By Myra Jensen
Looking to decrease the value of your home? Probably not, but do these things and expect your home value to drop over time.
1. Do not fix anything or Fix Everything Yourself and don’t pull a permit.
Everybody has those things in their home that are broken but overlooked, it’s not just one thing that will decrease the value of your home, it’s the list of things that happen over time. Be aware of what needs to be repaired in your home, and make those repairs, properly, with the correct permits if necessary. Major repairs should be done by a qualified professional, because when you go to sell your home, the buyer is not going to be comfortable if you replaced the furnace yourself, or if the roof was replaced by your “handy” cousin. Many cities have low interest loans or grants available for home repairs if you meet the income limits. Check your city website for more information.
I am not here to judge if you should smoke or not, but if you smoke in your house, the value of your house will decrease. Even buyers that smoke do not like the smell of stale smoke when they are house hunting. I tell my sellers to expect about a 10% price decrease from an identical home with no smoke smell. If you smoke, try to smoke outside your house, and if you are selling your house, don’t smoke in the garage or by the front door either, buyers will notice. There are companies that you can hire get rid of the smoke smell if you are selling your home.
3. Don’t take care of the yard.
Your yard is something that can really get away from you easily. Once the weeds take over, it is difficult to get rid of them. If you are not sure how to take care of your yard, there are a lot of great online resources. Beautiful landscaping has a big impact on the value of your home.
4. Leave it Empty
Obviously if the home is empty over time, there are many issues that can arise, and then be compounded because nobody is there to address them, and then they get worse. If you need to sell your house AFTER you have moved out of it, you will need to have it at least minimally staged. I also recommend having the entire home painted, because when it is empty, every mark on the wall will be noticed by the buyer. If you really want to maximize the value of a vacant house, you can rent furniture and accessories from a staging company to make sure the home shows at it’s best. See Myra Jensen’s Top Tips for Staging a Vacant Home
5. Never Throw ANYTHING Away
Can your stuff actually decrease the value of your home? Yes, if it gets out of control. Especially when it starts to creep outside, on the porch, in the yard, in the garage. Once that happens you know you are over run by stuff. Too much stuff makes it hard to clean, hard to repair things, and most importantly just does not make you feel good in your own house. Many cities have “Clean Up Days” where they will take items that are difficult to throw in the garbage for free or for a small cost. There are organizations that will come pick up used items so they can resell them. Only keep the things that you need, love, and make you happy. More resources for decluttering and cleaning:
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