Have you spent the last few years wondering when and how you’d be able to sell your home without taking a loss? If so, your worries may be coming to an end. According to experts, the U.S. housing market is showing strong signs of a rebound.
Home builders are the most confident they’ve been since January 2006, reports Reuters, citing factors such as the decreasing number of available homes and high demand. At the same time, mortgage agency Freddie Mac, the federal government-sponsored home loan company, just saw a profit surge in this year’s second quarter, according to the Associated Press. This means the agency is seeing fewer delinquent loans, which means the housing market is improving.
If you’re looking to take advantage of this upswing in the market and sell your home, there are some investments you may want to make. Here are some things you can do to help your home sell.
Have your home inspected
When a buyer has a house inspected, he may become privy to potentially costly problems — which he can then use as a negotiating tool, notes Corcoran Group Real Estate founder Barbara Corcoran on AARP. On the other hand, if you have your home inspected first, you have the opportunity to show the buyer that your home has a clean bill of health.
Whether they come about as a result of a home inspection or because they’ve been sitting on your to-do list, making repairs on your home is a good idea before selling, according to Kiplinger. When potential buyers see problems like leaky faucets or broken fences, they may assume you’re failing to maintain the house, the publication suggests.
Applying a coat of paint gives you the best return on your investment, according to Corcoran, who recommends freshening up walls as well as ceilings. Corcoran notes that bright white on ceilings emphasize room height and natural light. As for wall colors, Corcoran recommends checking out new developments in your area to see what’s popular these days.
Make your curb appealing
Since people often do judge a book by its cover, Bankrate recommends paying attention to your home’s curb appeal. This means making your exteriors more attractive by doing things like trimming trees and bushes that may hide your house, painting the front door, cleaning the windows, planting flowers and power-washing your driveway, walkways and house.
Hire a professional photographer
Photos of your home are the most valued feature on real estate websites, asserts Corcoran. So she recommends featuring the best images you can. This means hiring a pro who specializes in taking pictures of homes. As for how many photos to feature, Corcoran insists you can’t have too many, though she recommends offering up at least six.
Stage the house
Anyone who’s ever seen a real estate reality TV show knows that staging a home is one way to make a home appealing to buyers. Staging — which Kiplinger describes as deep-cleaning and de-cluttering your home, along with making changes in furnishings — can have a big impact on sales. Kiplinger cites a survey done by the International Association of Home Staging professionals, which revealed that 95 percent of staged homes sell in an average of 23 days or less.
Even if you’re not quite ready to put your house on the market, there are still ways the improving home market can work in your favor. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance says now’s a good time to cash in on your home, since rising home prices give you some leverage. The magazine suggests you may want to consider taking actions such as tapping into your home’s equity and refinance your mortgage.
Will you be taking advantage of the rebounding housing market? What are your plans for your home?