Have you ever noticed how the decision to sell your home inspires grand ideas for major renovations? Suddenly, you can’t see past all the things you think buyers will hate about your home.
We’re here to set the record straight: You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or weeks of toil and sweat to make a home sale worth your while. With staging—and the help of a high-octane real estate agent you can increase your home’s value without a huge investment.
Does it work? According to the National Association of Realtors, most agents say buyers will pay 1–5% more for a home that’s been staged. That’s a potential $2,000–10,000 added to the value of a $200,000 home!
Want to add a few thousand bucks to your home value? Give these options a whirl. Each of the following scenarios cost less than $300 and can be tackled in just a matter of days.
If you are looking for how to sell a house for more money, you’ve come to the right place!
Option 1: Add Home Value by Neutralizing the Interior
Bob and Judy don’t have to worry about an outdated home. Judy’s a big HGTV fan and regularly works new design trends into her décor. But over the years, her decorating fervor has inspired a different paint color for every room, leaving their open floor plan feeling disjointed.
All they need is a fresh coat of neutral paint to increase the home value and make their home feel light and airy. Bob and Judy don’t have a huge budget, so they decide to tackle the job themselves. They focus on the main living areas and find a bargain on paint and supplies at their local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Option 2: Reclaim Family Spaces
Jim and Karen have three kids under six and have gotten used to their home feeling like a war zone. Baby equipment has taken over their living area, and their dining room serves as extra toy storage. If they want to sell their home, they need to make some changes.
After clearing out the clutter, they cozy up the living room by focusing furniture around the fireplace instead of the TV. New lamps light up dark corners, while fresh flowers, new curtains and throw pillows add an extra punch of color.
Karen tops things off by breaking out her best dishes and linens and using them to dress up the dining table.
Option 3: Transform the Master Suite
Laurel is an empty nester who’s looking to downsize now that her kids are off to college. After years of juggling family and career, she realizes she never took time to create her own space to unwind at the end of the day. She gets to work transforming her master suite into a relaxing retreat.
Laurel’s first order of business is minimization. She organizes her linen closet and packs up off-season clothes and shoes. Her treadmill finds a temporary home in her sister’s basement.
Laurel scours local and online outlet stores for everything she needs to prep her home and increase its value. Fluffy white towels inspire a spa-like feel in the bathroom, and a crisp white comforter set creates a fresh focal point in the bedroom. She completes the look with decorative pillows and a set of matching lamps for her nightstands.
Option 4: Pump Up Curb Appeal
Rob is relocating to another state for his job. His real estate agent recommends dressing up the exterior of his ranch-style home.
Rob starts by washing off the layers of grime that have accumulated over the years. Then he paints his front door red and adds decorative house numbers to give his drab entryway a much-needed facelift. Instead of springing for brand-new porch light fixtures, he rejuvenates his existing ones with a specialty spray paint. A cheery welcome mat and brightly colored flowers might not be Rob’s style, but he knows buyers will love the inviting dose of color on his front porch.
Before the For Sale sign goes up, he mows the lawn, trims all the hedges, and tidies up flower beds with a fresh layer of mulch.
What’s Your Plan to Add More Home Value?
Of course, every home is different. We’ve made some assumptions in these examples. But hopefully you found some inspiration to get you started! You can mix and match ideas you see here or come up with a few of your own.
Just be sure to consult your real estate agent first. A good agent knows what homebuyers in your area are looking for and can point you toward improvements that get the most bang for your hard-earned bucks. Need help finding a qualified agent in your area who can help you sell your home? Contact us today!
With the release of the latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), results show that people selling their houses today are holding strong on price. According to the most recent data, 74% of real estate agents noted that sellers are not dropping listing prices to attract more buyers.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted:
“The housing market faced an inventory shortage before the pandemic. Given that there are even fewer new listings during the pandemic, home sellers are taking a calm approach and appear unwilling to lower prices to attract buyers during the temporary disruptions to the economy.”
This inventory shortage, which spread widely throughout the housing market going into today’s economic slowdown, created an environment where there were not enough homes for sale for those who wanted to buy them, and this holds true with the real estate market in Stephenville, TX and Erath county in general. With that backdrop setting the stage, Yun also notes:
“With the current quarantine recommendations in place, fewer sellers are listing homes, which will limit buyer choices.”
So, with buyer choices already limited going into this season, and more sellers removing listings today, if you’ve been thinking about listing your house, it’s a great time to do so. Many others in your neighborhood may be waiting to make a move or removing their listings, so staying on the market – or jumping into it – could work to your advantage.
Buyers in Stephenville, TX and the Cross Timbers Area, today are serious ones, and with prices holding steady in this low-inventory market, you can feel confident about selling today. Embracing the process virtually, where available, could help your house hit the top of an eager buyer’s list. While your neighbors miss out on this opportunistic time, you don’t have to.
If buyer choices are limited in your Erath county town, city, or neighborhood, selling now may help your listing rise to the top of the pool. Contact on of our Realtors at Preferred Properties of Texas today to make sure you have the expert help you need to succeed in the selling process.
Original article courtesy of https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/
In the Mediterranean, it is very common to see families cooking outdoors. Today, this style of outdoor cooking has become a popular trend in the United States. Homeowners are learning about the joys of using an outdoor kitchen in their own backyards. Have you considered the benefits of adding a patio kitchen to your home? Whether you’re building a new house, or simply making better use of the space you have, creating a place to cook outdoors could be a good investment to make. Here are seven advantages of outdoor kitchens to consider:
1. Good for Entertaining
A top benefit of having an outdoor kitchen is that they’re perfect spaces for entertaining. When food is grilled out on the patio, guests can gather around the BBQ grill and socialize as dinner is being prepared. It might get crowded in an indoor kitchen when everyone hangs out with the cook, but outside there’s much more space. You can increase the comfort for your party guests by adding patio heaters, outdoor furnishings, strings of lights, and some mood music.
2. Increases Value of Your Home
Because of the popularity of this home improvement, remodelers earn a high rate of return on their financial investment. Most of today’s BBQ grills and other patio appliances are made from stainless steel, which makes them able to handle the changing temperatures with the seasons. Stainless steel is also desirable because it is easy to clean. When you have a functional outdoor kitchen, you have an investment you can use and enjoy for many years to come.
3. Saves on Utility Bills
When you’re grilling outside during the summer, your air conditioner won’t have to work overtime to keep your house cool. When you bake, fry, roast, and broil foods in your inside-kitchen, the temperature in your house elevates several degrees, which kicks the AC into overdrive. When you cook outdoors, you will save on energy consumption.
4. Keeps Smells Outside
Some foods smell delicious while they’re cooking, while others are less desirable. When you cook especially odiferous foods such as fish or deep-fried items, those aromas can linger for days. When you prepare the same menu items outside, your house stays fresh smelling.
5. Expands Your Living Space
No need to add on a room with walls and a roof; simply incorporate the space you already have on your back porch. If you have a covered patio, you’re all set to bring in appliances and have the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. In your outdoor cooking area, you and your family members can celebrate birthdays, holidays, or just enjoy the great outdoors.
6. Improve the Taste of Healthier Food
Not only does grilling enhance the taste of food, this cooking technique is better for your waistline, as well. Because fat drips off of meats when they’re grilled, the end result will be healthier and contain few calories from fat.
7. Save Money on Restaurant Meals
When you have your own little patio cooking and dining area in your backyard, why would you want to go out to a restaurant to eat? Eating out at restaurants can drain your bank account pretty quickly, especially if you go out to eat on a regular basis. Every time you opt to dine at home rather than go out for a night on the town, you keep dollars in your wallet.
What You Need
Now that you have seven good reasons to add an outdoor kitchen to your home, you’ll need to make a few plans to get started. First, here’s a list of possibilities to think about including:
- BBQ grill
- Prep surface
- Storage space for food
- Pizza oven
- Ceiling fan
- Entertainment system
You’ll need to give some thought to the design of your outdoor kitchen. For example, ventilation is important, so pay attention to the space above and below your grill. You want the smoke to blow away from your cooking area. Make sure to sketch out the dimensions of your kitchen layout before buying your appliances and accessories. Some additions to contemplate when planning your design are:
Built-in or Portable Grill:
Decide how large of a grill you need or want, and whether you want one that’s permanently positioned or mobile. If you plan to cook for large crowds, you’ll need a larger size, but if you’ll just cook for your family, invest in a smaller BBQ.
How much preparation space will you need in your outdoor kitchen? Plan your countertop space accordingly. Also, make sure you select a product that can withstand changes in weather.
You might need some help designing the layout of your patio cabinets. Don’t underestimate the need for cupboards outdoors, or you will be running back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchen, which will put a crimp in the convenience factor.
Since you will probably be doing much of your meal preparation during the evening hours, you’ll need to have adequate lighting on your patio. You definitely don’t want to be chopping and slicing in the dark. Plus, you need to be able to see your grilled items clearly to make sure they’re rare, medium, or well done.
Having a sink with running water is essential to convenient meal preparation. Install yours near your prep station for ease in clean up and adding liquid to recipes.
You might decide to have a small fridge or a full-sized one. It all depends on how much you plan to store outdoors.
Concrete, natural stone, brick, and tile are good options for outdoor flooring. You don’t want a high-maintenance product outside, but you do want it to be stylish and weather-resistant.
Grill Aids and Dining Accessories
You’ll need aids and accessories to complete your outdoor kitchen, including:
- Outdoor cups, plates, and utensils
- Serving spoons
- Meat thermometer
- Serving dishes
- Outdoor ice machine
- Baskets for grilling vegetables and fish
- Shish-kabob skewers
Once you have your outdoor kitchen up and running, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. If you ever decide to sell your home and move to a new location, your outdoor cooking space will be a sought-after selling feature. Now that you’ve experienced creating this extra space in your abode, you’ll be able to set up a new one wherever you move.
The Realtors at Preferred Properties of Texas in Stephenville in Erath county in the Cross Timbers area of North Central Texas are here to help you buy and sell real estate for over 25 years!
These home improvement projects will make your patio the coolest feature of your home.
Nothing beats having a patio when the weather starts to warm up, and if you’re looking to put your house on the market, it’s a feature that might just tip the scales for a potential buyer. By taking necessary steps to maintain and improve this space, you’ll be giving your house that extra feature that might get you an offer over a similar house down the street.
Don’t Forget to Finish
Thoroughly clean your patio and seal the surface with a glossy protective coating that can handle the weather in your area. In addition to preventing damage, this will give your patio an attractive, finished look.
The last thing you want is for a buyer to ask for additional repairs as a contingency of the sale, especially when most wear and tear can be prevented by taking simple measures. This is a cheap and easy single-day project that can save you a big headache in the long run.
Work on the View
You probably don’t need to do a major landscaping overhaul to get your backyard into shape. Don’t underestimate the power of details that, at the very least, will make the area look like a great blank canvas, like pulling weeds, re-mulching areas, and getting plants manicured.
Add Some Décor
Subtle decorations can make the area seem like a much more livable space to potential buyers. A couple of hanging baskets and potted plants will make a patio more inviting without cluttering it. Put them in places that are out of the way, and make sure they’re not obstacles.
Aim for classic and comfortable with your patio furniture, and if you’re going to be showing off your patio to potential buyers, avoid plastic and/or mismatched furniture. Stick to a theme when you’re considering fixtures and decorations, with color, material, and style.
Light It Up
While you might have a flood light that brightly shines down on your patio space for safety, this isn’t what potential buyers want to see. Powerful lights like this tend to ruin the ambience of the area. Instead, try to add more subtle lighting, such as string or rope lights, if people will be visiting in evening hours.
Consider Making Additions
Additions like planter boxes, awnings, fire pits, and built-in benches take a significant amount of effort and money to install, but are attractive features that will add value to your home. Having space to entertain is a high priority for many buyers, and a patio that is already well-equipped for those activities is a big draw. These features will be memorable as they consider all of their options and prepare to make an offer.
More Quick Tips
- Choose your focal point. Arrange your furniture so that potential buyers are looking where you want them to be while they’re checking out your patio. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer–where do your eyes go first? If you notice you can’t help but look at the garbage cans you’ve tucked in the corner, do something to change that.
- Define your boundaries. Make sure it’s clear where you patio ends. Use furniture and decorations to create a visual division between your patio and the rest of the yard. Adding form and definition to the space will feature the patio as an asset rather than a standard addition to the house.
- Mind the details. If potential buyers are floating around, tuck that grease covered grill away, and pull anything that looks remotely like a weed. Make sure nothing is stopping visitors from seeing the patio’s full potential.
Regardless of what your budget is, by bringing new life to this space, you’ll be creating a feature for your home that will pay off when you’re ready to sell.
Whether you’re putting in new cabinets or gutting the whole kitchen, these tips will give you the 4-1-1 on how to hire a contractor you can rely on.
1. Know Who You Need to Hire
Not all remodeling projects require the same professionals. Some require more than one. Your first step in hiring a contractor will be to know exactly who you need to hire. Contractors may include:
- General contractors: They oversee all aspects of a project including hiring subcontractors for specialized parts of each project, pulling permits, and making sure everything is properly inspected.
- Specialty contractors: These are the contractors who will come out to install products or features. If you buy a new, monster-sized refrigerator that looks more like a spaceship and you need a professional to install it for you, a specialty contractor will do it for you. If you’re only hiring someone to install your new cabinets as part of your kitchen remodel, it will be a specialty contractor.
- Architects: When additions, structural changes, and major changes in home layout are involved, architects come in to draw up the blueprints and aid the general contractor in the technical building aspects of the renovation.
- Designers: Major remodels, renovations, new homes, and additions usually need a to be completely redesigned. But not everyone has the time or the eye to design properly. Designers will transform your new remodel into the space of your dreams.
2. Ask Around for Referrals
The Digital Revolution might be upon us, but when it comes to hiring a reliable contractor for your remodeling project, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned, word-of-mouth recommendation.
Start by asking friends and family if they have had any renovation or remodeling work done in their home recently and what their experience was like. Most people who are close to you won’t mind disclosing costs, but even if they aren’t comfortable with it, they’ll still probably tell you whether or not they were charged a reasonable price. Don’t forget to ask co-workers, neighbors, and have everyone ask around for you, too.
3. Use Reputable Referral Websites
Don’t trust everything you read on the internet. Googling the name of a business isn’t always the most reliable way to check up on their reputation. But there are trustworthy websites that will give you business information as well as reviews on the company and what their experience was like. Sites like Angie’s List have become a popular way for people throughout the country to find dependable and affordable contractors and professionals with confidence.
4. Get More Than One Estimate
A good rule of thumb is to get three estimates for a project, especially when you’re dealing with a bigger job. This will help you to gauge the personalities, work ethic, and price standards of each company and will prevent you from getting ripped off.
If two quotes come back competitive and the third comes back significantly higher, you know you can cut that one off your list. Don’t automatically default to the lowest bidder, though. Make sure to ask plenty of questions about where the money is going.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
When you have each contractor out for estimates, make sure that you ask as many questions that come to mind. A few things to find out include:
- How long the project will reasonably take
- How many times the contractor or company has completed your specific project
- What permits are going to be necessary to complete your remodel and whether or not they’ll be pulling them
- Whether or not they take care of clean up or if that will be left to you.
The more you know about the process of your remodel or renovation, the more confidently you can trust in who you hire.
6. Verify Their Insurance
All reputable contractors will be well insured. Ask to see copies of insurance certifications to make sure they are current and include:
- Personal liability
- Worker’s compensation
- Property damage coverage
7. Ask for References
Any good contractor will be able to give you the names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses of around three clients they have worked for doing projects similar to the one you’re undergoing. Check with these clients and make sure to ask how long it took for their projects to be completed, whether it was completed in time, if they were satisfied with the work done, if the contractor was reliable, and if there have been any problems with the work since having it done.
8. Make Sure They Offer a Written Contract
Don’t ever agree to a business transaction and, above all, never hand over money without a legally binding contract that you have read and agree to. Remember that contract requirements can vary from state to state and some may not even mandate that you have one in the first place. But a good contractor will provide one whether they have to or not. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure the contract includes:
- Who is doing the work; the contractor’s name
- Your name and the address of the work being completed
- Estimated start and completion date
- A price quote for work completed in a specific time frame
- The payment schedule
- The contractor’s agreement to get any necessary permits
- An agreement on how to handle any unforeseen changes, upgrades, or issues
- A detailed, itemized list of materials
- Any promises or agreements that were made between the two of you
- What the contractor will or won’t do, including cleanup and trash removal
- Any limitations imposed by the contractor
9. Keep All of Your Records
Get a folder and label it for this specific project. Use it to keep track of any transactions, contract copies, contract changes, receipts, expenses, and correspondence pertaining to the project. To be even more thorough, keep a log of all of the phone calls, conversations, and meetings you have with the contractor pertaining to the project.
If by chance you do have problems with the contractor or their work, this detailed file will become especially important for you and will serve as your best course of action in getting compensated.
10. Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs
Now that you have a good idea of what you should be looking for in a good contractor, you should also know what to look for in a bad one. Never hire someone who:
- Knocks on your door and asks if you’re looking for a contractor, no matter how much of a discount they offer
- Offers to use leftover materials from previous jobs
- Offers a discount for you paying in all cash
- Pressures you for an on-the-spot answer, or acts too pushy
- Asks you to pay for services up front before work is completed
- Requires you to get the necessary building permits
- Doesn’t have a listed business number listed in a local directory
- Doesn’t have an online footprint (not every company has a website, but you should still be able to find a legitimate trace of a reputable business online)
When you are ready to sell your current home or buy a new one, or maybe looking for a place to build your dream home contact us