After decades of investing in a home, it can be hard to accept that more changes are needed to sell it. But oftentimes, homeowners have to pump a bit more money into their home to attract a buyer.

Charmayne Saylors, owner/broker of FC Tucker Realty, said home improvement to sell is not as daunting or expensive as it may seem.

With 40 years of experience in the real estate business, Saylors’ biggest piece of advice to homeowners is to consult with and actually listen to the advice of a realtor before attempting to sell.

“You should consult with a real estate agent and listen to them,” Saylors said. “The real estate professional does know what the market is like, and if you want to sell your home, it is important that you give it every advantage.”

With a lot of ’50s and ’60s-era houses on the market in Marion, Saylors said these types of decisions are something that lots of homeowners have to make. For example, many retirement-age adults are selling their two-story homes and hunting for a single-level home to be more comfortable as they age.

Saylors said the tipping point is whether homeowners want to make a quick sale and whether they are willing to make the investment or take a lower price.

“The biggest decision that a homeowner has to make is how much their house will be worth once it is done,” Saylors said.

Doug Miller, owner of Doug Miller Construction in Gas City, said he does a fair amount of remodeling jobs for clients who are looking to sell. Some common projects are bathroom and kitchens updates, more modern windows and doors and projects to improve energy efficiency.

The most expensive of these are modernizing bathrooms and kitchens, due to the cost of plumbing and fixtures, but those updates could make or break a sale.

“If I’m going to buy a house, I would want to see upgraded bathrooms and kitchens,” Miller said. “People don’t want to buy a house and dump a bunch of money into it.”

For do it yourself fans wanting to save a few bucks, HGTV has five ways under $100 to spruce up a home for sale.

HGTV recommends hiring a realtor or interior designer to look over a home and recommend updates as a first step. HGTV also recommends getting a home inspection to uncover unseen issues like outdated electrical service or termites. Other less expensive DIY fixes are installing energy-efficient bulbs, repainting rooms in neutral colors and checking out decorating magazines for ideas to make home interiors more attractive.

For most projects, Miller would recommend hiring a professional, but for small projects like painting, removing wallpaper, or replacing a door the homeowner could avoid the cost of a contractor and make an impact on potential buyers.

“I get calls for stuff after people have tried to tackle stuff on their own,” Miller said. “I admire that they tried and DIY channels make it sound easy. It is not easy.”

When deciding whether or not to renovate, Saylors recommends looking at a home with an objective eye and accepting that change might need to happen.

“Don’t be afraid of the changes you will have to make,” Saylors said.

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