Go ahead, admit it. Every Saturday night you spend hours curled up on the couch, binge watching your favorite home improvement shows that usually air while you are either working or being a taxi for your kids. We all do it (binge watch, that is). You know the shows, “Rehab Addict”, “Flip or Flop”, “Property Brothers” and who can miss “Fixer Upper”? These home improvement phenoms have become a mainstay of our viewing habits. Not only have we learned the difference between a miter and coping saw, but we have also gained the confidence to enter any big box home improvement store and fill our SUVs with enough materials to tackle even the most feared home projects. But, maybe we should keep that fear. Yes, I know, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself unless, of course, it prevents you from turning a $5,000 kitchen remodel into a $15,000 do over.
Home projects really are fun. Especially, if like on our favorite home improvement shows, you team up with your brother, best friend and even your husband or wife (yeah right!). It’s just a matter of deciding on what project to tackle, buying the exact amount of materials and getting it done to perfection the very first time (again, yeah right!). As a home seller, deciding what projects are right and doing the project right is by far the scariest decision we can make. Quick, call Drew and ask him.
What’s a home seller to do?
The most important projects a home seller can do are the simplest ones. First, focus on the upkeep and maintenance items. Loose carpet, missing baseboards and sagging window treatments are all projects that even the less skilled do-it-yourselfer can start and finish without too much time or money. Beyond the no brainers there are too many improvements that may look appealing on those TV shows but might be a headache to you, the home seller.
When is a 2 car garage not a garage?
When it is a man cave. That seems to be the rage, right? Turn every unused space into living space filled with TVs, a service bar and comfy couches. That makes perfect sense for a room in your basement (or, an empty kiddo’s room) but, what about turning that 2 car garage used only for storage into the ultimate man cave? While it makes for a well-produced reality show, it may actually turn off prospective buyers. Even though a lot of people don’t actually use their 2 car garage to park their cars, they do love the availability of extra storage space. Take this space away and buyers may turn the other cheek.
I remember all too well growing up in Florida and being lucky enough to have a pool in our back yard. It was the place for every neighborhood kid to hang out. We would spend hours in the pool while my dad spent hours keeping the pool clean. My dad swears he will never have another backyard pool and I certainly echo that attitude. But, what if you are a home seller in a neighborhood littered with in ground pools and your backyard is a showplace of manicured grass and pristine landscaping? Should you take the plunge and dig that big hole into which you will pour your hard earned money? Most experts suggest no and states the trend is that home owners are becoming less enchanted with the thought of owning a big pond that collects leaves and increases the homeowner’s liability insurance. In fact, the trend is homeowners (especially baby boomers) would rather enjoy the warmth and relaxing features of an outdoor hot tub.
Technology rules our world. Computers are getting smaller, lighter and more portable. Websites are getting slicker. And, eCommerce is quickly becoming a convenient part of everyone’s life. Especially, when it comes to home electronics, such as TVs. How easy is it to log into Amazon on Thursday, order a 110 inch TV and have it arrive on Friday in time to watch all the big games on Saturday and Sunday. And, that TV will look really impressive once you place it inside that nice wall to ceiling media cabinet you just spent $2,000 to build. Nice, sharp picture, but bad move. What if your prospective home buyer loves the large TV but hates the location or, that awesome hardwood cabinet. The answer of course is, it will cost you (again) at closing.
There are so many more home improvement projects that the aforementioned reality stars tackle every day and show us how easy and cost effective it is to do on our own. The problem is, what makes for great TV does not necessarily make for a nice project to add value to the sale of your house. In fact, some projects will diminish the value of your house. So, unless you have a personal relationship with Tarek and Christina, Chip and Joanna, or Drew and Jonathan (lucky you!), then you are kind of on your own on how to determine what projects to start and what projects to delete from your DVR.
That is where your professional local real estate agent can help. Your experienced agent knows the latest trends a home buyer is seeking in a home and has seen almost every unfortunate mistake a home seller has made. Including, installing that new wall-to-wall green shag carpet. So, before you become the Fixer Flopper call your agent for advice. It might save you a truckload of money and headaches.
Another way you can save money when selling your home is by paying less agent sales commissions. Yes, real estate agents can reduce their commission rates but most won’t even talk about it. Thankfully, the professional local real estate agents who work with Great Percent, are happy to sell your home for less. Great Percent agents are so confident in their ability to successfully sell your home that they will bid on the opportunity to list your home and offer you a lower agent commission. And best of all, you, the home seller, remains anonymous by using the simple Great Percent dashboard to monitor the activity and learn about the agents as they bid. So, if after 8 hours of binge watching you have suddenly become an expert carpenter, put down the claw hammer for just a minute and call your Great Percent agent for money saving advice. After all, it really is a lot easier to pick up pick up your smartphone and talk to your Great Percent agent then it is to call Christina for advice on granite versus quartz versus marble.