At the Whit Harvey Group, we tell out clients time after time: “If your house is not selling, it is one of two things; price or presentation.”
When establishing a listing price, we take many things into account, including:
What is the demand for homes in your area?
What are the listing prices of comparable homes?
What has been the recent sale price for comparable homes?
Most homeowners want to see a return on their investment in improvements, but that return differs, depending upon what has been done.
Whit Harvey is a wonderful consultant on what improvements to make when you’re getting ready to sell your home. He’ll tell you that buyers want to take the basic systems for granted. They assume the roof doesn't leak and the air conditioning and plumbing work. You may have a gorgeous new kitchen, but if your septic system isn’t working, that’s going to be a deal breaker. Money spent on basic home maintenance can be costly, and a buyer will factor that into their decision.
That said, kitchen and bathroom remodels continue to be two of the best investments you can make in your home. They're the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. And they're where people spend time in their homes.
If you're not planning to move in the near future, spend your money remodeling in a way that you'll most enjoy. If you are remodeling with an eye to selling in the current market, research popular trends and current must-haves. If you ARE selling your home, know that you’re taste might not be what is popular now with younger buyers.
For the bathroom:
Walk-in showers have replaced whirlpool tubs in popularity. Floor-to-ceiling steam showers are highly desirable.
Add a second bath, rather than extensive remodel of just one.
For the kitchen:
White is still a big favorite for kitchen cabinets.
Islands come a variety of different paint colors or wood stain colors.
For high-end kitchen countertops, quartz still reigns supreme.
Hardwood flooring is still very popular when it comes to kitchen flooring.
Stainless steel appliances are still popular, but black or matte slate is becoming a trend.
A kitchen that was remodeled 10 or 15 years ago with wood cabinets and granite countertops is already date – and you probably won’t get a return on that huge soaking tub you put in the bathroom.
One investment that rarely pays off is expensive interior design that does not have mass appeal. You may have spent a fortune on custom painting and wallpaper, and elaborate window treatments, but if there is not a buyer with the exact same taste, as yours, they might not be able to see their furniture in place of yours.
As heartbreaking as it may be, better to “neutralize” your home as much as possible, even if it means painting over that deep rich purple that you love with a trending interior color. Pottery Barn is a good resource to discover popular neutral palettes.
Remember, the first place buyers see your home is online. If they don’t like what they see in the photos, they won’t schedule an appointment. You may have a thousand views of your property, but you need to get buyers IN so that they can see the big picture.
That being said, as a buyer, don’t be put off by decorating that is not to your taste. Always look at the “bones” of the house.
Do you like the layout?
How about the setting?
Is it a neighborhood you like?
Are there things you DO like about the decorating?
What would you absolutely HAVE to change?
Is it a costly change? A little paint goes a long way.
Is the listing price something you can work with?
If you answered yes to some of the above questions, then make an offer – the answer is always no if you don’t ask.