When considering the sale of a “high end home”, most sellers want top dollar. What can you do to make your home more appealing so that it will sell for the highest and best price?  In this four article series, we will consider improvements and upgrades that can be made to showcase the home but also those that return the most on that investment. We will discuss working with a budget of up to $25,000 with optional more expensive upgrade suggestions.

The approach must be focused and directed towards a sophisticated buyer who wants a more upscale home. What impression do you wish to make? Think of it as if you were planning a dinner party: do you want fine china or plastic plates?  Who is on the guest list of potential buyers?

Set a budget. Once you have committed to a number that you can abide by, try to see how your house looks to others. Check your own emotions at the door. Remember, this is to make your home appeal to the next owner, not the present one.  It’s best to get a disinterested third party to come and give you their opinion on what they see when they walk in. Optimally, the remodel process should begin at least 3 months before putting the home on the market. This will allow  enough time to hire the right contractor(s), acquire all materials and complete the work.

We will begin with the exterior.  The curb appeal and a home’s street presence is the first thing a buyer sees. It is difficult to undo a bad first impression.

If the home has not been painted recently, that should be one of the first things. Is the color choice in style? Color schemes have changed. Even a freshly painted home will look dated if the color scheme is wrong. Are the gutters clean and straight? Is the walkway up to the front door level and undamaged? Look at the entryway: perhaps a different front door will create a new look.   Front porches or stoops often have cracked grout and outdated railings. Repair them or change them out.  Add some new plantings to freshen up the yard. Choose flowers of the season that will be in bloom during the listing period. Do not plant summer bloomers in September, even if they are plentiful and on sale.  It’s often better to use fewer plants but spend the money on edging and mulching. Invest in a few bags of mulch for the beds, making sure you get a neutral color that complements the plantings.  As potential buyers walk up to your home, fresh mulch will give your beds and yard a “finished” look.

In a future article, we will walk inside and see what changes need to be made to get your home ready to be the star!