Hold On DIY-ers!



Tackling a weekend project can blow up your home value!

When you own a home it can be invigorating to tackle a home improvement project. Watch HGTV for an hour and you’re pretty much ready to build a house from the ground up! Goodness! My advice is…if you’re not really that handy YET, you have two options:

1. Go do something else this weekend or

2. Start on an area of the house that no one will ever see and then work your way up to the bigger project once you’ve mastered the skills required.

All too often home owners get over their heads with weekend projects. From painting upstairs bedrooms to building a deck to installing a new bathroom – I’ve seen a million renovations by home owners. In some cases the work is tremendous. In many cases, though, the project is an obstacle to selling the home. Here are some key points for you to consider before you put on your protective eye-wear and start knocking down walls in your kitchen:

  1. If you are selling your house soon…or like, ever, check with your agent, a contractor, and consult an interior designer before you do anything. Especially if you are going to do any plumbing, electrical or structural work, it is likely that this type of work needs a permit. And, I encourage you to seek and obtain the permit for the work. In some jurisdictions where I sell homes, it is a legal requirement for the seller to disclose whether or not the work they completed was done with a permit. Why does this matter? Well, buyers’ agents and the buyers themselves will access county records via the web and check to see if you permitted your project. Sure, you could sell your house without the permitting. If you have a lot of offers on your home, it may not matter. But if you are on the market for a little while, be aware that having no permits will almost definitely put you in a bind during a negotiation.
  2. Your taste and your style are, in fact, YOURS. Doing custom work in your house is really great for you. It can be edifying to pay tribute to a family member, for example, by placing some of their personal items in the middle of your kitchen back-splash and cementing those things to the wall. [I couldn’t make this up] Keep in mind, though, that when you sell your home, those items aren’t going to resonate with your prospective buyers in the same way they do for you. Naturally, when you are selling your house, you want it to appeal to the greatest number of buyers possible. Often that means replacing some of your personal taste and style with something more generic – or even trendy – that will appeal to a wider audience. The more buyers, the better, right?

For more on setting yourself up for success when selling visit us at kilnergroup.com.

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