Our best friends have had their home on the market now for well over a year. They have had four realtors who have talked them into adding everything from large landscaping timbers to marble countertops in the kitchen. Their neighbors put their home on the market eight weeks ago and already have a contract for sale. I have seen the difference inside each home – – our friends’ home is very trendy while their neighbors’ home is very neutral and sparsely furnished. If you are planning to sell your home any time soon, you may learn from their mistakes below.
1. Paint everything a neutral color. Bold, bright designs look great on those home improvement and “how to sell your house” shows; however, the reality is that people are finicky. Over-the-top daring designs are great when you are planning to stay in your home and have no desire to sell it. When the time comes to sell your home, decorate with neutral tones so that potential buyers are not turned off by the décor before they actually see the home. Buyers need to be able to envision their own perfect, daring design rather than focusing on yours.
2. Do not install a pool in a home you plan to sell in a few years. A pool seems like an excellent home improvement but it actually decreases the value of your home for many potential buyers. A swimming pool seems fun; however, the upkeep and maintenance for a pool is expensive and time consuming. Many buyers in today’s home market would rather pay for a larger home than one with a pool to maintain.
3. Do not invest thousands of dollars on expensive marble and tile. While marble and tile are beautiful, they are very costly to install. The amount of money it will cost to install new marble countertops and ceramic tile floors will far exceed the increase you will see in purchase price. Give it time – – those looking for marble countertops will probably want to choose them rather than have you do it for them.
4. Built-in furniture is risky. It may seem like a good idea to construct the huge built-in entertainment center that spans the entire living room wall; however, it will be a pain to remove. Potential buyers may not want an entertainment center that is the focal point of the living room (they may not even own a television) but now that you have done everything but cement it to the wall they would be stuck with it. Avoid this type of grand construction if you think you might flip this house in a few years.