News & Advice

The Best Ways to Affect the Answer to the Question, “What’s my House Worth?”

May 15, 2018
what's my house worth

When searching for your house, you might try searching online for “What’s my house worth?” There are a number of factors that affect the answer to this question:

  • the age of your home
  • how long you have lived there
  • the state of the economy
  • the demographics of the neighborhood
  • the proximity of your house to certain locations
  • the size of your property
  • the current state of your home

While many of these elements are completely out of your control, the current state of your home is not. You might be wondering if the time and financial investment needed to spruce up your home will pay off in the long run. Below are the biggest fix-ups that could improve your house’s value when it’s time to sell.

Improve Your House’s Value Before You Sell

  1. A Fresh Coat of Paint

Everyone has at least one room that was the subject of a design experiment, or a pattern that you thought would look great but doesn’t. For those rooms, a repaint in a solid color, like a white or other neutral tone, might be more attractive. It would give the new owner more room for creativity and a blank canvas to start with.

If you are considering selling a house as-is, some new homeowners may ask for the price of redoing certain items to be included. Some considerably minor changes can impact the response to the question, “what’s my house worth?” in the long run.  Be sure to consider which is better for both your time schedule and your market before listing your house.

  1. Holes in the Wall

If you’ve hung photos on the wall, or mounted shelving units to hold them in place, there’s no doubt there will be holes in the wall.  This is an easy fix with some spackle and possibly a little paint to smooth it out and hide the rough edges. Certainly, a house with no visible holes looks better than one with evidence of holes throughout it. Also, just because you hung pictures in certain locations doesn’t mean the new owners will want to.

  1. A Good Clean-Up

If you’re thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, and your house is in good condition, go above and beyond the surface cleaning. Move the furniture around to make the rooms seem larger and more inviting and make sure no pet hair is left on any furniture. Think like a prospective buyer and clean even in the places you may not usually look, such as corners, window sills, behind bookshelves and couches, and even under the rugs. Chances are that visitors will find things that you may not have thought of in your initial cleaning.

  1. Don’t Forget the Outside

While patching holes and repainting play an important role in fixing up your house, remember the outside is what makes the first impression. Put the trash cans out of view, pull up the weeds, and label your house clearly so that people can find it easily. Make sure the walkway is clear of all debris and there is easy access to the front door. A few small plants or a trimmed hedge can also pave the way for a more inviting entry.

  1. Keep Your House Neutral

While personal touches make your house a home, it might alienate potential buyers. For example, if you have memorabilia on your walls from a rival sports team, it may turn some people off. Also, a house that has been too customized might be hard to restore to a natural state that will allow the new homeowners to make the changes they want.

When you are getting ready to show your house, hide the pictures and memorabilia and remember that the potential buyers are seeing your house as their blank slate for the future.

Getting a Second Opinion When Asking “What’s My House Worth?”

There’s a good chance not everything will need to be changed. Many updates you might have made, such as new appliances or repairs to older furnishings may actually increase what your house is worth. (For older houses, having original elements could have a big impact on what your house is worth because of the uniqueness they bring to your house.)

That’s why it may help to get an outside opinion from an appraiser or a real estate agent before determining the right response to the question, “What’s my house worth?”. They can provide tips on whether you need to take care of projects before you move, or whether things can be left the way they are.

The housing market can be very fickle, and you can only do so much to swing the odds in your favor. However, by taking small steps to make your house more inviting to potential buyers, you can definitely move in the right direction.

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