When it comes to real estate, it's a buyer's market. So, here are a few improvements you should make before your first open house to make your house more attractive. This comes from Sid Davis, real estate broker and author of Home Makeovers That Sell. We found his advice at Bankrate.com.
- Get a pre-sale home inspection. For $300, you can pinpoint your home's worst flaws, hire a handyman to fix them, and document the work in a pre-sale buyer's folder.
- If your home was built before 1960, consider an electrical upgrade. Today's homes typically have 200-amp service. Homes built before computers and monster TVs typically have less than 90 amps, raising your risk for blown fuses and fires from overheated wires.
- If you're selling your home, you should also consider a plumbing upgrade. If you're lucky, you have copper pipes. If not, you've probably got galvanized pipes, which corrode over time and probably desperately need to be replaced.Here are a few extra home-seller's tips, organized by the year your house was built:
- If your 60's house has single-paned aluminum slider windows, think about replacing them. An upgrade to double-paned windows will lower your heating and cooling costs by about 25%.
- If you home was built in the '70s, it'll look dated because of the colors found on everything from countertops to toilets. So, paint the walls a fresh cream color and think about having a light-colored epoxy coating applied to your avocado bathtub, shower, and dishwasher.
- If you're selling a 1980's home with Formica countertops, while everyone in your neighborhood has granite, it's time for an kitchen upgrade.
- If your home was built in the 90's, it may need more work than you think. Why? Because home appliances - like stoves, furnaces, and air conditioning - wear out most frequently when they're 10 or 15 years old.If you'd like to go further, the book is Home Makeovers That Sell by Sid Davis.