Resell Remodeling in Omaha, NE 2017
In the current residential real estate market, it’s a great time to be a seller. The market is hot and hasn’t shown any sign of cooling down. With inventory being at an all-time low, sellers are getting their asking prices and sometimes more, not to mention the fact that homes are selling very quickly.
Rarely are homes ready to list without some sort of work being done to get them to that point. From a thorough cleaning and staging to remodeling projects, it all depends on the current state of the home and what needs to be done to meet the seller’s objectives, as well as what they’re able to dedicate to those efforts.
When it comes to remodeling projects, there are endless possibilities, and reasons why one would consider a specific home improvement. There are a few scenarios that come to mind for homeowners from a selling standpoint. It may be something that you’ll get more personal enjoyment out of in a home you plan to live in for a lengthy amount of time, but that still adds value for when it comes time to sell. Alternatively, it could be to flip an investment property or to make targeted improvements in order to list the home, with the goal of selling quickly, being able to sell it at all, or getting more money for it.
So, what are the remodeling projects that are most advantageous for those on the selling end of the transaction?
Performing any repairs that are needed takes priority. Whether it’s an aesthetic item like broken tile or a functional item like a dripping faucet, the tiny things detract from the many good qualities of the home. Then, things like a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, new window treatments, and new hardware and/or light fixtures can make a world of difference while being relatively inexpensive. Additionally, new finishes are always attractive to potential buyers. That being said, it’s important to choose materials wisely. While the budget is likely to be more restricted for improvements you are doing to a house just to turn around and sell it, quality still matters, as does workmanship.
When procuring your own materials, the trick in this particular instance is to know where to go to get the best deals without sacrificing quality. For example, Ceramic Tileworks Center is widely considered to be a specialty store but without the specialty prices, so you can find great deals on high-quality materials that are both durable and beautiful.
“With over 250,000 feet of inventory to choose from on-site, there’s quite the impressive selection of materials at every price point,” says Jason Tidblom with Ceramic Tileworks Center. “A lot of times resell remodeling projects need to be completed in a short window of time, so the fact that you don’t have to order what you need is also a plus in this particular situation. We take a consultative approach to working with clients, so our experienced staff will be able to offer a host of targeted options to choose from depending on your specifications, whether it’s tile or countertops. You can also pick up any other supplies you’ll need such as underlayments, mortars, grouts and caulks—with all of the materials in-hand when you walk out of the door, it will save you valuable time that you can put towards getting the project done.”
Consulting with an industry professional to see what the best options are at your price point is much better than making the decision based on price alone. You’d be surprised how far you can stretch your money. They can also tell you what provides a greater return on investment so you can feel confident that if you’re spending the money, you’ll be sure to get the results you desire.
When it comes to any type of home remodeling, there are the jobs you absolutely want to outsource to a professional and the jobs you can take on yourself if you’re capable. Emphasis on IF you’re capable. Sometimes bringing that Pinterest idea to life just requires a little paint and some new hardware, and that’s completely doable for the average person. Other times – actually, oftentimes – it’s so much more complex than one might think.
Here’s the deal about do-it-yourself projects: Yes, they can be empowering. Yes, they can save you money. Yes, you can get them done on your own time frame without relying on others and potentially having to wait longer than you’d like. Provided you know what you’re doing, that is. However, just one simple mistake and you could find yourself injured and/or damage caused, both of which could potentially be costly, even more so than what you would have paid to use the services of a professional.
Here are a few examples of projects that are best left to the pros:
Projects that involve the plumbing or electrical. These are skilled trades, and there’s a reason for that. No matter how simple and straightforward it may seem, these are complex systems and should be respected as such. Even small leads can cause serious water damage and faulty electrical wiring/connections is a fire hazard. Don’t risk flooding or electrical shock either, OK? Just call a plumber or hire an electrician to make sure the job is done right the first time.
Repairs involving heights. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these incidents prove to be fatal. They further estimated that ladder-related injuries effectively cost the public in excess of $11 billion annually. Whether you’re looking at a roof repair or trimming a tree, consider calling a professional before attempting to complete the job yourself.
Repairs that must comply with building codes, permits, etc. A licensed contractor is a professional who understands what’s needed to meet all of the necessary requirements. Of the utmost importance, any structural changes should absolutely be performed by a professional. Accidentally removing a load-bearing wall, for example, could cause an entire room to collapse. However, with regards to any major project, similar to what was previously discussed with the plumbing and electrical, shoddy craftsmanship can severely affect your home’s value and also potentially put your family in danger.
Time-sensitive projects – Weigh your work and family commitments before embarking on a remodeling endeavor. Even if you’re confident in your abilities, the added pressure of a tight deadline can lead to unnecessary and often dangerous mistakes.
All things considered, why take the risk? Safety first! Remember, just because a DIY project looks simple doesn’t necessarily mean it is, or that it’s safe. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call a professional.
So far most of what we’ve covered has been specific to interior projects, but never underestimate the importance of curb appeal. The exterior aspects of your property like the windows, doors, siding, roofing, and landscaping are all part of making a good first impression, and the newer, the better. These are all points of focus for buyers, because age and condition will affect desirability and the negotiation process.
While it’s not the most common for sellers to take on, sometimes to sell a home, the big-ticket items will need to be considered. It’s not just a matter of attracting buyers with the appearance of the home, but also minimizing the expense that they’ll have on top of the mortgage they’re assuming. Oftentimes buyers are happy to pay a higher price for a home if that means there’s not much that will need to be done to it for a number of years.
Inside the home, it’s no surprise that updated kitchens and bathrooms make a big difference to buyers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the return is not always dollar for dollar. Let’s say there are two comparable houses next door to each other are both are on the market. One has a new kitchen that cost $40,000 and it is on the market for $40,000 more than the next door neighbor with the original kitchen. Which house will a buyer select with everything else being equal except the price? Will a buyer pay $40,000 more for the one with the new kitchen? There’s not a clear answer to that question for every scenario but the most likely answer is not quite. But a buyer will see value in that improvement and will pay something more than the one without the updated kitchen, so there is a return but it’s not always at a 100% retail rate.
Especially for those who are considering a kitchen update or bathroom redo or another repair, refresh or refurbish project, as already emphasized, keep in mind that it’s best to hire a professional. Buyers and agents can spot a badly-done DIY job a mile away. There’s just a way things are supposed to look. Details matter. If it looks funny, people don’t like it and it causes hesitation. Spending time and money improving or maintaining your home and doing it wrong can cost you more in the long run.
What improvements do for a seller is shorten the time on the market and usually result in attracting a high quality, ready, willing and able buyer. Who doesn’t want that? There is a return; it is hard to quantify but the market receives updated homes more favorably. Consulting with a Realtor® to see what improvements will have the most value and make the most impact in your situation is well-advised.
Buyers are looking to buy homes that are updated with modern features. Even if you may not be selling your home in the near future, it’s still important with any major renovations to consider their potential value should you choose to put your home on the market. There are plenty of improvements that will not only hold their value, but will be extremely desirable to buyers in the future and will ensure that your home sells fast and at a price that provides a return on your investment in the long run.
Technology integration in the home is another major selling point in the current market, and expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
“Automated home systems remain in high demand among homebuyers in the current market, especially the systems that include comprehensive, or ‘Total Home Connect,’ features that include remote access,” advises Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls. “These systems not only serve to protect our families, possessions, and buildings, but they will also increase the value of homes and the salability of that value.
The cutting-edge residential technology that’s available improves the living environment and its comfort, reduces energy use, and provides increased security. Today’s smartphones and wireless devices will keep homeowners connected everywhere. Honeywell’s Total Connect Service provides a personalized web portal with mobile apps that allow homeowners to remotely monitor and control their home at any time and from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or personal computer. With its state-of-the-art security, lighting and HVAC controllers, this is a surprisingly affordable way to control your security system, video cameras and heating and air conditioning needs all in one system that’s simple to use. Homeowners can receive alerts via emails, view live video and control and access their security system, control lighting and thermostat settings, lock/unlock doors remotely and more. Plus the simplicity and comfort that Honeywell’s wireless Prestige IAQ HVAC system provides offers a full-suite of wireless-enabled accessories such as universal diagnostics, water sensor alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, ventilation filtration alarms, and those are just a few that come to mind. The system also provides customizable reminders for replacing the humidifier pad or UV lamp.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of improving your home’s environmental control system, because this is also an area of importance to today’s homebuyers. It will improve the air you are breathing, increase your HVAC equipment’s energy efficiency and longevity, increase your home’s comfort, and offer peace-of-mind by ensuring your home’s safety with respect to the health of the occupants.
Now more than ever we are able to offer connected home technology of the future – a home where heating, security, and entertainment are fully automated and all of the latest gadgets enable creature comforts with the press of a button or a spoken command. When it comes time to sell, these things will be a major draw and an excellent investment that you’ve also been able to enjoy.”
Safety will factor into the decision to purchase a home for most if not all buyers, including the location/neighborhood but also aspects of the home itself. Therefore, as was just mentioned, having systems in the home that are tasked with the protection of its occupants is never a bad thing. In fact, it is yet another great selling point to add to the list.
FireGuard USA is a local company that designs, sells, installs, inspects, and services all types of fire protection and life safety equipment and systems, so if you find that you run across any related needs, you can count on the professionals to advise you of the safest and most cost-effective solutions.
It too qualifies as an investment you can make that will benefit you while you live there while also increasing the home’s value when you decide to move and it comes time to sell. It will serve to protect you and your family while you live there, and then you can pass on the benefits to the next owners. As Bob Sorensen with FireGuard USA often takes the opportunity to emphasize, “It’s never too soon to plan for thesEe things, but unfortunately it can be too late.”
Overall, if any hazards are present, they’ll need to be addressed. At some point it will come time for a home inspection and these will come to light, so the recurring theme is it’s best to be proactive.
For sellers, having an inspection done is a great tool to utilize for several reasons. Within the scope of resell remodeling projects, it will direct you right to anything major that would need to be addressed in order to be able to successfully sell the home. This is information that is helpful to know before you’re at the point when you’re trying to negotiate the deal.
Having the information provided by a home inspection prior to when a buyer decides to move forward and initiates one can be very revealing. It will alert you to what you’ll need to address before you list, and also help with identifying the hierarchy of what’s most important.
More than 85 percent of all home buyers who applied for a mortgage also applied for a home inspection, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. While sellers know that a buyer is going to require a home inspection, they often wait for the buyer to take the initiative. Then sellers wait nervously for the results.
Because most real estate contracts have an inspection clause, the results of a home inspection could cost the seller thousands of dollars to fix the problem, force them to accept a lower price, or cause them to lose the sale. Some sellers have started requesting a pre-inspection from a licensed home inspector. This approach has several upsides:
A competitive edge: In a hot real estate market, sharing the pre-inspection with a buyer could give the seller’s property an edge and speed up the closing.
Fix before listing: A thorough home inspection helps sellers identify potential issues upfront. By fixing the problems before listing the home for sale, the seller removes items a buyer could potentially use as leverage to negotiate a lower price.
Peace of mind: A pre-inspection puts both the seller and a prospective buyer at ease about the potential issues.
We’ve already covered the benefit of being able to fix issues beforehand, but even if the seller does not fix the defects found in a pre-inspection, they’ll know what to expect when a buyer pays for their own inspection.
Also, having a pre-listing inspection helps with the sale in that it removes fear. That is the number one obstacle in selling a house–fear that there will be things wrong with it. When you present a pre-listing inspection report, and can demonstrate that you have repaired some or all of the items found during the inspection, it removes fear from the buyer about the house.
All told a pre-inspection can save a seller a significant amount of time, money, and worry.
Nearing closer to the date you want to list the home, you’ll also want to plan to invest time in packing up things you don’t need and doing a thorough cleaning top to bottom, inside and out.
Clean the home as if the sale depended on it, because many times it does. One would be amazed by the amount of transactions that never come together simply because the home is not clean enough. In most cases a Realtor would be able to suggest requesting a cleaning allowance to put the deal together, but others may not have the experience to get past that hurdle.
If your budget allows, professional cleaning of the house and windows is ideal.
An open, decluttered, fresh and clean space with each room staged to its intended purpose will give a buyer a vision of how they would live in that space. This effort is extremely valuable and doesn’t necessarily have to cost much to get that result, but it does take time and it’s usually time well spent.
If you have yet to move into your new home and your budget allows, consider securing a storage unit and moving out about half your furnishings. Less is more. Your rooms will look larger with less furniture.
When cleaning, staging, and sprucing up the home, there are a few areas that are commonly overlooked. Similar to curb appeal being important because the first impression is so important, the entrance also affects potential buyers in the same way.
Buyers are milling around the front door while the agent is opening the lockbox so the front porch will get looked over really well. At this point they are already starting to make assumptions about what they’re going to see. Help them be excited. Remove cobwebs and any other undesirable grime from around the front door and put something fun there instead like a pretty planter and a fresh welcome mat. Wipe down light switch plates, doorknobs, doors, door jambs. Consider a pop of color on the front door and new door knob set that’s easy to use. You get one chance to make a good first impression. Use it to your advantage. A seller has about 20 seconds to help their buyer make a strong emotional attachment to a home.
Then while inside the house, there’s going to be plenty of turning lights on and off, opening and shutting doors, and so on. People don’t want to touch something that looks dirty. Keep the positivity going. You’re looking for as many “YES’s” from the buyer as possible. If you can identify any objections ahead of time by consulting with your Realtor, do what you can to remove those in order to streamline your time on the market.
Looking ahead, April is statistically the best month for sellers, because buyers have historically paid around 1.2% more than the market value.
Timing the sale of your home to correspond with when conditions are ideal is a wise approach, and then you can plan all of the projects that need to be completed for it to be market-ready accordingly. If you’re able to hang tight until next spring before listing, you’ll have a good window of time to work with, especially if it’s going to be a major undertaking. That being said, there are improvements you can do in a short amount of time that will make a difference too. It all depends because each home and the factors that will influence the sale of it are unique.
All told, work with what you have. In some scenarios, a complete remodel of an area may be in order but most of the time, that’s not the case. Refurbish, refresh and repair what you have and try to make it the best it can be within time and budget constraints. If you have a weathered deck that’s sturdy and sound, rent a power washer to prep it then give it a fresh coat of stain. When you have hardwood floors under your worn carpet, pull it up and have the floors refinished. If you have maroon wallpaper in your dining room, as awful a job as it is, remove it and paint. If you have water stains on the ceiling from before the roof was replaced, get that fixed. Go grab a new set of bedding for the master suite and fluff it up to give off the feeling that this is the oasis of the house. Pick up a few staging towels for the bathrooms that you don’t actually ever use. I know, it sounds crazy, but a fresh bathroom makes buyers happy. Give your buyer every reason to say “Yes” to your house!
With such low inventory property values have gone up, and with that comes very high expectations from buyers. If they’re paying top dollar for a home, it would follow that the most move-in ready, updated home will bring the highest price. As a seller, you now have a product for sale and the burden, so to speak, is on you to produce a product that meets demand. When a seller does what they can to give their customer what they want, in turn, a seller should reap a reward for their efforts.
We’ve covered a lot of territory, and as you can see the options for remodeling with the intent of selling a home are abundant. With so much at stake and so many different variables, it’s advised to consult with the professionals to get a handle on things before you do much of anything. Ultimately the decision remains with the seller on what improvements they’ll want to do before listing, but it’s important to fully understand the options and the potential outcomes in order to make the best decisions possible.