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Swing That Hammer, Sellers!

Estate--hammerBy Blanche Evans

If you’re selling a home that needs updating, you’ll net more for your home because you’re making it look closer to new. You’re solving problems that current buyers don’t want to take on, making your home more competitive in today’s market.

According to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, home improvement spending is set to climb nearly four percent.

Among the reasons cited for the upswing are stronger pending home sales and continuing low interest rates. Other reasons may be just as significant. Purchase prices are still lower than the 2006 peak, inventories are tight, and the production of new homes has stagnated since 2007.

The 2015 Generational Report by the National Association of Realtors found that 84 percent of buyers purchased an older home, and with good reason.

The median age of homes purchased in the survey was 22 years, built in 1993, and over 53 percent of homebuyers purchased homes older than that. The median seller sold their home after occupying it for 13 years.

Sixty-four percent of buyers chose older homes because they cost less than new homes and offered more value, while 17 percent preferred the charm of older homes.

Yet, the exact same number of buyers who purchased new homes said they did so to avoid maintenance problems and to choose their own designs.

A whopping 88 percent of buyers used the Internet to view homes before they drove by or called an agent, and 50 percent of buyers used mobile apps such as phones or tablet devices. The number one thing they wanted to see were photographs of homes.

In other words, it’s time to get a facelift. Your home could be selected or eliminated based simply on how it looks.

So where should you spend your money? Kitchen and bathroom projects remain the most popular remodeling jobs, said the National Association of Home Builders in 2015, but smaller projects are becoming more common.

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