By Yuka Kato, owner of fixr.com
Each spring, as we begin to stir from hibernation, the annual home selling and buying cycle begins to ramp up. Many homeowners take advantage of this coveted spring season because these listings can align for a sale between May and August, a period that accounts for 40% of an average year’s total home-selling volume.
Ready to take advantage? These five improvement ideas will help your home stand out and shine during the busy spring season.
First impressions are everything, so as buyers pull up to your home, don’t disappoint! Curb appeal projects come in all shapes and sizes for every budget. Remember, a dirty or unkempt exterior sends the message that your home hasn’t been taken care of properly.
Low and No Cost Options: Tidying lawns and gardens or pressure washing siding can bring an instant and low cost improvement.
Substantial ROI Options: If you have a larger budget, consider replacing garage and entry doors or adding stone veneer. These projects can recoup up to 90% of their investment all while helping to sell your home faster.
Carpet Cleaning or Replacement
Buyers are looking to make as few fixes as possible when purchasing a new home, so if your carpet is old or worn, consider replacing it. Note that many seller agents will tell you that their listing sat on the market until the old carpeting was replaced, and then it sold immediately.
Money Saving Tip: If your carpet still has some life left in it, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to spruce up without replacement. The average cost of professional carpet cleaning is $50 - $75 per room, an investment well worth it.
Today’s buyers love hardwood floors and recent research suggests refinishing hardwood floors will have a big ROI, most likely more than the cost of the project itself. With this in mind, it makes great sense to invest in this area of your home. Whether you tear up existing carpet to expose hardwood, refinish existing floors, or do a new install, your project has the potential to pay back in ROI and a successful sale.
Refinish or New Install? Pricing for refinishing or installing new hardwood floors range greatly depending on multiple factors. If you’re hiring a pro, a refinish can range from $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot; whereas, new installs average $8.00 per square foot. Quality of wood, access of area, and the condition of existing floors all play into the final price. DIY is a less costly option, but not always an easy one to undertake. Consider the nature of the job and whether you have the right skill set to take it on!
Updated lighting not only helps your listing stand out visually but also attracts buyers eager to save energy and electricity costs. Whether you embark on a DIY project or hire a pro, there are multiple ways to enhance your home’s appearance with new lighting. Aside from aesthetics, your home will attract buyers seeking both the safety and energy efficiency benefits that come with today’s programmable smart systems.
Lighting Tip: Lighting upgrades don’t have to remain indoors. Consider enhancing nighttime safety and aesthetics with well placed lighting around walkways, entryways, and in the yard. An average system of 15 to 20 lights with a 600 watt transformer costs about $320 per light, installed. These types of improvements can expand a home’s sense of space - an appealing aspect to buyers.
Stage, Stage, Stage!
Home staging is often an afterthought when it comes to home improvements; however, if you’re looking to list this spring, it may be all you need to stand out. NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging Report says 29% of seller’s agents report an increase of 1%-5% in offer price as compared to similar, unstaged homes and 21% stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home by 6%-10%. Staging the Living Room and Master Bedroom were found to be the most important from a buyer’s perspective. Staging can be done on your own or with the help of your realtor or staging pro. In 35% of reported cases, the seller’s agent has handled the staging process and/or covered the costs which generally range from $300 to $600 for an initial design consultation plus $500 to $600 per month per room, with a minimum three month contract.
Spring Sales Success
There are many ways to improve your home for the spring sale season. If you’re trying to stand out among the competition, consider one of the above for a quick and affordable project that will boost your home’s potential. Some projects require a pro while others can be accomplished quickly and cost effectively on your own.