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Tips for Buyers & Sellers

Market to Market

Here’s what Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate agents across the country are seeing in local markets.

Based on the article “Owning It” in Better Homes & Gardens magazine, October 2023 issue.

Will Palmer
“Homeowners should ask themselves: Are we doing the home improvement project for ourselves or are we doing it for resale? These are two vastly different things. If the seller is doing projects to sell the home—smaller projects like painting or freshened entries or porches—the reward will be almost immediate. Seller need to pick materials and projects that appeal to everyone and keep in mind they are doing it for return on investment, not for themselves.”

Dot Frank
“Although house hunters should invest plenty of time ensuring a home’s foundation, appliances, shingles, and windows are in working order, it’s easier to get excited about pretty fixtures, contemporary paint colors, and modern flooring. If your home’s structure and systems are solid, turn your attention to the lowcost items that turn heads and offer a high return on investment, like fixtures, paint, and flooring. Projects that result in the lowest return are often those that are personal and involve continued maintenance, such as sunrooms or pools. Busy wallpaper and trendy tile also can cause buyers to bemoan the work they envision to remove and replace it.”

Carol M. Buchanan
“My general rule is this: Put as little money as possible into getting your home ready to go on the market. If you replace all the carpet in the house, costing you several thousand dollars, realize the buyer may pull everything out and install wood floors. Your cabinet choice in the kitchen may not be a buyer’s taste either, so you don’t want to go to that expense.”

Sunday Nguyen
“What excites buyers right now are turnkey homes with wood finishes, grand living rooms, office space for working from home, and walk-in closets. Beyond that, replacing fixtures (such as faucets, interior door handles and hinges, and wall/ ceiling LED lights) and improving curb appeal through landscaping can increase a home’s value and attractiveness to potential buyers.”

Crystal Ledbetter
“Most garage doors are front facing and can add or diminish curb appeal. Invest in a beautiful one. When you’re ready to sell, a deep professional cleaning is advised. I wouldn’t remodel right before selling; leave that for the new owners.”

Randy Kennedy
“A homeowner should look at their neighborhood before beginning a huge remodel. You don’t want to have the fanciest house in the neighborhood. Insurance companies in Florida now look at the age of the water heater and will make you replace that sooner than later. They will not insure a roof over 15 years old either. Many times, these items become financial concessions at closing. Also very few of my buyers like carpet, and most are suspicious of HVAC systems over 10 years old.”









Remodel for yourself, not to sell your house. If you take on a project in order to sell, you’ll rarely get your money out of it. Making improvements benefits the buyer, not the seller.
CLAIRE WARREN, BHG real estate agent in Houston

Sal Rondinelli
“The best returns on curb appeal come from professionally designed landscaping, as the average homeowner may be tempted to overcrowd small spaces or not create enough visual impact with large spaces. Beyond that, affordability excites buyers now. Great values reign supreme. Updated kitchens and bathrooms, energy-efficient appliances, and smart home technologies are attractive to buyers. Before remodeling a basement, make sure you understand the moisture levels in your house. You may need a professional to seal the area and install systems to keep the moisture down before you ever begin putting up walls.”