A home is usually the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Yet like many homeowners, you might not realize all of the factors that could really bring down the value of your home.
In an ever-changing economy, you may find yourself wanting to change your home situation quickly. So whether you think you might want to sell your home in the near future or not, it’s always a good idea to make sure your home’s value is kept up just in case.
Here is a list of the major things to keep in mind that could lower your home value and cost you big time (and how to fix or avoid them).
The curb appeal is arguably the most important thing to consider when it comes to the value of your home. If a home buyer is not impressed with the outside of the home they won’t even go inside to see anything else (or if it’s a picture of a home, it’s easy to quickly skip over it and move on to the next property).
The outside of the property needs to clean, in great condition structurally, the paint/siding looking fresh, and the landscaping needs to be orderly. If you do need to make improvements, make sure you use a professional for the bigger issues like installing or removing bigger plants or trees and fixing concrete.
If your yard is already neat but you’re considering adding landscaping details for more impressive curb appeal, talk to your Realtor first to see if it’s a good idea for your property or if it’s not likely to add any value.
Too much personality
More than one bright paint color, unusual furniture, and too many accessories can really distract and turn off a potential homebuyer from wanting to buy your home. Buyers need the home to be a clean slate and it helps for them to be able to picture their own family in the home instead of yours.
Lack of staging before showing the home, and too much clutter are detrimental to selling the property to your ideal home buyers. See our article on How to Stage Your Home for a complete list of what to pay attention to when setting up your home for home buyers to see. Also consider hiring a professional home stager to get the best results during the home selling process.
A swimming pool
Swimming pools can seem like a great investment but unfortunately they are costly and require weekly maintenance – which is either going to be a huge hindrance on a homeowner’s time or bank account. Factoring in paying for a weekly service is not ideal for a new home buyer’s budget. Unless you live in an area that is warm year-round, installing a swimming pool likely won’t bring a good return on investment.
Kitchens and bathrooms that haven’t been updated
Kitchens and bathrooms are main focal points for home buyers. If your kitchen has noticeably old appliances and limescale in the bathrooms, it may be a deal breaker for home buyers. While they should be viewing the home while visualizing their own life in it, they could instead get distracted by mentally calculating how much it would cost them to repair anything unappealing right away.
In fact, new appliances and clean and hygienic bathrooms could be the factors that sell your home very quickly.
A few things to consider replacing in your kitchen are old backsplashes, sinks, outdated countertops, flooring, or cabinets. What makes the most difference to replace in bathrooms are flooring, sinks, toilets, and cabinetry. Consider each one carefully to see what actually needs to be replaced versus which are fine as they are and won’t be needed to bring up your home value.
In What to Renovate for the Best Return on Investment, there are tips on what could really make the difference for a higher sale value when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms.
Overall, even if you don’t want to make the investment for all new energy efficient appliances, flooring, cabinets, etc, at least keep everything cleaned thoroughly regularly. Clean, clutter-free surfaces, and good lighting are essential, at the very least.
Most DIY home projects are not as easy as they look on Pinterest. Even if it is just fine for you, if the result of your work is not professional-looking, it will be immediately noticed by potential home buyers and seen as a red flag.
Buyers are often looking for a home that doesn’t need to be fixed or updated right away, which means everything in the home should look professionally done and move-in ready.
If you are considering selling your home in the near future and you want to do renovations beforehand – whether DIY or professional – it’s a good idea to run big project ideas by your Realtor beforehand. A good Realtor will be able to advise you on what home features will help it sell for a higher price versus what improvements likely won’t make a difference.
Things outside of your control
While there are plenty of things within your property that you can do to make your home value go up, there are things outside of your control that could devalue your home as well. While you won’t be able to change these things yourself, they’ll still be good to know and discuss with your Realtor so it won’t be a surprise to you if your home was appraised at a lower price than you were expecting.
A few of the main things that could bring down the value of your home are the curb appeal of your neighbors’ homes, any foreclosures in your neighborhood, and any major noise pollution (such as being really close to a freeway, train tracks or a shooting range).
If you do receive a lower appraisal on your home than you think it should be, see this article on what you can do to get your home’s value back up or how to fight a low appraisal and win.
Want to know what you can do to increase your home value?
If you’re looking to sell your home soon or even just some time in the future, it’s always a good idea to keep your home in good shape by getting professional maintenance done whenever it’s needed (whether that’s plumbing, structural work, etc) in order to keep the property value up.
Then when it’s close to your sell date, consider making the home’s interior as neutral and clutter-free as possible to have the best chance of selling your home at your preferred sale price. Then you are ready to sell!
Keep in mind, the way homes are bought and sold right now is changing due to the ongoing pandemic and the need for safety measures. If your community is currently using social distancing measures, check out Coronavirus Real Estate Guide to see what you can expect when working with a Realtor right now. As things are always changing, don’t forget to ask your Realtor what current guidelines are before you begin looking at houses in person.
If you’re in the Sacramento, California area and wanting to sell your home, contact us at Quantum Real Estate so we can get started.