NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When you're selling your home, you want to get the maximum value possible. So as you prepare to put your home on the market (and hopefully upgrade to new digs), what can you do to improve the value of your home? Not only is it possible for you to improve your home and get more money, it's probably a lot easier than you think.
Improving the Value Versus Market Appeal
"The first thing I tell people who come to me is that there's a difference between increasing the value of your home and increasing the market appeal," says Barry Jenkins, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Native American Group. "Asking price is determined by appraisers, and they have strict rules for value." For example, a full-bath is worth between $3,000 and $5,000. Square footage is another objective measurement of value. "When I tell people this, their wheels start spinning, and they ask me if they should add a bathroom," Jenkins says. The answer is no, because that's going to cost between $3,000 and $5,000 to achieve.
"Market appeal is a whole other beast," says Jenkins. What that means is basically the likelihood that your house will sell for the asking price. It's the answer to the question, why your house as opposed to any other?
Kitchens and Bathrooms Are Why Houses Sell
Jenkins says that kitchens and bathrooms are the main reason people opt for one house instead of another, very similar house. "If your house was built before 1990, you probably have these hokey cabinets with cast iron handles on them," he says. In one case, Jenkins advised a client to spend $1,000 changing out the cabinets in their kitchen. He can then sell the property as having an "updated kitchen." A mere $20 can get you a package of light fixtures that make a house look more modern. Replacing sinks with dual, "his-and-her" sinks is an easy upgrade to set your home apart.