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Four Spring Projects to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

by Nancy Heim-berg

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but people definitely judge a house by its curb appeal. When preparing to sell your home improving it's curb appeal can be fairly easy with just a few projects.

Landscaping

If you have brown spots on your lawn, your curb appeal score definitely takes a hit. Make sure you don't have pests or a weed that are causing brown spots. You may have to check with an expert to get to the source of the problem. Overgrown shrubs? Nothing looks worse than shrubs that are obscuring your windows or that look unkempt. You can usually take care of this yourself, but you may need a professional if they are hard to reach.

Exterior Paint

Make sure your home doesn't have areas that are chipped or peeling. These things are inevitable, but definitely affect your curb appeal and can lead to serious problems such as warping, mold and rotting. You can usually fix these issues yourself by sanding, scraping and spot painting, but if your entire house needs a new paint job, best call in the professionals.

Roof and Gutters

Broken or sagging gutters make a home look uncared for. Make sure you check your gutters as well as loose or missing roof shingles. Gutters that aren't cleaned out on a regular basis and repaired when needed can cause permanent problems to your home's foundation, and cause water to seep into your basement or crawl space. You can fix or replace loose or missing shingles, but if your roof has outlived its natural life, you may need to have it inspected and replaced if necessary.

Fences

If your fence is reasonably sound, but needs a facelift, rent a pressure washer and give it a good cleaning. You can replace any boards that are missing, paint or stain it to give it a fresh new look.

Curb appeal makes your home look like you care about it, and if you're trying to sell it, positive curb appeal will welcome prospective buyers to your door. If you’re thinking about selling your home and want to learn more about what steps you can take to help sell your home faster, contact the Heim-Berg Team today!

4 Tips to Setting an Accurate Asking Price

by Nancy Heim-berg

The most difficult question facing sellers is how to determine the correct asking price. No perfect formula exists to determine the exact point at which the seller can maximize his profits without pricing himself out of the market. The question is further complicated by the emotional attachment of the seller. Even so, with a little work, the Realtor and the seller can arrive together at a balance point between the greatest profit and marketability.

1) The process begins with a careful review of the data. Unfortunately, there can be so much information available that it can be confusing. Identical homes in two different locations, for example, can command very different prices. A good Realtor will help the seller navigate the maze of data and understand why the variations exist. An engaged seller will consider the reasoning behind the price decisions.

2) Continue with a walk-through. By walking through other homes on the market and comparing them to the home to be sold, it is easier to see details that contribute to the price. This is also a good opportunity for the Realtor to discuss neighborhood features, schools and other local factors that attract buyers.

3) Create an atmosphere conducive to a bidding war. This is a two-stage process consisting of appropriate staging and bringing key selling points to the forefront. Staging includes scrupulous landscaping and cleaning and may represent a financial investment. The highest price homes offer curb appeal, are completely devoid of clutter, both inside and out. It is important to pay attention to small cosmetic details like plumbing fixtures and ceiling fans. A beautiful home demands a higher price. The descriptions must include some of the details that made the seller love the home that might escape the notice of a casual observer.

4) Sever emotional ties. Nothing can distort the sellers idea of the value of the home more than the love for the changes they have made to it. It is difficult to accept that someone might want to pull up the prize-winning roses or replace the tiles in the kitchen. One way to overcome the attachment to the house is to focus on the adventures it will finance, whether for a new home or other investment.

Setting an appropriate price may be one of the most challenging aspects of the Realtor/seller relationship. Handing the process well will help build an effective partnership throughout the sale.

Best Home Improvements for the Money

by Nancy Heim-berg

Are you planning to sell your home, but you don’t know which upgrades will bring top dollar? To help with this decision, do some research, have a heart-to-heart with your realtor and, most importantly, think like a buyer. In some cases, major home improvements do not generate sufficient return to cover the investment. And upgrading too many things might be a bad idea if your individual taste doesn’t match the buyer’s. But be sure to repair that leaky pipe, patch the walls, and remove the oil spill in the garage.

Kitchen Upgrade

According to the DIY Network, “Kitchen is King”. Prospective buyers often want to see the kitchen before anything else. Workspace and appliances can be critical as the kitchen often serves as a gathering space, as well as a creating space. Upgrades to outdated kitchens usually return more than 100% of the cost. Just as likely, a tired kitchen can be the difference between a sale and no sale.

Bathrooms and Showers

Bathrooms are next in the hierarchy of improvements. Minor make-overs such as counters and fixtures, mirrors, toilets and perhaps a glass shower enclosure to replace a ratty old shower curtain can make the room more inviting. Experts say that a prudent bathroom remodel should also pay off. Frontdoor.com estimates a 102% return.

Front Yard and Entry

Curb appeal is critical. Landscaping the lawn and entry by adding shrubs and flowers for color and balance to the front of the home should also bring more at closing.

Siding Replacement

Depending on the degree of unsightliness of your current siding, replacement may be important. One less expense for a future owner could yield financial benefit at closing.

Front Door

Both Forbes and DIY Network include replacing or repainting the front door in their lists of ten important considerations. The front door conveys an important impression before entering and should be as pristine as possible.

Remove Dated Materials

Eliminate wood paneling and elements that might make the interior seem dated. Freshening up a room can move the home faster and will be worth the investment.

Finished Attic and Basement/Replacement Windows

Think twice before making major renovations simply to sell sooner. These may not pay off at closing. FIY estimates that some major remodels only bring about 80% to 90% of the cost. Often buyers expect to make those major changes themselves later depending on their needs and budget.

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Heim-Berg Team
Berkshire Hathaway
13340 California Street
Omaha NE 68154
(402) 677-9024
402-679-7108
Fax: 402-493-4805

 

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