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Tuesday, June 25, 2013


5 Ways to Boost the Equity of Your Home this Summer

A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive
way to make a quick improvement
Spring and summer are the most popular times of year for home buying and selling.  If you are considering selling your home, it’s a good idea to take a critical look at it before you list.  Many people think that boosting your home’s equity costs a lot of money.  Truth is there are many things you can do for very little money and get top dollar for your home.

Century 21 LSB Real Estate has come up with some ways that you can increase the value of your home before putting it on the market. So take a look, then get to work!

(All figures taken from HomeGain’s 2009 survey of 1,000 realtors across the country. While this data is a few years old, it can still give you a good idea of which projects to go after)

  • Clean and De-clutter- buyers want to visualize themselves in your home, and that’s hard to do with a lot of your stuff in the way. Make sure carpets are cleaned, all cabinets, drawers and closets are cleaned and organized, and keep your bathrooms sparkling. Average cost: $100-200, home price increase: $1500-2000, realtors recommending this: 98 percent
  • Replace or shampoo carpets- your carpet should appear clean and not come with an odor. Those that are odorless can be cleaned, while smelly carpets should be replaced with an odorless and neutral color carpet. Average cost: $400-500, home price increase: $1000-1500, realtors recommending this: 97 percent
  • Brighten things up- the more light you can get into your home, the better. Clean all windows, shutters, blinds and drapes, install the brightest light bulbs possible at the right wattage and prune trees to make sure they aren’t blocking any light. Average cost: $200-300, home price increase: $1000-1500, realtors recommending this: 95 percent
  • Tame the yard- landscaping is a must since many buyers will judge a home based solely on “curb appeal.” Remove all clutter and dead/dying plants, trim/prune grass, bushes, hedges, trees, and edge and trim to give the yard a nice boundary. Average cost: $300-400, home price increase: $1500-2000, realtors recommending this: 94 percent
  • Give your home interior a fresh coat- whether it’s touching up or completely repainting a room, getting it right means prepping right. Repair nicks or cracks in the drywall, sand down patched areas prime, and be sure to use quality paint. Average cost: $500-750, home price increase: $1500-2000, realtors recommending this: 94 percent

These are just a few ideas to add value to your home equity. Updating kitchens and bathrooms are also great ways to make sure your home sells at the price you want.

Tips to Prepare for Buying or Selling a Home this Summer

Summer has finally arrived!  Spring and summer are a busy time of year for buying and selling homes. However, the housing market can be an intimidating place. There are so many things to consider, remember and do that it can be overwhelming. At Century 21 LSB Real Estate, we want to help you de-stress a little bit when it comes to home buying or selling. Here are a few tips for people on both sides of the buying or selling transaction.

Tips for Home Buyers

  • Know how much home you can afford- a common rule of thumb is that you can afford a house that is up to twice your gross annual income. It also depends on six factors: income, available cash for down payment, closing costs and reserves, any debts you have, your credit score the type of mortgage and current interest rates.
  • Find out the details- it’s best to hire someone to inspect the home you’re considering. Make sure the inspector you hire belongs to the American Society of Home Inspectors
  • Make the right down payment- the size of your down payment will differ based on your situation and loan type. Making a 20 percent down payment not only reduces the amount of debt you will finance, but it also waives the additional costs from having mortgage insurance

You can find more tips for buying a new home here on the Century 21 LSB Real Estate website.

Tips for Home Sellers

  • Price, Condition and Exposure- these are the three most important factors when trying to sell a home. The right pricing strategy can attract the ideal buyers, so be sure to do your homework on that. Cosmetic details, no matter how small, can affect the price of your home and a buyer’s willingness to make an offer, so be sure any “rough edges” are taken care of. You also want to make sure your home gets the right exposure through multiple online listings, open houses, broker open houses, advertising and quality signage.
  • Get your home appraised- getting the price right is difficult on your own, so use a professional appraiser to make sure the job is done right. Make sure to get any analysis in writing, and use a recommended professional appraiser.
  • Get your home ready to sell- de-clutter rooms, closets, cupboard and anywhere else a potential buyer will see. Give your home a thorough cleaning, and leave it looking and smelling nice. Finally, give the grass and hedges a trim to make a good first impression to potential buyers.

You can see more tips for selling your home here.

Century 21 LSB Real Estate would love to help you and your family find the home of your dreams this year. Let us know if there’s any way we can help! Until then, happy home hunting!