March 2015 Blogs

Proven Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home:

Heed these 8 suggestions from real estate pros to ensure your property fetches the highest possible price.

I’m no real estate investor, but I’ve bought and sold two houses in my time (one on my own and one with an agent), and what I can tell you from those experiences is that little things mean a lot when it comes to selling your home and getting a great price for it.

But if everything counts and you have only so much time and money to invest, how do you know where to start to get your home for-sale ready and to fetch the best price?

The good folks at Consumer Reports National Research Center set out to answer just that, with an online survey of 303 real estate professionals from around the country.

As we head into the hottest selling months and with 5.3 million homes expected to change hands this year, we thought it might be nice to get our own answers to help you leverage all you can against the competition.

1.  Stage and declutter your home

One of the panel members Consumer Reports consulted was the former executive producer for This Old House, Massachusetts real estate agent and renovation consultant Bruce Irving.

(He knows his stuff: the guy has been interviewed by Oprah protégé Nate Berkus, and The New York Times called him “the house whisperer.”)

“Do all the work necessary to make your property look good, not through expensive changes but through excellent staging,” says Irving. “Your agent should be able to provide proper advice and even bring in a professional.”

That means clearing out clutter.

“I have a gal who I send into listings to declutter and depersonalize for sellers and just tidy things up using the sellers’ own possessions for the most part,” says Karen Wallace, an agent with Lyon Real Estate, located in Auburn, CA.

Tara Miller of Tarabell’s Designs in Portland, OR, is just such a gal. She helps homeowners and agents stage their houses for maximum sales appeal. Miller points out that people who don’t keep up on needed repairs end up spending the most when it comes time to readying a home for sale.

“It’s remarkable what regular home maintenance, cleanliness, and minimizing clutter in your everyday life can do for you when it comes time to sell.”

She also notes that staging a home is very different from designing or decorating. “It’s a tough thought, but not everyone likes your pets, hobbies, sports teams, or religion.”

2.  Clean it up!

“If it’s dirty, it will not sell — even if it’s a great place,” says Kathy Partak, a real estate agent with Select Estate Properties in Auburn, CA.

In fact, surprisingly, most of the agents we spoke with focused on overall cleanliness and space in the home as the biggest factor in selling your home.

And cleanliness pays off, according to Consumer Reports: cleaning and decluttering can deliver a 3% to 5% return on investment, and this is something you can do yourself.

When showing your home, Irving adds, “Raise window blinds, lower toilet seats — make sure the place looks at least as good as it would if you were having your boss over for dinner.”

3.  Enhance your curb appeal

First impressions sell your home. As soon as a potential buyer drives up to your house, she’s making judgments — and a yard in disarray or untrimmed bushes could cost you.

“Exterior space is ‘free’ extra square footage and is so appealing to buyers,” says Wallace. “It pays to enhance it.”

But if your staging budget doesn’t include the outdoors, Partak suggests making the most of the walk from the car to the entry.

“Make it look nice from the curb with some easy potted or planted flowers to trim the walkway.”

4.  Pay attention to details

The details that you may believe are minor can turn out to pack a wallop for your home’s sale. For Irving that includes everything from paint touch-ups throughout the house to a full redo of public rooms.

“Wash your windows, replace compact fluorescent bulbs with incandescent or halogen, and remove or minimize personal photographs,” he says.

If you have a little money to invest, Partak suggests upgrading to energy-efficient windows, appliances in the kitchen, and adding solar. “These are always the things that bring in more money.”

5.  Refresh your kitchen and bath

Don’t forget the most important rooms in your home: the kitchen and bathroom. Consumer Reports estimates that you can increase your home’s value by as much as 7% by renovating these rooms.

If you don’t have renovations in your budget, Kristen Kohnstamm, principal broker and co-owner of Dunthorpe Properties, a luxury real estate firm in Portland, OR, recommends fresh paint, a low-hanging opportunity to freshen up your space and potentially lift your asking price.

Choose a neutral palette to increase the appeal to as many tastes as possible; buyers need to be able to easily visualize themselves living in the home. But don’t invest too much time or personality in things like paint and new carpeting.

“The worst thing you can do is put lots of money into things like carpet, paint, and other aesthetics that a new homeowner will likely want to change,” says Kohnstamm.

6.  Refresh your kitchen and bath

When it comes to the listing, make sure your real estate agent offers great photos that show your home in its best light. First impressions can make all the difference to someone sitting at home on the computer.

And when it comes to open houses and showings, Irving suggests you “absent yourself” because sellers can sometimes get in the way of a sale by taking things too personally.

7.  Don’t DIY everything

Irving’s top tip includes a good finger wagging at people like me, who think they can DIY a home sale and still come out ahead.

“First and foremost, for correct pricing, widest and best marketing, and the highest price, hire a real estate agent,” says Irving.

8.  Try not to take it personally

While this tip won’t necessarily increase your home’s value, it will certainly speed up the sale.

Kohnstamm cautions first-time sellers to temper their emotions when it comes to the sale of their home.

“Whatever comments are [made] about your home, they’re never intended as a personal affront. Remember, everyone has different tastes, but clean and well maintained never goes out of style.”




CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE HOME PAGE

MLSLincolnWestonRealty

BUYING ADVANTAGES

  • Approximately 45,000 Mass. Listings!
  • Prompt Online Showing Requests
  • Most Professional Buyer Representation
  • Top-Notch Agents to Serve You
  • Over 30 Years Experience
  • Easy Click for Showing
  • Virtual Drive Around the Neighborhood
  • Spectacular Map Search
  • View All Property Listing Specs!

MLSLincolnWestonRealty

SELLING ADVANTAGES

  • Professional, Experienced Sales Force!
  • World-Wide, On-Line Exposure
  • Expert Real Estate Resources
  • Unmatched Property Valuation Methods
  • Specialized High-End Property Services
  • NO FEES unless we are successful
  • State-of-the-Art Marketing Strategies
  • We have the Most Important Selling Tips
  • We Respect your needs: Timing and Price

FEATURED INFORMATION

Take a Journey into the BEST BUYING or SELLING EXPERIENCE you will ever have! CALL US TODAY!
Tell us where you want be
and we will find you a home to
BUY!
Tell us where you are
and we will
SELL your home for you!

Homes for Sale In Lincoln MA

With previous property ownership and devel- opment experience in Lincoln, Mass., MLSLincolnWestonRealty possesses the direct knowledge and skills to help you thoroughly understand the real estate climate in Lincoln, MA, make the right decisions, and buy or sell a home with confidence. Our buyer or seller representation is unsurpassed anywhere in the State. With a limited inven- tory of homes for sale in Lincoln, MA, you need the best advice possible. Please contact us during our extended hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Boston and Vicinity

Whether it's homes for sale in Lincoln, Mass., homes for sale Weston, Mass. or anywhere else in the Boston, Massachusetts area, MLSLincolnWestonRealty is devoted to being the best real estate brokerage firm anywhere in Massachusetts. Our techno- logical sophistication and innovations, over thirty years experience in sales, property management, development, renting and leas- ing in both residential and commercial/ industrial real estate are just some of the reasons you simply must give us a try. You'll be very glad you did!  CALL US TODAY!

Homes for Sale In Weston MA

In this dynamic and exclusive market MLSLincolnWestonRealty offers the most powerful tools, professional service and invaluable expertise to find the right home for you if you are shopping for houses for sale in Weston, MA. Our extensive experience within the Weston, Mass. real estate market makes us the best choice for marketing your house for sale in Weston, Massachusetts Our extended hours and passion for our work are only some of the reasons we will do a better job for you than any other real estate broker out there.

Scope of Services

MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides expert real estate and relocation services for residential real estate, single-family homes, high-end luxury homes, condominiums, multi-family homes, rental properties, mobile homes, commercial/industrial real estate, land, business opportunities, and much more with special emphasis in Weston, Lincoln, Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Lexington, Wayland, Sudbury, Concord, Cambridge, Boston, Belmont, Sherborn, Dover, Needham, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Hopkinton, Holliston, Hyannis, Falmouth, Cape Cod, Cape Ann, Metro West, North Shore, South Shore and all other surrounding greater Boston and Massachusetts communities. MLSLincolnWestonRealty can also assist buyers and sellers with their specific real estate needs throughout the entire State of Massachusetts. We are the premier luxury residential real estate brokerage firm.

With an Exclusive Buyer Agency relationship, MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides our loyal and dedicated home buyers with the absolute best tools, resources, services, skills and expertise to provide them with tremendous savings and great satisfaction with their real estate purchases. Finding the right home and making the right home purchase are not always easy, but with MLSLincolnWestonRealty at your side every step of the way your chances of success with buying the right home in Massachusetts will increase exponentially.

As a highly skilled listing real estate agency, MLSLincolnWestonRealty provides our home sellers and other clientele with unparalleled knowledge, marketing programs and hard work to succeed with the sale of real estate in Massachusetts. This turn-key real estate power-house will enable you, the seller, to obtain a premium market price for the sale of your real property in the least time possible.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING TOPICS and AREAS: Homes for sale in Lincoln MASS., Homes for sale in Weston MASS., Weston MASS. Homes for Sale, Lincoln MASS. Homes for Sale, Boston Mass. Homes for Sale, Weston MASS. Real Estate, Lincoln MASS. real estate, Boston Mass. Real Estate, Massachusetts real estate listings, Massachusetts Real Estate Agent, Boston, Mass. Real Estate, MLSLincolnWestonRealty, MLS, Lincoln MASS., Concord MASS., open houses, school and community info, agents, offices, realtors, MLS listings, properties, home search, residential, land, adult community, mortgage, pre-approval, interest rates, relocation, moving, MA, Online Home Search, Find Homes Online, Mass Real Estate, Boston Homes, Cambridge, Mass. Real Estate, Massachusetts Real Estate, Massachusetts Homes PETER GOTTLIEB, BROKER/AGENT
(781) 235-7727