Home Sellers: Cut to the Chase in Home Repairs and Enhancements

Here is my January 2011 newsletter, which you can also find here.

It’s a good idea for home sellers to be on their toes to give their homes maximum appeal. Not only should sellers complete the home repairs they know must be made, they can also hire a certified home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate their properties.

If this inspection results in a fix-it list, review the list with your real estate professional to establish necessities and priorities. Depending on your budget and objectives, you may want to repair only items that could cause significant deterioration to your property, such as a leaky roof. Ideally, the closer you can get your home to “move-in-ready” status, the more likely you are to attract today’s cautious and discerning buyers.

Among the most common repairs and enhancements yielding immediate buyer appeal include:

Paint inside and outside in neutral colors
Steam clean or replace carpets
Polish or replace hardwood floors
Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms
Replace light fixtures
Change light bulbs throughout and replace wall-switch covers
Repair dripping faucets
Fix sticking doors
Repair broken fencing

Home sellers wanting to do more may want to consider the findings of Remodeling Magazine’s 2010-’11 Cost vs. Value Report, released in December 2010. The survey used input from REALTORS in 80 cities to rank home remodeling projects according to those that bring the greatest cost recovered at sale.

Many of the top projects focus on exterior replacements, as replacements are generally less expensive than other types of projects and they add all-important curb appeal – essential for today’s competitive market or any other.

The Top Five projects in the Cost vs. Value Report include:

No. 1 – Entry door replacement (steel)
No. 2 – Garage door replacement (four-section door, reuse existing motorized opener)
No. 3 – Siding replacement (fibre-cement siding)
No. 4 – Kitchen remodel (minor: new cabinet doors, drawers and hardware, plus new energy-efficient appliances, flooring, counters, sink and faucet)
No. 5 – Deck addition (wood)

When the dust clears and projects are complete, be sure that you and your real estate professional document your repairs and enhancements, and share the report with prospective buyers. Walk prospects through the enhancements and include their costs.

A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make enhancements helps ensure your home is presented in its best-possible light, primed for sale.

Mike Giesbrecht can be reached at 604-787-9197. Prudential Sussex Realty is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential company.

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