Ten Low Cost Interior Improvement

There are ten, low cost, interior improvements that could possibly add thousands to the bottom line of your home.

  1. Light and bright homes. Add high intensity light bulbs and be sure to clean all light shades and covers
  2. Clean homes. Do a thorough cleaning throughout, no matter what the season is. Give special attention to the following areas: Windows, screens, counter tops, appliance tops, mirrors, ovens, sinks, toilets, and tub/shower walls
  3. Clean windows. Clean all windows inside and out. Launder drapes and curtains and clean all blinds
  4. Clean carpets and waxed floors. Replace or repair damaged areas of the floor or flooring covering. Replace with beige, new material (carpet, tile, linoleum), if beyond cleaning
  5. Spacious rooms. Arrange furniture and decorations to improve each room. Remove unnecessary items that do not fit in
  6. Colors that blend with anything. Consider brightening things up with a fresh coat of paint. Think white, off-shite. or beige. Such colors make rooms look bigger and brighter, and these colors are most likely to go with the ne buyer’s furnishings
  7. Closet and cabinet space. Neatly arrange everything in your closets, cabinets, and other storage areas (including the garage). Get rid of unnecessary items.
  8. Pay attention to TINY details. Fix all of the “little things” (loose doorknobs, leaky faucets, towel racks, clean and repair caulk areas)
  9. Smell. Smell is one of the most memory inducing senses.
  10. Personal Property. Buyers are NOT buying your personal property. Move all collections to a storage unit – preferably offsite

Small Exterior Additions Could Possibly Bring the Biggest Return

Following are fifteen small exterior additions that could possibly bring the largest return from buyers purchasing your property:

  1. Have your lawn cut and edged. Trim trees and shrubs, remove all dead limbs and debris
  2. Check the exterior of items like siding, window sashes, trim, and shutters. Clean these areas and/or paint, as needed. Give special attention to the front door area
  3. Make sure your gutters are clean of debris. Wash or paint, as needed. Re-align the gutters if they look crooked
  4. Replace broken windows, doors, and screens. Make sure each looks clean and in good condition
  5. Wash driveways and sidewalks. Patch holes and try to remove stains
  6. Repair any broken areas of your fence, deck, patio, etc. Make sure these areas are clean and in good shape
  7. Arrange outdoor furniture and firewood neatly. Put away all lawn equipment, bikes, and other toys
  8. Check the roof for shingles or flashing that need replacing or repair
  9. Touch up the “little things’ – house numbers, mailbox, doorbell, etc.
  10. Add color to your yard and front porch with flowers and/or hanging plants
  11. Repaint the address on your curb, if available
  12. Install decorative metal or stone borders between your lawn and planting beds
  13. Add large potted plants. Borrow if necessary
  14. Add fertilizer or other greening agents to everything
  15. Buy an expensive outside porch light

Different Home Value

Following is a list of the different types of home values that can be used when analyzing a properties value, along with a brief description of each.

  • Assessed value. This value is also known as, the more familiar term of, tax value
  • Cost or purchase price. What you paid for the property
  • Insurance value. What the insurance representative says the property should be insured for
  • Buyers valuation. What a buyer is willing to pay for the property
  • Salvage value. What a property is worth sold in pieces
  • Use value. There are times a property only has a high value for one type/particular type of use
  • Pricing value. What a seller may want
  • Replacement value. What it may cost to replace the property with a comparable property, if available
  • Reproduction value. What it would cost to duplicate the property from scratch
  • Sentimental value. This is a value based more upon emotion (from the heart, rather than from the mind)
  • Market value. The value formulated. This occurs when a ready, willing, and able buyer purchases a home from a motivated , but realistic seller


There are many agent’s out there who brag about receiving “multiple offers” on their listings, how the are able to get homes sold for over asking price, and/or they were able to get a home sold within a few days on placing this property on the market.

These facts all sound enticing from a Seller’s standpoint, but there is something that should be questioned (especially if such activity does not fit with the current real estate market) – were these homes underpriced?

If it is a “hopping” market and properties are just flying off the shelf, then such activities (as described above) are to be expected, from ANY AGENT.

If it is a slow market, with low buyer activity and extended list days on the market, then I would really start to question those select agent who are claiming these “attributes”.

Underpricing a home means that the seller looses out on selling their property for its “true” market value and not receiving top dollar for their home – which also means money is lost out for the seller; it is also unethical for agents to “underprice” a home. Agents take a pledge to protect, along with promote, their clients interests; and one of those interests is being honest with the seller.

This is why so many recommend that sellers talk to more than one agent – at least three. Ask that each comes up with a WRITTEN Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for the property. Look closely at the CMA and the comparable properties being used. To not be afraidĀ  to ask questions, such as how the agent came up with the recommend home value and why the agent chose the comparables being used.

The biggest and most important advice that I could give you, is to plain and simply go with your “gut instinct”! What is your “gut” telling you about what is being presented? How comfortable do you feel around that agent? A comfortable, trustworthy relationship is key in having a successful, business partnership because that is what you are establishing – a partnership.

Home Buying: Appraisal

Home values are constantly in flux. Market values increase, decrease, or stabilize. These changes can happen daily, weekly, monthly, or over an extended period of time, based upon that particular market area. There can even be spots within the same city that are doing one of each, at the same time. Due to these changes, there is a need to determine current values for properties, which is why lenders hire appraisers when working on a new loan. The lenders want to be able to assess the risk of loaning a certain home.

To assist the lender in this decision, they hire an appraiser to “evaluate” the property. It is then up to the appraiser to come to an objective opinion of value – Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. The appraiser will select comparable properties and make adjustments based upon the condition and features of those homes. NOTE: The lender’s appraisal is not used to determine market value, it is used for the lender to verify the security for the amount of the loan.