• Shanna Vataj

Cost-Effective Selling


Every house is going to have its issues and those issues are going to have solutions. When a person looks at home they’re going to be focusing on the big pieces and those are what you need to focus on to sell your home to today’s buyer what are those big pieces. The top three costliest renovations your home is going to need in its lifetime are a roof, electrical work, and plumbing work. We can add those together and call it infrastructure. Infrastructure fixes can be frustrating to a seller because although they cost a ton to fix, they don't necessarily reflect on the sales price of the home. A home is sold to a buyer with the assumption that all infrastructure will be up to code and working efficiently (which is why we have home inspectors). These reflect in the negotiations but not necessarily in the initial offer from a buyers agent.





Then comes the fixes that you see first as a buyer. These fixes reflect in your homes marketing material and get buyers in the door. If your kitchen is an eyesore, it’s going to be an issue for any buyer even scheduling an appointment because they see major dollar signs. Secondly, flooring. Believe it or not, buyers value flooring over updated bathrooms because they a bathroom as an easier fix to get their DIY hands dirty (and compact mess!) whereas a flooring issue can be throughout your home. Lastly we have General staging. Decluttering is a large part of the sale process. This will involve painting if your home is overly personalized with colors. A neutral palette shows better in photos, video, and in-person. This usually involves a general overhaul of your furniture layout, decluttering, and bringing in some buyer-centric details.


It’s my job as a renovation & marketing specialist to know today’s buyers: what they want to know, what’s popular and how to make it happen in the most cost-effective manner possible to maximize your returns as a seller. What does that mean? That means that I go into your home or investment property and evaluate your problem areas. The first things that catch my eye are usually the biggest things we need to focus on. Things that are going to turn buyers away rather than give them the option to say “This house has great bones but there’s XY&Z that need to be taken care of to make it work for us.” If that XY&Z is going to cost them $30,000 in a new roof, 25k in a new kitchen, or 15k refinishing floors, they are going to either take that off of the asking price or walk away. It's my goal to soften those issues so that they do not look as bad as the buyer may think.


It’s a realtor's job to look at the condition of your home and bring that into play when pricing. No two houses have the same condition. It doesn’t matter if two homes are built both in 1994 and are both center hall colonials - chances are their condition is not going to be the same. One family may have had a very handy head of household while the other hired professionals when needed. One family may have had kids and one family did not (and we all know that larger families are tougher on homes - it’s just the way it is). It takes experience and knowledge of construction to make those suggestions and know your return on investment when it comes to renovating your home.


The most buyer-centric cost-effective renovations you are going to do to list are:

1. Painting & Staging- especially if you can do it yourself. A nice neutral palette with clean baseboards and trim will bring buyers in no matter the layout. I stage every listing I have for free with the dealer paying the cost of materials (that I don't already have).

2. Deep Cleaning - the house needs to be deep clean before you market no matter who you are or how clean you are. This may also include replacing bathroom caulk if it's less than perfect.

3. Kitchen upgrades. Lighting, appliances, & Small details like kitchen hardware door knobs things that you can do for yourself are always going to be more cost-effective because you don’t have to pay for labor to get that done.

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