You’re gearing up to sell your house, but whoa…your realtor just informed you that your asking price should actually be way less. Here are seven things that are bringing down the value of your home, and how to start making improvements now.
1. Your Neighbor’s Overgrown Lawn
This can decrease your home’s value by a whopping 5 to 10 percent. Why? Home buyers typically look for real estate in locations that are polished and well-kept. Start by chatting with your neighbor—you could even offer to chip in to help cover the cost of getting the lawn mowed. If that doesn’t work, contact your local homeowners association or city council to find out your legal options. It’s worth the time if it can up the value of your home.
2. The Giant Pothole At The End Of Your Block
Here’s the problem: If it can lead to vehicle damage, it could turn future buyers off. Contact your local government office—or the state department of transportation—to see what can be done, and who will cover the cost.
3. The Dated Fixtures In Your Bathroom
It’s actually pretty simple (and inexpensive) to replace things like your sink faucet or the handles on your medicine cabinet. Keep in mind: The simpler the design, the better. Anything too trendy can stand out and cause potential buyers to move on.
4. The Dated Appliances In Your Kitchen
Homebuyers usually don’t want to sign on the dotted line knowing that all the major kitchen appliances need to be replaced. If your stovetop is a classic, that’s one thing. But if it’s rusted to the point where it never looks clean, it’s worth investing in something new to increase your asking price.
5. An Exterior Paint Job That’s A Little Bit Out There
You loved the idea of a home that was a brilliant magenta, but if it sticks out like a sore thumb beside the other properties on your street, you might want to consider investing in a paint job in a more muted (read: neutral) tone. Remember, aesthetic matters—it’s all about the curb appeal.
6. A Painted-over Fireplace
Sure, in 2007, you were totally sick of exposed brick, but that classic structural detail is a major selling point to prospective buyers. The take-away: Be wary of any major changes that forever alter the core (and most valuable) parts of your home.
7. A Front Door That Doesn’t Lock
It’s less about the lock not working (after all, that can be fixed on the cheap) and more about the fact that homebuyers might see this as an overt sign of neglect. Think about it: If you don’t care that your front door doesn’t lock, what other elements of your home have you let go? Replace the parts and up your value. It’s as simple as that.
Mike Kane | Bloomberg