Real Estate Answers: Maximize your home’s value

Patrick McCarran column logo 2015By Patrick McCarran

It is a new year and spring is nearly here. One thing that has not changed this year is that most of the homebuyers in today’s’ market are looking for “turn key homes”, properties that don’t require a lot of work and a home that says “wow” to a buyer will still command top dollar and multiple offers.

Your goal is to get the buyer to say “wow” at least three times. First when they pull up to the house, aka curb appeal, next as they walk through the house and lastly as they leave. To accomplish this inspect both inside and outside the home. Make a list of repairs or upgrades include the little things and the larger things. Traditionally the staples for increased value are a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim.  Paint the front door or at minimum give it a good cleaning. Powerwash the sidewalks, entry and driveways, add some fresh mulch around landscaping. Organize the closets and cupboards so they don’t looks stuffed. Take a look at the light fixtures, the bathroom and kitchen faucets. Repair dripping faucets and drains that aren’t operating or maybe they need updating. Think about upgrading to granite prices today are low and return is high. This is a great opportunity to update with minimal cost and excellent return. Remember it is often the little things such as burned-out bulbs, broken sockets or switches and loose railings. Replace torn screens, broken fencing and put a fresh coat of stain on the fences and the deck.

I recommend hiring a professional home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. A standard report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, and visible structure.

By obtaining the pre-inspection it avoids any surprises and allows you to review and prioritize the list of repairs.

Staging is an excellent way of showcasing the positive attributes of your home to maximize return. This does not necessarily need to be a full blown redecorating of your home but can be as simple as the need to depersonalize the home. This does NOT mean taking down and hiding every personal picture but it does mean to minimize. Start packing that rare clown collection or the special teddy bear room. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. The basics of staging are neutral but not plain, less is definitely more, let the light in, and remember to review all the rooms.

A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to give your home a tune up and make it say WOW to a buyer this will go a long way in making sure that you get the most return out of your home. Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation and to help you develop an action plan.

Patrick McCarran can be reached at, by phone at (899) 899-5536, or online at Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is an independently owned and operated franchise of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity.


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