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Timing, curb appeal key to a eventual sale price

Curb appeal attracts buyers, according to industry experts. Metro Creative Photo

There’s plenty for a seller to consider when listing a home for sale, but one factor that could prompt a difference in thousands of dollars is timing.

According to a 2022 report by ATTOM Data Solutions, sellers can expect thousands of dollars more when they sell their house from May to June as opposed to the slowest months in October and December.

The report also shows the most popular time to sell a home is during the spring and summer months. The top 15 days for selling a house are in the month of May, and the three best months can offer premiums of 10% above home value, the report said.

Now, the timing is right, but for many, timing can be an uncontrollable factor. Logic would suggest that any renovation will likely improve the house and lead to a higher value, but depending on the type of renovation, a seller may not see an increase large enough to cover the cost.

That’s where the process of selling can get complicated as a seller — perhaps someone selling their starter home to upgrade to a larger space will have to make sure that the improvements they are doing will increase their profit margin alongside the home’s value, not just the latter.

“I’d recommend any upgrades on the exterior,” said Clair Boring of Clair Boring Painting Services in Butler. “Possibly repaint, siding or anything that needed upgrading, like roofing.”

A survey from the National Association of Realtors found that 99% of respondents say that curb appeal, how attractive the house looks from the outside, is important in attracting a buyer. That same survey of Realtors had 94% respond saying that they typically recommend their sellers improve their curb appeal before listing their house.

Another survey from Remodeling Magazine gave the same answer as the association and Boring.

Of the five best renovations in terms of return on investment that can be done to a house, four of them were exterior renovations.

In order, the top five were: garage door replacement, new manufactured stone veneer, minor kitchen remodel, new siding and new windows.

“Anything to give a home a new look,” Boring said.

Kitchen updates are one of the non-exterior renovations that attract homebuyers. Metro Creative Photo

David Wood of the Home Improvement Center recommended kitchen renovations, the non-exterior renovation that made the top five in return on investment.

He listed kitchen renovations alongside bathroom renovations as two areas that he commonly sees sellers renovate prior to listing.

“Two key areas that people are trying to spruce, help when they’re selling their house, are their bathrooms and kitchens,” Wood said. “We find a lot of people taking that plunge and doing the whole kitchen project, or maybe a more superficial kind of thing by changing countertops or the hardware on the cabinets.”

The key to improving a home’s value prior to selling is to make it look more attractive. That can be as simple as a new exterior paint job or as complex as a new kitchen.

Regardless, if homeowners want to sell their homes and make money from deal, they need to consider the return on investment on any project they are doing.

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