Maximize Your Home’s Resale Value in 7 Easy Steps

By Christian Hudspeth, CFP®

When the time comes to move, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to sell their home for top dollar and quickly.

But is this something you must leave to the whims of the housing market? Or can we find ways to highlight our home’s value to sell it faster and for more money?

To answer this question, I spoke with award-winning Realtor® Sarah Biggerstaff, who’s been recognized as a top home seller in the popular Austin, Texas area for more than a decade.

Sarah has seen plenty of stubborn sellers make easily overlooked home-selling mistakes and suffer through months of unsuccessful home showings. On the other hand, she says she has seen clients sell their homes as early as the first weekend while generating multiple offers by making just a few simple changes to their showing. 

Here Sarah shares seven simple and affordable ways she’s helped home sellers find success:

  1. Boost curb appeal. “First impressions make a big difference! A freshly painted front door, minor landscaping, and fresh flowers can make a great first impression when buyers first pull up to the house.”
  2. Declutter and strive for minimalism. “The listings I’ve sold the fastest were from clients who packed up two boxes of personal belongings per room to declutter and make the home easily accessible for showings.” Sarah adds another fun tip: “I tell my sellers, if they can afford it, to pack up and enjoy a little trip somewhere the first weekend we hit the market (Friday through Sunday evening).” 
  3. Depersonalize and make the home theirs. You may love the mounted deer head hanging on your wall or family pictures, but they’re not helping your sales. Sarah shares “My sellers love their hunting prizes, collectibles, memorabilia, family pictures, or religious symbols. But these items distract potential homebuyers and make it difficult for them to envision themselves and their own belongings in the home.” 
  4. Show fresh paint inside. Another way to help buyers see themselves in the home (and avoid “icks”) is to paint walls in neutral colors. “A nice shade of white is always a great choice because it’s modern/updated feeling, makes the rooms looks larger, and isn’t distracting to buyers so they can more easily envision their own furniture items in the home.” 
  5. Repair small things for function. Not everything is going to be perfect in your house, but Sarah recommends repairing basic features to operate a home like broken light switches, burnt-out bulbs, and wobbly doorknobs. She also suggests having your HVAC system serviced if it’s been a while to keep potential buyers comfortable as they peruse your home.
  6. Repair and renovate deal-killing issues. Some homes need substantial repairs regarding plumbing, leaks, and foundations, while others may need renovations to make a 70s bathroom into one that looks more contemporary.  Sarah encourages sellers who need larger-scale work done to ask their agent if they have access to affordable lending services that can fund staging, painting, repairs, or other larger updates to maximize the home’s potential resale value. Some of these lending services don’t need to be repaid until closing.
  7. Leave a “home love note”. “Make a list of all the things you love about your home and leave it inside the home for easy reference during showings. Chances are any potential buyers will love the same things!” 

Follow these staging tips (plus a few more), and you’re more likely to create a “turn-key” experience where a potential homebuyer finds it easy to see themselves in your home. The more turn-key the home is for buyers, the faster you’ll receive an offer or even drive a bidding war, where the highest bidder (and you) will win.

Next, learn how to minimize your capital gains taxes on your home sale so you can stretch your dollars further toward your next financial goal in: Selling Your Home? How to Minimize Capital Gains Taxes .

*The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. FMP Wealth Advisers is not providing investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations in this article.

**To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

***These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Corporate Headquarters
6034 West Courtyard Drive
Suite 380
Austin, TX 78730
4841 Ihles Road
Lake Charles, LA 70605