By John E. Baer, SRES, SRS
The residential housing market will soon be heating up, but before you post that for-sale sign, consider making upgrades that add style and value to your home. With many buyers seeking hardwood floors, kitchen upgrades and other add-ons, it’s important for homeowners to highlight these features so their property stands out from the competition.
“It all comes down to dollars and ‘sense. In addition to warmth, beauty and durability, hardwood features increase your home’s resale value. Even with a modest budget, if you take the time and price your options, updating worn floors, dated cabinetry, and lackluster walls will make a significant difference. And it’s easier and less expensive than you think.
Survey says hardwood floors sell
When it’s time to sell, hardwood floors not only add good looks, they increase the value of your home. According to a nationwide survey of real estate agents commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association, 99 percent of respondents agreed that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. In addition, 90 percent said these homes sell for more money. Between two similar properties, buyers will gravitate toward the home with hardwood floors, and that home will often sell in half the time. Also keep in mind, it’s almost always less expensive to refinish a hardwood floor than it is to re-carpet a room.
What about the kitchen?
Upgrade your kitchen prior to going on the market because buyers see kitchen upgrades as being rather expensive. Homes without updated kitchens will take longer to sell, and will sell for less.
Gerry Henley, president of Kitchen Solvers, a national kitchen and bath remodeling franchise, suggests simple cabinetry updates that won’t break the bank but will result in a higher return on your investment. Many homeowners overlook the low cost and high impact of re-facing their existing kitchen cabinets. By swapping out dated doors and drawer pulls, a homeowner can get the look of a newly updated kitchen and save up to 50 percent of the cost of a complete overhaul. Cabinet re-facing is a quick-moving project and the kitchen remains functional throughout installation.
Finally, if you have an old white refrigerator, replace it with a new stainless steel fridge. You don’t have to have all of your appliances in stainless steel. But if you have one large stainless steel appliances, buyers will often overlook the other appliances.
Value in the details
Architectural details - hardwood crown moulding, baseboards and other millwork - add depth and character, provide a finished look, and change lackluster to extraordinary, so much so that according to the National Association of Home Builders’ “What Home Buyers Really Want” study, crown moulding ranks higher than other luxury features such as fireplaces, kitchen seating and window seats. Finally, a custom look can be obtained relatively inexpensively with off-the-shelf moulding patterns available at home improvement stores.
John E. Baer, SRES, SRS is a NYS licensed real estate salesperson associated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Westchester Properties of Scarsdale and Larchmont. He can be reached for questions at 914/600-6086 or at 914/844-2059. His website is www.WestchesterHomes.info.