sensing the comfort of being home. Make your home inviting, and it will sell. When you’re ready to sell, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

Make your home inviting when you list it to sell.

Winchester, VA Real Estate Market Update – November 2015

The Winchester, VA real estate market made its typical seasonal adjustment in Nov 2015 ChartNovember 2015. The total number of homes sold was 111 with 16.3% of them being distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The distressed sales were down .3% from the same period in 2014. The numbers show a consistent pattern year to year.

The only concern in the numbers from October to November 2015 is a 29% drop is overall sales. In 2014, there was also a drop, but it was only 13% showing a consistent seasonal change. What accounts for the 16% difference year to year? It may come back to inventory.

There are currently 735 homes available on the Winchester, VA real estate market. That number is still higher than a stronger local market would have. Excess inventory can create a small shift in the number of days buyers have to buy which creates a big difference in the number of homes sold. Homes are sitting on the market an average of 14 days longer than the same period just a year ago. Two weeks during a season where the weather is changing daily and daylight is limited can add up to less sales and longer days on the market. At this point, the market is following a consistent pattern with a few exceptions.