It is a good investment for sellers to do cosmetic improvements in order to enhance the visual appeal of the property, prior to putting it on the market. Most real estate agents will advise sellers to fix up their homes in order to get the best possible price. A fresh coat of paint or new carpet can often pay back more than double the cost. But, before making cosmetic changes to make the house "look good", let's think about what is really important to the potential buyers of your property.
Your home could be gorgeous on the surface and extremely ugly underneath. What do you think is more important to the potential buyer? Nice paint and wallpaper or a deteriorating foundation? Paint and wallpaper can easily be changed with very little cost involved. A deteriorating foundation is another story altogether.
A smart buyer will ask for a professional inspection of the property in order to check for hidden problems. An inspector will look for things like structural damage, drainage problems, wiring and plumbing problems and the like.
If you are the seller of an older home, you should consider hiring an inspector to check for hidden problems before you start working on the cosmetics. You may have problems that you are unaware of that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair.
Even if the buyer is impressed with the carpet, paint and "curb appeal", would they still be interested if, once inspected, structural damage is found that will cost thousands to repair? Probably not, at least not at the price you are asking.
Play it safe, get an inspector before you start working on enhancing the "curb appeal" of your property. If serious problems are found, you may decide to offer it as a fixer upper property at a discounted price taking the necessary repairs into price consideration. If no problems are found, great! By all means, start working on those cosmetics!
Cindy Snyder operates Creative Mortgage Company and publishes a monthly newsletter entitled 0nly4Homebuyers.
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