Real estate markets that skyrocket unchecked make us uneasy. For most of us, they elicit fears that we'll simply never be able to afford home-owning. For those of us who are already homeowners, we worry that our children won't be able to afford it. But for this latter group, we also know that it means we currently hold valuable assets in our hands. So, when we hear news about the real estate market cooling, despite our relief over knowing that those we care about will be able to buy homes after all, there is also some apprehension about selling our properties profitably when that time comes. While there is little we can do to affect overall market prices, there is still a considerable amount that can be done on an individual basis to ensure that your sale is a good one.
Paint – we've listed this one first because it is probably the most economical upgrade a person could possibly give their home. Fresh paint can entirely “clean up” a house. Avoid over-the-top, obvious colours that announce themselves, but at the same time, you'll want to create warmth that whites just don't offer. Your best bet is to stick with soft neutrals that can be accented with white baseboards and crown molding. The effect will be inviting, yet timeless.
Door – consider replacing your front door—preferably with a steel one. This is the first impression that potential buyers will have when they come to view your home, so this is a worthwhile upgrade. Additionally, this is one of those few upgrades where the added value to your selling price exceeds the cost of putting it in.
Flooring – many homes that are carpeted throughout actually have hardwood beneath the carpeting. If this is true for you, then ripping out the carpet and finishing the wood will give you high end flooring for a fraction the cost of installing it altogether. In addition to being the standard of elegance, hardwood floors are also great because most insurance companies cover them for water damage.
Details – update your doorknobs and light fixtures. Like the perfect tie, or purse, these little accessories finish the overall look of your home in a polished, attractive way.
Atmosphere – buyers know that they are not buying your lifestyle...but it sends subtle messages about your home as an environment to live in. With that in mind, keep it tidy, inviting, and clean smelling. Consider boiling herbs or oils to eliminate—and not just mask—smells. Remove any unsightly clutter from the yard. Remember: first impressions go a long way.