My response to this always disappoints people

As a realtor, you wouldn’t be surprised that people are always asking me the best way to add value to their homes.

What might surprise you is my response.

There are no improvements or upgrades that get you more than a 100% return. All give pennies on the dollar. I know, you are thinking “Then how do people who flip houses make money?” They make money from buying the house below market value. You already own your house so spending money to sell it and getting back less than you spent is just wasting time. Usually you want to do the least you can do, and the best thing is to address the worst aspects of your home before selling it. If you have worn out carpet, replace it. If you have a rusting light fixture in a bathroom, replace it…..but what is the best bang for the buck in getting top dollar for your house when you are selling it?

The absolute best bang for your buck has always been and will always be a fresh coat of paint.

Fresh paint makes any room automatically feel better and cleaner. Fresh paint can be done in whatever the trendy color is at the moment, which gives your home an updated vibe. Fresh paint can be used to unify all the rooms in your house. Buyers will walk around every room in your home within their 30 minute viewing. Having the same color in all the rooms is soothing and calming. Buyers love that. In a vacant house, all you see in most rooms are 4 walls, a ceiling, a light fixture and the floor. Having 80% of all there is to see be new makes a huge impact.

So there you go! If you are getting ready to sell your home and want to know the wisest way to spend your money in preparation, hit the paint isle at the hardware store.

Will a Selling Bonus help sell your house faster?

I recently had a somebody ask me if I thought it would help their house sell faster if they offered a “Selling Bonus” to the buyer’s agent.

My answer was no.

Selling bonuses use to help back in the days when realtors were the only ones who knew what houses were for sale.  The thought was that you could entice a greedy agent to show and sell your listing because they would make more money.  Today, it is usually the buyer who tells their agent what houses they want to see since they have access to all listings (and thanks to some sites that are not up to date, they also have access to houses that WERE for sale and are no longer available….but that is another blog post.)

Know what I told this person?  To reduce their price.  If they were willing to pay more commission to an agent, why not lower the price by the same amount and offer it to the buyer?

Offering a selling bonus does one thing today:  Since the buyers have access to all listings and pick what they want to see, a seller is really just giving extra money to the agent of the buyer who would have bought the house anyway.

When I show a house that has a selling bonus, I always make a point of telling my buyer before we see it.  Should they end up buying the house, the last thing I want is for them to think it influenced my advice to them.