Monthly Archives: May 2013

TIPS FOR BEING COMPETATIVE IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

One of our “blogging” goals is to provide our readers with information that may be of some value. And, since we are in the business of selling homes most of the information we provide is real estate related.

So, if you are thinking of selling your house here are some tips that might be of value to you. 

Most people who are thinking of selling their homes usually don’t think much about making pre-sale improvements. After all, why would one want to “stick” more money in their house and not be able to enjoy the improvements, or worse yet let someone else reap the benefits of their investment – I can understand that line of thinking. BUT, let’s give some thought to what affect a particular improvement may have on the value of your property, and, how it might help you sell in the shortest possible time. And of course we all know that time has a value associated with it too.

Don’t forget that in most areas it has been a “buyers’ market” for quiet sometime, and there are plenty of properties to choose from. Home shoppers mostly want move-in ready properties free of the need for home improvement projects. The bottom line is if a buyer can buy a home that has already been improved they can roll the extra cost into their mortgage. If they buy a lesser improved property then they need to come up with the cash to make the improvement.  And there Dubuque Real Estate marketseems to be enough inventory out there that buyers can usually find what they like without having to compromise.

Planning pre-sale home improvements that pay you back at the time of sale requires a strategic vision as well as design, finish, and product selections that welcome the widest possible range of buyer tastes. So here are 10 improvements that will probably pay you back when you sell.

·         FRONT ENTRY DOORS- Curb appeal is one of the most critical elements in a successful home sale!!!  If you install a beautiful, high quality entry door it will deliver an impact both in buyer drive buys and online listings. 

·         ATTIC BEDROOM- Converting an attic into a useful bedroom is a smart way to add value and appeal and it will attract those shopping for multigenerational family homes.

·         DECKS- One of the least expensive ways to expand living space.  Building the right deck can not only garner you an almost 80% return on investment but buyers really like decks and will make your property much more competitive.

·         SIDING- One of the biggest negatives when we show homes is its exterior appeal from a maintenance standpoint.  When a buyer looks at a house that has a maintenance free exterior and then you go to the next one and it does not have a maintenance free exterior  “POW” it’s usually the first thing they mention when you approach the house. It’s a big deal and almost immediately takes the 2nd house out of the running.

·         KITCHEN- You knew this one had to be on the list!!  Possibly the most important room in the house!!  Appearance and layout are the most important aspects of any kitchen.  Sometimes it’s almost impossible to do anything about layout, but appearance can always be improved.  Even if it’s as little as replacing the countertop and the cabinet hardware it will help.  Most families spend the majority of their time in the kitchen so it’s an important room.

·         WINDOWS- Installing replacement windows can pay big dividends when you are competing with other houses in the market.  And, may times you can get an energy tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of replacing windows.

·         BASEMENT- As a way to appeal to multi-generational households finish off as much space in the basement or lower level of your home as possible.  Finished lower levels are always a bonus for buyers. 

·         BATHROOM- Same as the kitchen mentioned above – one of the two most important rooms in your house. Unfortunately bathrooms like kitchens tend to age easily.  So maybe a new bathroom vanity?  Or if your fixtures are old and don’t present themselves very well maybe consider new fixtures!!  Your bathrooms have to look their best in order for your house to be competitive in the marketplace. 

·         BACKUP POWER GENERATOR- Unless you live in a remote area in northern Wisconsin or your power source is unreliable I would not worry about this one. 

·         ADDITIONS- These can be expensive so if you ever consider this type of imporvemt be careful.  Before you ever put an addition on to prep your house for the market ask yourself if it’s really necessary. 

I am including in this article a couple of charts (see below) that give you some idea of what kind of return you might expect when  you make improvements to your home.  But remember that these numbers can vary by location and market conditions.    

AND A COUPLE OF FINAL TIPS!!!  Two of the biggest problems we encounter when we show homes to buyers are PET ODOR AND TOBACCO ODOR.  Now if you have a pet or you are a smoker this may offend you but this is the way it is in the real world of real estate.  This can be a huge problem for buyers.  We have actually sold properties that had a very mild pet odor and after the closing, when the weather got hot and humid, the odor was almost unbearable.  We have had law suits filed against sellers by buyers because of pet odor.  If you have a pet or you are a smoker and your real estate professional recommends that you mitigate the problem you may want to heed their advice.

EAST NORTH CENTRAL – MID RANGE

 

Project

Job Cost

Resale Value

Cost Recouped

Attic Bedroom

$49,346

$40,992

83.1%

Change

Backup Power Generator

$14,304

$8,428

58.9%

Change

Basement Remodel

$62,067

$46,825

75.4%

Change

Bathroom Addition

$39,046

$23,233

59.5%

Change

Bathroom Remodel

$16,142

$11,454

71.0%

Change

Deck Addition (composite)

$15,373

$10,904

70.9%

Change

Deck Addition (wood)

$10,634

$8,573

80.6%

Change

Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass)

$3,490

$2,275

65.2%

Change

Entry Door Replacement (steel)

$1,172

$1,470

128.9%

Change

Family Room Addition

$82,756

$54,051

65.3%

Garage Addition

$58,432

$36,361

62.2%

Change

Home Office Remodel

$28,375

$13,648

48.1%

Change

Major Kitchen Remodel

$57,215

$41,260

72.1%

Change

Master Suite Addition

$103,696

$67,578

65.2%

Change

Minor Kitchen Remodel

$21,411

$16,773

78.3%

Change

Roofing Replacement

$19,731

$13,133

66.6%

Change

Siding Replacement (vinyl)

$10,607

$8,476

79.9%

Change

Sunroom Addition

$73,167

$37,118

50.7%

Change

Two-Story Addition

$156,309

$107,286

68.6%

Change

Window Replacement (vinyl)

$10,728

$8,217

76.6%

Change

Window Replacement (wood)

$11,700

$9,044

77.3%

Change

 

EAST NORTH CENTRAL – UPSCALE

 

Project

Job Cost

Resale Value

Cost Recouped

Bathroom Addition

$75,812

$43,888

57.9%

Change

Bathroom Remodel

$52,295

$32,196

61.6%

Change

Deck Addition (composite)

$37,745

$22,934

60.8%

Change

Garage Addition

$87,230

$48,762

55.9%

Change

Grand Entrance (fiberglass)

$7,464

$5,135

68.8%

Change

Major Kitchen Remodel

$111,794

$70,641

63.2%

Change

Master Suite Addition

$225,995

$125,793

55.7%

Change

Roofing Replacement

$37,359

$22,610

60.5%

Change

Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)

$13,287

$11,112

83.6%

Change

Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)

$13,022

$10,285

79.0%

Change