Selling a home was difficult even before the market started to slide. Now every penny counts more than ever — which means that every leaky window, every dangling gutter and every ugly cabinet can make a big difference in the price of your home. Here is a list of what to do — and what not to do.
Kitchen — DO:
- An open layout
- Newer matching appliances, stainless steel
- Extra perks like small beverage refrigerators, dual dishwashers, instant hot water and a central vacuum clean-out
- Granite counter tops
Bathroom — DO:
• New fixtures and mirrors
• A freshly painted tub if necessary
• Natural light
• Good ventilation
• New or refaced cabinetry
Exterior — DO:
- Pick plants that are evergreen and perennial so your yard always has pops of color.
- Put in new exterior light fixtures.
- Add on extra touches like shutters or planter boxes to give your exterior charm.
- Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
- Keep grass and landscaping healthy and not overgrown.
- Replace worn-out fencing.
DO pay attention to low-cost finishing touches that can make a big difference. Peeling or chipped paint, mildew, exposed insulation or pipe insulation and visible dry rot are small details that your appraiser is sure to notice. If you have a basement, make sure there are no signs of water leaks, moisture or mildew. Visible evidence will get mentioned in the appraiser’s report.
DON’T worry about changing features that are common for the home’s age and area.Appraisers do take into account the way the home functions in the area and for its age.
Before your appraisal:
DO make a list of recent improvements to your home. Think big and small here — this can range from renovating the kitchen to painting your deck. Make sure your appraiser has a list when comparing your home to others in the area.
DO talk to your appraiser before the inspection. Discuss your house and its history. Find out the appraiser’s history, number of years in business, and knowledge of the area.
DON’T try to predict your appraised value based on listings in your area. There are far too many factors to be taken into account here.
DON’T stage it for the appraiser. There’s no need to do staging until you begin showing your home to buyers. Straightening up and doing light cleaning for the appraiser is fine, but not necessary.