Home Sellers Smarter Than Realtors Think

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The services of real estate agents can be invaluable, but it seems that most sellers know how to sell their homes. And when it comes to home improvements before putting their houses on the market, agents and sellers mostly agree on what is the best course of action, according to a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com.

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The real estate site asked 450 Realtors about what type of projects and investments they would recommend, and what they see as the mistakes homebuyers make. Realtor.com also asked 1660 homeowners about the types of improvements they made or plan to make before selling their home and their budget for those renovations. Generally, the answers were aligned.

Recognizing the Value of Small Renovations

Among Realtors there is almost no doubt how small renovations can affect a sale. Nearly 90% believe such improvements would help the house sell faster, while 72% believe it would help sellers receive a higher offer. Nevertheless, 70% of Realtors think a common mistake of sellers is that they underestimate the power of simple home improvements.

“Home improvements do not have to be expensive, yet most sellers do not realize they will significantly reduce their (houses’) time on the market,” says Theresa Friend, a Realtor with RE/MAX in Melbourne, Fla.

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Despite what Realtors believe, homeowners recognize the value of small improvement projects. Only 30% of respondents say they do not plan any improvements. The rest hope their home improvement projects would help sell their home faster or even achieve a higher selling price. Moreover, about 24% of sellers plan to keep their home improvement budget between $2,000 and $5,000, some 22% plan to spend $5,000 to $10,000, and nearly 17% plan to spend $10,000 to $20,000, according to the survey.