Column: The Real Scoop | Greenwich Sentinel

By Carline Martin

Welcome to The Real Scoop. This monthly column is intended to help homeowners and potential homeowners in our community address a variety of home related and real estate issues. As a Realtor, I am often approached by many homeowners and buyers to provide answers for a variety of questions pertaining to all things home related. In my quest to provide answers, I have relied on my own expertise, as well as that of many trade professionals I have come to know in our community. The information I have provided has been deemed very useful and greatly appreciated, so I have decided to share what I know with the Greenwich community. Here is this month’s selected question:

Q: I am preparing to list my home for sale and I want to make sure I am maximizing my profit. What steps should I take to add value to my home?

A: While it may not seem like much is required to sell a home in our current real estate market, sellers who would like to maximize the value of their home may want to consider addressing some updates, where needed.

In the past couple of years, we have seen homes of varying size and condition fly off the market. High demand has been driving sales, instilling confidence that homeowners will not have much difficulty selling their homes. However, buyers are looking for homes that are appealing and ready to settle into. Updating kitchens and baths, sprucing up curb appeal and converting unused areas into livable space can translate into a nice ROI at the closing table. If you are aiming to sell quickly and maximize your profit, here are a few areas on which you should focus.

A minor bathroom remodel is one of the best areas to invest. If your budget will not allow for a major overhaul, which would involve tearing down to studs, upgrading plumbing, shower basin and more, there are cost-effective ways to freshen things up. Replacing the vanity, toilet, showerhead and faucets, as well as a fresh coat of paint, will give your bath a new feel without the high price tag. New lighting will, also, brighten things up. If your budget allows for a full bath remodel, the primary bath is where you should focus. Speak with a contractor skilled in bathroom remodeling to assist with this project.

Kitchens are said to be the heart of the home. This is where many families spend most of their time. Every homebuyer craves a sparkling, new, state-of-the-art kitchen but if high-end gadgets don’t factor into your budget, you can boost the appeal of your kitchen by replacing appliances and making the most of what is there. While high end kitchens will often boast Wolf and Sub Zero appliances, the everyday cook will be appreciative of new, mid-range appliances. If gutting your kitchen to replace cabinets and counters does not suit your budget, refinishing or painting cabinetry may be enough to give your kitchen a fresh look. However, if your kitchen is screaming a 1970’s theme, for example, you may want to either consider a full renovation or account for this in your listing price.
If your budget allows for a full kitchen remodel, it is advisable to speak with a professional kitchen designer who can work with your budget to allow the most bang for your buck.

Before anyone even makes it as far as your kitchen or baths, they will be confronted by your front door and entryway. This will set the tone for their impression of the home. Make sure that your front door is nicely painted or replace it if it shows signs of wear or damage. Replacing your entry hardware with a sparkling new entry set will make a bold first impression. Baldwin and Emtek offer a wide range of entry sets for every style home. If your budget is more streamlined, check out Schlage entry sets. Weatherstrip around your front door to prevent a drafty entryway. Many buyers make up their minds about a home within the first few minutes. Aim to win them over.

Landscaping can be a home run when it comes to first impressions. Add some nice plantings and potted plants by the front door. Mulch flower beds and make sure your yard is neat and tidy. As with your entry way, your landscaping is one of the first things your potential buyers will lay their eyes on and will be among the most impactful. This is a small investment that will offer a nice return on your investment.

Converting unused space to living space can be a very lucrative decision. If you have an attic that may be used as an additional bedroom or office, it’s worth considering taking measures to upgrade this space. The same is true for unused basement space. Adding additional living space to your home will always add to its appeal and, very often, its value. Be certain to speak with a contractor or architect who can obtain necessary permits and complete the renovation according to building code.

Outdoor living space is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. Depending on your budget, adding a deck or just clearing an area of your yard for an outdoor sitting area will make a big impact on buyers. If adding a deck, choosing a composite material, such as Trek, will attract buyers who are not interested in high maintenance. For more modest budgets, consider transforming a section of your yard into a cozy gathering space by laying paving stones or gravel beneath an attractive dining set or lounges. This will convey the message that this home offers year-round enjoyment.

Please reach out to me for more information on how you can increase the value of your home and prepare it for sale. I am always delighted to help!

NOTE TO READERS – If you have been contemplating selling your home, now is the time to take action. Use the link or QR code below to see the value of your home. Then contact me for a detailed market analysis and personalized marketing plan.

I, also, work diligently with buyers through every step of the home buying process, from the first showing to the closing on their dream home.

Whether you are buying or selling, I am here to help. Please contact me. I look forward to working with you.

SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS – If you have a real estate or home related question for which you would like a professional opinion, please email me at [email protected] with “Sentinel” in the subject line. Each month, I will provide answers to one or two selected questions. Email me your Real questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

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