Tips To Get Top Dollar

Bathrooms pretty much follow along the guidelines ofkitchens:  refresh, upgrade, or renovate. Bathroom remodels can range anywhere from around $5,000 for a simple update, up to $45,000 to $50,000 for a truly splendid spa bath with lots of special touches. Again, we strongly recommend keeping it reasonable with a few updates if your goal is to sell. Re-tiling the shower, painting or replacing the vanity, new lighting, and maybe a new frameless glass door would make a big difference.

So. This summer you watched houses in your neighborhood go on the market and wondered if it was time to do the same. Some sold as if they were under priced by thousands, and some just sat all summer. What makes one house sell while another doesn't? Well, sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. Sometimes it's the first impression. Sometimes, it is indeed, the price.

But sometimes, there are things that you can do to make your house for sale look better and get you a better price than the other houses for sale in your area. Here is some industry information on what to do, what NOT to do, and how  much to spend if you do it:
~~Paint in neutral colors~~Install new flooring~~Update bathrooms~~Improve landscaping~~Remodel the kitchen

A kitchen remodel may seem daunting, but you may not necessarily need to gut the whole thing and start from scratch. If the kitchen is basically in good shape, and just a little dated, you may be able to do a minor remodel, or a "refresh". This may include painting your cabinets, new hardware and plumbing fixtures, new flooring, new backsplash, and/or new countertops. Doing most of these could cost around $10,000 to $15,000.

A more significant remodel may include the previously mentioned items and new lighting, as well as updating some or all of your appliances, and would probably drive your cost up to $15,000 or $25,000, depending on some of your choices of materials. With this level of upgrade, you would not be changing the footprint of the room or installing new cabinets.

A complete renovation would include new cabinetry, new lighting, new floors, new countertops, new backsplash, new EVERYTHING, and may involve a change of footprint. Depending again on materials chosen, this type of major remodel could run as high as $75,000 to $100,000, but usually finishes up closer to the $50,000---$70,000 mark.  Unless your kitchen is just in really awful condition, we would never recommend a complete renovation in order to sell your home. Experts say that spending this amount of money nets a smaller return on investment. So, we would encourage and advise you to just refresh your kitchen to make it more attractive to potential buyers, and let them live with it and decide what big changes they want to make.

Painting in a neutral color seems like a no-brainer, but if you have ever watched HGTV, you know that people will put some crazy colors on their walls! It seems like it is mostly in children's bedrooms, and it is understandable, but when you are putting the house on the market, Junior may need to live with a nice greige for a while.  When choosing a wall color, just choose a cream, light beige, or grey that works with your floors.

When your floors need replacing in order for the house to look its' best and bring you the best return, look at what other homes in your area have. If it is a neighborhood where most have wood floors, then by all means, install wood floors. Make them a medium brown, not shiny, and 3 ¼ to 5 inches wide. Don't choose what you love.  Choose what will sell!

This is something we struggle with occasionally-- customers come in to make a purchase to update the home so that it can be put on the market, and they inevitably want to pick what they like. We try to keep them focused on the point that, bluntly, it doesn't matter what they like, but that their choices need to be totally generic, and appeal to the most people.

We guide our customers to choose a less expensive carpet to put the house on the market unless the house is a million-dollar stunner. Again, chances are the new owners will want to customize the home and make it their own, so why spend more than necessary on carpet that will probably not be in place very long?

There are a few DON'TS that we need to mention here-- several of them reiterate points we have already made:~~Don't over personalize when you are making improvements.
~~Don't over improve-- don't spend $75,000 on a Chef's kitchen for a $300,000 house. You will never recoup the investment.
~~Don't install a pool or an outdoor kitchen.

~~Don't forget to ask the contractors you interview the following:Are you licensed? Can you provide a current Certificate ofInsurance? OK with you checking reviews and ratings with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, etc.? Can you provide references that you can speak with, not just quotes on a sheet of paper?

The answer to all of these should be YES! IF the answer to any of these is "No", that is a red flag-- keep looking for another contractor. And if he can start immediately, that is usually a bad sign. Business is booming, and good people have plenty of work. If someone is not busy, you need to wonder why--

So, you want to put your house on the market?  You have a lot to do! Let's get started!

Design Tip
Here are some popular neutral paint color choices for you to consider:

--Sherwin Williams
Accessible Beige
Aloof Gray
Barcelona Beige
Canvas Tan
Essential Gray
Kilim Beige
Passive Gray
Popular Gray
Repose Gray
Requisite Gray
Sedate Gray
Silver Strand

--Benjamin Moore
Bennington Gray
Grant Beige
Lenox Tan
Manchester Tan
Stone House

How Much Does It Cost?
From Home, the cost to paint an average size room (10 x 12) ranges from $380-$790, not including ceilings, trim or cost of the paint. DIY, this can cost between $200-$300.

I Was Floored by Enhance
Suzanne in Marietta is getting her house ready to sell, and we just replaced her carpeting.  Here's what she says about the experience: "I love my new carpet -- had the WHOLE house done at once! The people at Enhance did their best to expedite my installation because I had company coming. I experienced good customer service from beginning to end, and the installation crew rocked it!"Thank you, Suzanne, we hope you get your house sold quickly for top dollar!