What Home Improvements Will Increase My Zestimate and Help Sell My Home Faster?
If you're thinking about selling your home, you probably have two questions on your mind: How fast can I sell it and how much can I get for it? And, if you're like most home sellers, this first place you looked for answers was your Zillow Zestimate. But if you don't like your Zestimate, are there home improvements you can make to increase it?
What can increase your Zestimate?
Zillow uses software to analyze all the available information on your home to decide how much it's worth in your market. It takes into account the big picture aspects of your home, like square footage and the number of bathrooms, and it also looks at some of the nitty-gritty, like what kind of flooring you have. Keep in mind, Zillow doesn't consider all of these factors significant enough to increase your Zestimate. So, even if create a Zillow account and update all the amenities, you might not see a change to the Zestimate.
That doesn't mean it's not worth your time. Remember, those amenities are also used in Zillow's keyword filtering feature. So, if a buyer is deadset on only looking at houses with fences and hardwood floors, your house will be included in the search results if you've accurately updated your amenities.
Not all of the Zestimate amenities are things you can change easily—or at all. For example, it takes into account things your neighborhood offers (like a gated entry or community tennis courts) and how big your home's lot is. Then there are other aspects of your home that you can change, like the number of bathrooms, but it will probably cost you a lot of money and time to do so. Here are some of the things Zillow takes into account:
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Type of heating and cooling
- Neighborhood amenities (gated entry, tennis court, fitness center, etc)
- Fence and deck
So, what should you do to help your home sell faster?
The good news is the Zestimate is just an estimate of what your home might sell for. It's not an appraisal and it certainly doesn't mean that's what you have to list your home for. The other good news? There are lots of updates you can do to your home that aren't reflected in your Zestimate, but that can help your home sell faster and for more money.
Fixing any obvious damage
Plus, the buyer's probably wondering "If this is the damage that I can see, did they keep up the home in areas that I can't see?"
Updating major amenities
Roofs and HVAC systems both have to be replaced on a schedule and it can be a pretty expensive project. If either is close to the end of its life, a potential buyer will probably ask you to replace them--or they might be scared off of your house altogether.
Doing a major upgrade on a home you're leaving isn't anyone's idea of a good time, but that project could help your home sell more quickly and for more money.
Painting can be a hit or miss when it comes to selling your home. If your walls are all sorts of loud and crazy colors you might want to consider painting a nice neutral. If your paint is scuffed or chipped, you might want to consult with your Realtor on whether or not to paint.
Sure, paint will make your home look a little cleaner and newer, but will you recoup the cost of your paint job when you sell the house? Not to mention some home buyers might ask for a painting allowance so they can choose their own colors and make the home their own.
Cleaning and decluttering
Cleaning and decluttering is a no-brainer. It's cheap, you can do it yourself, and it immediately makes your home look bigger and feel more welcoming.
Curb appeal updates
A fresh coat of paint on the front door and some new plants in the garden can help your potential buyer fall in love with your home before they even set foot inside. Remember not to go crazy with expensive landscaping or intense renovations. This is another area that you might not get a big return on if you spend a lot of money. Not to mention the new homeowner might want to update to suit their own style.
When the updates are made and the house is on the market, it's time for the fun part: house hunting! Let us help you find the right house.