Are you trying to sell your home? We have tips to earn the highest appraisal possible, without major renovations that cost you time and money. A little maintenance goes a long way in the eye of an appraiser.
1) Give Your Home’s Outside A Bath
Washing your home’s exterior, even before adding new paint, can lift your sale price $10,000 to $15,000. You need to get rid of all the mildew, dirt, cobwebs, and moss. Professional cleaning crews can be hired, but they cost a lot. You and a friend can use a bucket of soap and water, and a long-handed, soft-bristled brush, and have it done in a few days. To clean off any walkways, power washers are ideal; washer rentals cost typically $75 per day. Windows, downspouts, and garage doors also need a thorough hose-down and scrub. Any grime that can’t be scrubbed off can be helped along with a trisodium phosphate (TSP) solution. TSP is available at any grocery store, hardware store, or home improvement store; you’ll need at least a half-cup. Follow the instructions on the packaging.
2) Repaint the Exterior
New paint is also a huge benefit towards raising your appraisal. You can spend $1,500 – $3,000 on labor, or hire some family and get it done yourself (though it will take a little while.) Paint will cost around $375-600, but a nice coat of paint is an instant increase in value. However, keep in mind that an appraiser will mark down the value of a home painted wildly different from its neighbors! This is a good reason to not choose a crazy new color, though it is tempting. Simply scrape off some of your home’s original paint, and take it to your local paint store to match it. You can, however, add a bright color to your door, or to deck furniture, to attract a buyer’s eye.
3) Decide Whether to Clean or to Replace Your Roof
Cleaning your roof helps raise value by a lot, the same way washing your home’s siding does. Definitely hire a professional for roof cleaning. A 2,000 square foot home costs $400-600 to clean professionally in a day. Replacing a roof is expensive: $7,600 on average. If your home needs it, but you can’t pay for it right now, your appraisers can take the replacement cost out of the sale value (meaning the whole value of the home is marked down.)
4) Plant Flowers, and Maintain Landscaping and Vegetation
Mow your lawn, seed the bare spots, and weed your yard. Water and feed the grass. Add mulch around shrubs, and prune them. Put some flowers in pots, or in a bed or decorative border. A few new touches to consider: a brand new mailbox, fence, or address plaques.
5) More Maintenance Musts
Certain maintenance tasks, when put off, will decrease your home’s value by %10. These include sagging gutters, missing or broken bricks, peeling paint, and cracked asphalt. Take care of these now, and lift your appraisal value considerably.
Jodi Bakst is the owner / broker of Real Estate Experts based in Chapel Hill, NC
May 18, 2016