Most sellers know of some repairs that need to be made to their home, and a lot of sellers have many items on that list, but not all repairs are equal or, rather, not all home improvements rank high in the buyer’s mind.
Finding out which repairs will help you sell your home helps you create a good, solid fix-it list to work on. A study produced by HomeGain aimed to take the guess-work out of where to spend your repair dollars. According to the study, the top four areas to focus on are: clean and de-clutter (see last week’s article: Clutter-Free Helps Sell Homes), lighten and brighten, stage the home for sale, and landscape the front/back yards.
The Return on Investment (ROI) depends on the repair and, in some cases, which part of the country you live in. “In some areas of the country things cost more and some people don’t care about some things as much as others do in other areas,” says Jessica Gopalakrishnan, Sr. Marketing Manager for HomeGain.
Here’s how HomeGain breaks down the ROI for the top four repairs. Cleaning and decluttering can create a 578 percent ROI (the highest return was 837 percent in the West). The ROI for staging a home was 340 percent (this category ranked second in the South and Mid-West). Landscaping the front and back yards, brought in a 415 percent ROI. According to the survey, each of these repairs range in cost from a few to several hundred dollars but can return thousands in profit.
Rounding out the study’s top-ten list of repairs are: Repair electrical or plumbing problems, replace or shampoo carpeting, paint interior walls, paint exterior walls, repair damaged flooring, update kitchen and bathrooms. Gopalakrishnan says routine maintenance can help too.
“Not washing the windows is something so simple but a big mistake that homesellers make,” says Gopalakrishnan. Another top mistake is covering up or neglecting care of the floors. “If they leave a dirty carpet on the floor that would be a mistake,” says Gopalakrishnan. She adds that a key strategy for staging a home is to, “lift up the carpets and show off those nice floors — give them a quick shine and clean them up first.”
When you make the above repairs costing approximately $5,000 – $8,000, HomeGain, says that prices, for example, on a three bedroom, two bathroom home can result in price increases: in the West, as high as $22,762; in the East, as high as $23,532; in the South, $21,470; in the Mid-West, $20,279.
“With homes sitting on the market longer, homeowners should do everything they can to sell it quickly and at a price they expect,” says, Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain.
The survey collected information from 2,000 real estate agents across the U.S. To learn more about home improvements visit, homegain.com
The online resource also has a “What If” tool that allows users to hypothetically add a room, bathroom, or even square footage to a home to calculate value estimates on residential properties.
Written by Phoebe Chongchua