How To Fix Your Fixer-Upper

How To Fix Your Fixer-Upper

Taking on a fixer-upper as your real estate investment opportunity entails a series of steps that must be taken to bring the value of the property up. With so much in any property that could use some work, the process of enhancing a fixer-upper can seem daunting even before hammering in the first nail. That process can be a long and arduous one, but with the right steps taken, you can fix the things within the home that quickly and permanently raise its property value.

The thought process of what to improve should be done before ever getting involved with a real estate transaction. Visualize how a property will look with some of the improvements you want to do to it. Will it look better and draw more interested buyers? This is the key component to consider when trying to decide what to fix and what to leave as it is.

Curb appeal, for example, exists as a term because it does help the value of your home. A few small steps that improve the outward appearance of a home such as new flowers, a cleaned up front porch and other superficial improvements that can be done with minimal cost if you do your own work will help sell a potential buyer on even considering your property.

Inside, small touches like outlet covers and curtains can give the home a brighter, more modern feel that communicates value to a potential buyer. With minimal effort and minimal cost, these types of things can be taken care of and while you may not think they add much tangible value to the home, they show well to the buyer and that's really what home improvements in a fixer-upper are all about. Always keep in mind what a potential home buyer will see when they entire the home.

You've heard it before and it is indeed true, bathrooms make a big statement to a potential home buyer. Spending a couple thousand dollars in a bathroom to make it look cleaner and more modern can add significant value to a home.

Add value to a home that would appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers possible. Would most buyers like floral wall paper? Probably not, so skip that improvement. Would most buyers value a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color? Most likely, so maybe that is an area you can spend money in.

Of course, many fixer-uppers will need larger repairs and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and make those investments. While you may not see an exponential increase in value by adding a new furnace, those kinds of steps have to be made and you will see an increase in value by making the home more livable than it was when you purchased it.

Always be sure to keep in mind that the value you're looking to add should be easily communicated to the customer and when the time finally comes to sell the property, make sure you list all that you did in order to get as much good faith with potential buyers as possible. Did you add sealant to the windows? Note that and talk about the benefits sealant can have on insulating a home properly. Especially in a climate of rising energy prices, such an improvement might take on greater meaning if you put it in context of just how much energy it saves. Selling a home is marketing and after doing all the work you've done on a fixer-upper, make sure you get credit. It would be a shame to go around a property adding small touches that are unseen by a buyer because you fail to mention them.

This is another original article by Joe Lane, co-owner of The Lane Real Estate Team at Are you looking for an experienced Tri City WA Real Estate agency? With 20 years of service based, business experience, Joe and Colleen Lane work hard to serve home buyers and sellers for the Tri Cities of Washington's Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, and surrounding areas.

Joe Lane
co-owner, Lane Real Estate Team