Homeowners ask me a lot of questions about what they should do to their home to get it ready to sell and to get top dollar for it. Sometimes they will ask if the bed should be in the corner or under the windows or which shower curtain would increase the value of the home and attract buyers.
Some owners want to swap out all of their old appliances and put in a new counter top. Do homes with stainless steel appliances sell more quickly than homes with all white appliances? I can’t think of a time when someone bought a home or rejected one solely because of the refrigerator. Most home buyers look at the entire package.
If you really think about it a scientific study with a lot of data would be needed to answer some of these questions. In general I discourage home owners from spending any more money than they have to when they are getting ready to sell.
I strongly encourage them to repaint if the paint looks worn or if the colors are not neutral enough. Cleaning and decluttering is a huge part of the process and so is moving the furniture around and or out of the rooms. (staging)
The value of a home is determined mainly by size location and condition. An immaculate 1600 square foot home built in the 1940′s and located in one St. Paul neighborhood can be worth almost twice as much as the same home located in a different St. Paul neighborhood. The same home next to power lines or a freeway entrance/exit ramp is usually worth less.
Some home buyers like larger lots but a double lot made up of two postage stamp sized city lots does not increase the value of a home all that much.
Even with improvements a homes value is limited first by location and then by size. The color of the shower curtain or where the couch is places just ins’t going to have the huge impact sellers sometimes expect.
Pricing a home is more of an art than a science. We try to find three comparable homes that are nearby and are similar in size and amenities and that have sold in the last six months to one year.
It is the sales prices of the comparable homes that help us determine how much a home is likely to sell for. Sometimes sellers take the recommendation and other times they do not. Ultimately it isn’t the home owner of the real estate agent who determines the value of a home it is the buyer.
Homes for sale are worth the most amount of money when they first come on the market. The first two weeks are critical and we can usually tell right away if a price adjustment is needed. The idea of over pricing to get more money for a home usually back fires and ultimately results in less money for the home owner as home buyers decide their is something wrong with a home that has been on the market for a long time.