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5 Ways a Home Improvement Loan Can Help Increase Home Value Before You Sell
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When it’s time to sell your home, setting the right price is key. Ask too much and you’re sure to alienate potential buyers and endure a long listing period. Ask too little and you’ll needlessly leave money on the closing table. Neither option sounds good.
*Terms are for unsecured loans and may vary for secured loans.
In many cases, making an upfront investment to improve your home’s curb appeal or interior allows you to stand out from the pack and increase home value before you sell — especially in a competitive market. Having a more desirable property attracts more potential buyers who may be willing to pay top dollar. True Edwards, Realtor at Matt O’Neill Real Estate, says, “You may be buying a pre-owned home, but you still want it to feel new.” She believes that making strategic improvements to your home entices buyers and significantly increases the likelihood that they’ll make higher offers. According to Edwards, “Sellers often pay 1% of the listing price to improve curb appeal.” For example, you might invest $3,000 to spruce up a home that you plan to sell for $300,000. But what if you don’t have a surplus of cash to spend on a home sale? A smart solution can be taking out a home improvement loan. Looking for a home improvement loan? Compare loan options in your area with our comparison tool.
Here are five ways a home improvement loan can help increase home value before you sell:
When buyers drive by your home, make sure they have an impeccable first impression. If they don’t like what they see outside, they’ll probably never peek inside. Consider revitalizing your front yard with bright flowers or a variety of eye-catching plants. If you have existing plant beds, freshen them up with mulch or pine straw. If your grass isn’t green and healthy, roll out some new sod. Don’t have much of a yard? Try putting colorful flowers or mini evergreens in terra cotta pots to add pizzazz to your entrance. Or set up bright, overflowing window boxes for attractive texture and curb appeal. Consider installing a sweet picket fence or a simple brick or stone path leading to the front door for added charm. Approximate cost: Depending on the size of your yard, flowers, plants and mulch can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars. Flower pots and window boxes cost less than $100. Installing sod, fencing and a stone path could run into the thousands if you have a large area to cover.
Edwards says, “Painting the exterior and getting a landscape professional is well worth it. Depending on the house, a pretty soft blue or coral can be eye catching.” A fresh coat of paint can work like magic to transform a dull home. Even just repainting your front door a bold color can do wonders. Try a color that contrasts the façade, such as red or turquoise. For more punch, hang a pretty wreath on the door and upgrade your house numbers. These are low-cost and easy ways to make sure your home stands out. Approximate cost: Painting the exterior of your home could cost several thousand dollars, depending on its size. But buying a gallon of paint for the front door costs as little as $25. A wreath and metal house numbers can be less than $50.
Home buyers typically make purchase offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection. So, it’s wise to make needed repairs before putting your home on the market. Even relatively minor issues that you’ve been overlooking — such as a leaky faucet, water stains, or chipping paint — can turn into roadblocks that slow down or kill a potential sale. Consider getting your own inspection first to discover what small or large problems should be addressed sooner rather than later. This can help you get a higher selling price and close a deal faster. Approximate cost: Small repairs might cost a few hundred dollars, but some types deferred maintenance — such as a leaky roof or windows — could cost several thousand dollars. Get repair estimates before applying for a personal loan so you know how much you’ll need.
Consider the first impression buyers will have as they drive up to your home and approach your front door for the first time. It pays to keep your landscaping and lawn well-manicured 24/7. Your driveway, exterior porches, windows and exterior walls must be clean. Unless you’re willing to discount a home’s price well below market value, prospective homebuyers generally won’t want to buy a house that doesn’t appear well-kept. Edwards suggests doing a deep cleaning, and says, “Nothing is worse than a buyer seeing dirty return vents, fans, baseboards, carpets, and walls that need fresh paint.” Approximate cost: Depending on the size of your home, hiring a cleaning crew for a deep cleaning could cost around $500. Steam cleaning carpets and rugs costs as little as $300. And painting the interior of your home could be several thousand dollars.
Before your home goes on the market, use staging techniques to make it as attractive and as possible. Refresh worn out entrance mats, wilted house plants, furnishings and pillows. You might rearrange or remove furniture to make rooms feel more spacious and inviting. Edwards says, “Decluttering and hiring a staging professional is a big winner and helps buyers make offers closer to your listing price.” The idea is to clean up, simplify, and depersonalize your home as if it were a model home, because that’s what it needs to be while it’s on the market. Approximate cost: New entrance mats and house plants cost less than $200. You can rent staging furniture for less than a $1,000 per month. Hiring a staging pro might cost about $300. Whether you need a thousand or several thousand dollars to make repairs and home improvements, getting a personal loan can be an easy solution. If you spend the funds wisely, you’ll come out ahead with less time on the market, a higher home sale price, or both.
Laura Adams is a personal finance expert, spokesperson, and national media source who helps consumers improve their finances by making money easy to understand.
She’s the host of the top-rated MoneyGirl Podcast and award-winning author of multiple books, including Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich. Connect with Laura at LauraDAdams.com and on Twitter @LauraAdams.
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