Contractor Tips: What To Fix Before Selling Your Home

Kitchen upgrades can add considerable value to your home.

Residential homeowners who are putting their Montgomery and Bucks County homes up for sale are often faced with the question: should I fix that? While some repairs are required for the sale of a house, others are optional, and some will not benefit the seller. Check out these 9 tips to see how you can get the most added value when selling your home.

1. Give your home a facelift with new paint! Be sure to stick to updated neutrals. Avoid colors that are too bright or too dark. Subtle, neutral colors are best. Buyers want to be able to envision their own style in their potential new home.

2. In Bucks and Montgomery Counties, a good roof is critical.  If your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, this is something that should be taken care of prior to putting the house on the market. With the abundance of homes for sale, buyers are more likely to choose a house that has already had the necessary work done, rather than having to do it themselves.

3. Have you started a project on your house but never got around to finishing it? Now is the time to make necessary repairs and complete anything that was previously started. Unfinished repairs or half completed projects reflect poorly on the home as a whole.

4. Replace old flooring. If you are looking for a more cost effective solution, professional cleaning for carpets may be an option. Carpet that is dated or covered with stains is a big turn off for potential buyers. This goes for vinyl floors as well. If a vinyl floor is old, stained, torn, or has a dingy appearance your best bet is to replace it with clean, neutral vinyl or VCT flooring. If you have ceramic tile floors, be sure to replace any tiles that are cracked or chipped. Clean the grout or re-grout the tile to give a fresh and clean appearance.

5. Kitchens and bathrooms are a major selling point for homes, and opinions vary on whether you should update these areas before selling. Doing an entire renovation to your kitchen or master bath is not necessary, however there are some key changes you can make that will help you sell faster and for more money. In Montgomery and Bucks Counties, kitchen and bathroom renovations return an average of 80 – 100% of costs. A few updates you can make include the following:

  • Install solid surface counter tops in place of existing laminate counter tops  (natural stone, quartz, granite, etc.)
  • Refinish, paint, or even replace cabinets. Go with mid-range upgrades. Luxury renovations usually won’t get you a high return on investment.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom floor is in disrepair, replace it as needed.

6. Exterior cosmetic upgrades are also important. Curb appeal is a major selling point. Buyers are likely to be turned off by a house that looks like it’s in disrepair on the outside, even if it’s beautiful inside. Make small repairs like resurfacing asphalt driveways that have holes, or are crumbling and in disrepair. Patch any cracks in cement walkways or sidewalks. Caulk windows and doors. A nicely landscaped yard with flowers and cut grass will be attractive to potential buyers. If you have overgrown trees or shrubs, take the time to give them a nice trim, or spend a little money on a landscaper to do this for you. It’s a low cost way to greatly improve the appearance of your home.

7. The cold winters and hot summers here in Bucks and Montgomery County mandate keeping your heating and air conditioning units in good working order.  If you have a problematic HVAC system, it would be smart to repair or replace it prior to selling. Buyers will not be willing to pay to upgrade this, and a non-working system can cut a considerable percentage off of your asking price. It’s worth it to pay a professional to fix the issues prior to selling in order to stay at your asking price. When you do get your HVAC system serviced, make sure the company puts a sticker with the service date on the unit so it’s clear to potential buyers that you have already addressed this important issue.

8. If you have previously done any work to your house without a permit that would normally require a permit, now would be the time to get one. This often comes up during inspections and it would be smart for the seller to resolve this issue before going to settlement when it could end up costing you more money.

9. If you have a finished basement you should check with your township to see if a second means of egress is required. Many townships in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, such as Horsham, Warrington, Doylestown, etc. do require this. If it is required, you will save money by having this work completed prior to going to settlement.

It’s easier to sell a house that’s attractive to potential buyers. Small cosmetic touch ups can make a world of difference. Don’t over upgrade. For the most part, luxury upgrades do not sell well and you, the seller, will not get much of a return on the investment. It’s important to keep upgrades within the price range of similar homes. Follow these guidelines to help make the sale of your house successful!

If you’re still not sure what fixes, repairs, and replacements make the most sense for your home, call us.  Souder Brothers Construction can help you make the right decisions to minimize your budget and sell your Montgomery or Bucks County home fast. Buying a new house that needs work? Souder Brothers specializes in residential renovations.

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