Living in your home and selling your home are two completely different mindsets, especially when it comes to repairs and updates.
Home repairs are inevitable which means we can and should plan for them. Just as you set aside a budget for property taxes and insurance keep in mind that you need to invest in the continual maintenance of your home. Between 1%-4% of your home’s purchase price is usually recommended for annual maintenance with the older homes falling on the higher end of that range and newer homes falling on the lower end. Make a list of your mechanicals, appliances, and other big ticket items notating when they should be serviced, the estimated cost of service, and use it to set calendar reminders for yourself. Maintenance work and repairs should be completed as they arise and detailed records of service should always be kept. Finding good and trusted contractors can take time, especially during peak seasons, but it is absolutely in your best interest to ensure the job is done right the first time which will hopefully eliminate any unnecessary costs down the road.
Maybe you’re not intending to sell your home anytime soon but if selling became a necessity and you’ve neglected the maintenance, this will only increase your stress, especially if you are on a tight timeline. How would your home rate among buyers in its current state? Would they see dollar signs the moment they pull into your driveway in the form of your roof sagging, paint chipping, or concrete buckling?
Updates are also extremely important to increasing the value of your home and cause a lot less strain on your time and wallet when you tackle them in stages.
Styles change frequently, so if you are contemplating updating your countertops, flooring, or cabinets, research what buyers are looking for in today’s market or talk to a local expert for advice before moving forward.
When living in your home, you want to make it your own so that it reflects your specific style and tastes. The problem arises when you go to sell. In our business we frequently come across homeowners that have spent thousands of dollars on a style-specific choice, like paint color, only to have to turn around and spend money neutralizing that space for buyers prior to listing. Buyers should view your home as their potential home. In order to accomplish this, buyers need to see your home as a house, depersonalized and neutral.
Creating a neutral environment for buyers is essential. The real question going through a buyer’s mind when they view your home is how much money would I have to spend to make it my own? The higher that number is, the less likely it is your home will sell quickly and for your target rate. Buyers can do anything with neutral. The workload in their mind instantly decreases. Give them every reason to say yes to your home.
As of 2019, sellers across the nation spend on average around $6,500 on services to help prepare their home for the market. Not everyone has that kind of savings lying around before they go to sell. If you’re going to be selling in the next few years now is the time to decipher between the projects you wanted to accomplish while you were living in the home and the projects that will actually increase your home’s value in a buyer’s eyes.
Olivia Andrade is a Certified Real Estate Stager and the Business Manager at Beyond Staging. To learn more about why we believe every home should be Market-Ready prior to listing, visit us at www.beyondstagingmi.com