5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Selling Your Home
1. I need to redo my kitchen and bathroom before selling.
Truth: While kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of a home, you won’t always get a large return on investment if you do a major renovation just before selling.
Minor renovations, on the other hand, may help you sell your home for a higher price. New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer. Check out comparable listings in your neighborhood, and see what work you need to do to compete in the market.
2. My home’s exterior isn’t as important as the interior.
Truth: Home buyers often make snap judgments based simply on a home’s exterior, so curb appeal is very important.
Many buyers have already been previewing properties online or driving through their target neighborhoods, before they even enlist the services of a real estate agent. If the yard is cluttered or the driveway is all broken up, there’s a chance they won’t ever enter the house — they’ll just keep driving.
The good news is that it doesn’t cost a bundle to improve your home’s exterior. Start by cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and clearing away any clutter. Then, for less than $50, you could put up new house numbers, paint the front door, plant some flowers or install a new, more stylish porch light.
3. If my house is clean, I don’t need to stage it.
Truth: Tidy is a good first step, but professional home stagers have raised the bar. Tossing dirty laundry in the closet and sweeping the front steps just aren’t enough anymore.
Stagers make homes appeal to a broad range of tastes. They can skillfully identify ways to highlight your home’s best features and compensate for its shortcomings. For example, they might recommend removing blinds from a window with a great view or replacing a double bed with a twin to make a bedroom look bigger.
Of course, you don’t have to hire a professional stager. But if you don’t, be ready to use some of their tactics to get your home ready for sale — especially if staging is a trend where you live. An unstaged house will pale when compared to others on the market.
4. Granite and stainless steel appliances are old news.
Truth: The majority of home shoppers still want granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Quartz, marble, and concrete counters also have wide appeal.
Most home buyers just want to steer away from anything that looks dated. When you're thinking of updating or designing a space, you need to decide if you’re doing it for yourself or for resale potential.
If you’re not planning to move anytime soon, decorate how you’d like. But if you’re planning to put your home on the market within the next couple of years, stick to the elements with mass appeal.
5. Home shoppers can ignore paint colors they don’t like.
Truth: Moving is a lot of work, and while many home buyers realize they could take on the task of painting walls, they simply don’t want to. That’s why one of the most important things you can do to update your home is apply a fresh coat of neutral paint. Neutral colors also help a property stand out in online photographs, which is where most potential buyers will get their first impression of your property.
Hiring a professional to paint the interior of a 2,000-square-foot house will cost about $3,000 to $6,000, depending on labor costs in your area. You could buy the paint and do the job yourself for $300 to $500. Either way, if a fresh coat of paint helps your home stand out in a crowded market, it’s probably a worthwhile investment.