A seller may be able to boost the value of their home by an additional 12 percent, with just a few smart pre-listing repairs, according to a new survey of 300 residential real estate professionals by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. On a median, single-family home priced at $205,000, that could be a potential gain of $24,600.
“You don’t have to spend a ton of money to increase the value of your home," says Dan DiClerico, senior editor for Consumer Reports. “Some simple, inexpensive fixes throughout the house can make it more appealing to potential buyers.” Here are some of the fixes that the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals uncovered as being the most important:
Cost range: $0 (do-it-yourself) to $2,500 (pro)
Potential return: 3% to 5%
Clear away any clutter and depersonalize the space as much as possible.
2. Makeover the kitchen
Cost range: $300 to $5,000
Potential return: 3% to 7%
The kitchen was rated as the most important room to have in top shape before selling, according to the survey. Real estate professionals recommend focusing on minor repairs that center on the function of the kitchen first, such as repairing leaky faucets, loose light fixtures, or blemishes on the countertop. Then, they recommend small enhancements, such as painting the walls, updating the cabinet hardware, adding new curtains, or light fixtures.
3. Freshen up the bathroom
Cost range: $300 to $1,000
Potential return: 2% to 3%
Make simple improvements, such as caulking the tub or re-grouting the floor or adding new bathroom fixtures to brighten up the space. Updating the mirror and lighting also can have a big impact, the real estate professionals surveyed said.
Cost range: $100 (do-it-yourself) to $1,000 (pro)
Potential return: 1% to 3%
Sixteen percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that interior painting is an important part in bringing about a sale of a home. But the seller likely doesn’t need the entire house repainted, but maybe just a redo of one or two rooms to curb costs. The two prime candidates for being repainted: Kitchens and bathrooms. Paint in whites and off-whites and a neutral palette – such as grays and beiges -- help buyers focus on the home’s features more than be distracted by bright colors, agents note.
5. Exterior touch ups
Cost range: $150 to $7,500
Potential return: 2% to 5%
Agents recommend that their clients concentrate on basic maintenance first, such as to mowing the lawn, trimming overgrown shrubs, and applying a fresh layer of mulch to the garden beds. They also recommend making any minor repairs, such as replacing cracked siding boards or repointing brick walls. The real estate professionals also recommended taking careful note of any repairs needed with the roof: 31 percent of agents surveyed said the roof is one of the most important parts of the home to have in good shape.
The latest Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling Magazine in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, uncovered some of the top home remodeling projects that offer some of the largest returns at resale. Many of the biggest payback projects had to do with enhancing the exterior of the home.
The following are the top five projects nationally in terms of cost recouped, according to the Cost vs. Value report:
1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)
2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)
3. Garage door replacement (88.5%)
4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)
5. Garage door replacement (82.5%)
Check out the latest Cost vs. Value Report to learn more about the top home remodeling projects for resale. Also, read more about easy enhancements sellers can do to help increase the value of their home in Consumer Report’s full report, “How to Make Your Home More Valuable,” which can be accessed online or found in the March 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Source: Realtor Mag via “Top 5 Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home,” Consumer Reports (Jan. 29, 2015)
In a new book, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoffand the firm's chief economist Stan Humphries question some age-old maxims of real estate. "Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate," which was released this week, shares insights gleaned from analyzing extensive residential real estate data Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) has collected over the years.
Here are seven myths they try to bust:
1) The most important rule in real estate is location, location, location. Not true, they say. Instead, the most important rule in real estate is future location, future location, future location. The authors say home buyers eager to maximize their returns must look 10 or 20 years down the road to assess what will happen to the neighborhood.
2) Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. Wrong! The house will always be the worst house in the neighborhood, and buyers in a great neighborhood are likely to look past your ugly duckling when you go to sell, meaning the price gains on these "worst houses" actually underperform their surrounding neighborhood rather than being carried along with them, Zillow found. Instead, the authors advise a shopper to buy the worst house in the hottest neighborhood — and to do so within the first five years of the neighborhood getting hot. In a subsequent blog, I'll share with you signs I looked for when house-hunting in up-and-coming neighborhoods in Charlotte, N.C., and San Francisco over the years.
3) Foreclosure discounts offer compelling investment opportunities. The authors say calculations of dramatic discounts offered in buying foreclosures often overstate the case. That's because the foreclosed property is usually compared to the prices of non-foreclosed property, an apples and oranges comparison, rather than other foreclosures in the area. According to Zillow, the national foreclosure discount in September 2012 was just 7.7 percent, and an even smaller 4.7 percent in San Francisco. I suspect the foreclosure discount is even narrower now.
4) Remodeling the kitchen, with a lot of fancy upgrades, is one of the smartest moves you can make to boost your home's value."Kitchen renovations, at any level, offer among the lowest return on investment of the home improvements we studied," the authors said. Instead, a modest bathroom makeover might have the biggest impact on your home's value.
5) List early in the year to catch the spring home-buying rush. Nope. With more home buyers starting their search online, it's better to list in late March, generally speaking, so your listing is near the top of search results. Or as the authors put it, "you shouldn't list your house for sale before March Madness or after the Masters."
6) Home ownership is the foundation of the American Dream. The authors argue that an analysis of Zillow's data indicates public policy designed to boost homeownership among low-income buyers has the opposite effect of lifting people out of poverty. That's in large part because less affluent neighborhoods, where many of these new home owners can afford to buy, experience lower appreciation and higher price volatility than more affluent neighborhoods, according to Zillow Talk's analysis.
7) The mortgage interest deduction is essential to the health of the nation's real estate market. The authors concede that they're taking on the third rail of real estate, and American politics, in calling the mortgage interest deduction ill-conceived public policy. The authors make the case that the federal government is essentially spending $100 billion in the form of lost tax revenue annually to help Americans living in homes that cost about $865,000. And yes, that includes many of us living in the Bay Area. "It's especially ironic that the (mortgage interest deduction) is consistently sold to the American people as a populist policy to help the little guy," the authors write. "In reality, it's the exact opposite."
Source: San Fransisco Business Times
by Mark Calvey
The information in this infographic comes from a video of NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun talking about his 2015 housing market expectations. He expects existing-home sales to rise about 7 percent in 2015 behind a strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices.
Watch the video of Lawrence Yun's forecast.
Read the news release about Lawrence Yun's forecast.
Memphis-area home sales for December increased 20.7 percent from a year ago, with 1,317 total sales recorded in the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® MAARdata property records database. Sales increased 28.5 percent from November, when there were 1,025 total sales. Average sales price from December-to-December was down 0.8 percent at $141,870. Inventory decreased 4.8 percent, with 6,131 units listed for sale. YTD sales volume increased 1.7 percent to $2.38 billion. Click here to view the full December report.
Maria Krahn is an Affiliate Broker with Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS... Maria has earned the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation as well as the Accredited Buyer Representative designation..
Maria Krahn, ABR, SRES
5860 Ridgeway Center Pkwy Ste 100
Memphis, TN 38120
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