Hawaii has a vibrant real estate market, with interested buyers from around the world. An updated home is usually a “hot property”, as most buyers are not looking for a fixer, especially if they have young children. There are some improvements that will enhance the value of your home. The most common projects include the following:
UPDATE THE KITCHEN:
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Any updates will increase the appeal, but a full remodel is not recommended. Most buyers want to personalize the kitchen to their style. It should still appeal to as many buyers as possible. The following improvements will give the most bang for the buck:
- Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models that all match in color.
- Consider replacing the countertops.
- If you replace the countertop, add a new sink and faucet.
- Add new lighting.
- Replace old hardware on the cabinets and drawers.
REFRESH THE BATHROOM:
A bathroom can be a masterpiece or a regrettable mess. Buyers will overlook many negatives of a home, if the bathroom sizzles. This is a room where a little creativity will payoff big time. Keep it simple in a bathroom, with the following improvements:
- If the toilet is old, replace it.
- Install a double vanity with quartz, granite or a marble countertop.
- Add under mount sinks and with new faucets.
- Consider replacing the wall mirror, with individual mirrors above each sink.
- Add new flooring to pull the rooms together.
- Nothing is more dramatic than a beautiful shower. Update the tile and add a new shower head.
- Add overhead lighting and a dimmer switch to create a more soothing space.
WINDOW AND DOOR REPAIRS:
Buyers in Hawaii pay close attention to doors and windows. This issue alone can be a deal killer for many buyers. Whether the windows are jalousie, casement, awning or double hung, cracked glass and broken, rusty handles will send the buyer out the door.
Doors, whether they are closet doors or sliding doors, should function smoothly. The handle and lock (if it has one) should work properly. For sliding doors, the outer screen door should be torn or require repair.
Follows these suggests to get the doors and windows in tip top shape:
- If a window or door is damaged beyond repair, replace it. There are many resources for good quality replacements, may favorites are ReUse Hawaii and honolulu.craigslist.org.
- Repair all torn screens on windows and doors. There are mobile screen repair companies who will drive to your home to replace any screen on site.
- Repair or replace all inoperable window cranks or handles.
- Align any sliding door that is off track.
In Hawaii, we love our outdoor space. Your buyer will certainly appreciate a spacious lanai with room for a grill or a deck with views of the water or mountains. They will not appreciate a deck with improper drainage that has created rotted floor boards, and rail and posts that are failing. This is a safety hazard and needs to be addressed. If the damage is limited, replace and repaint the failing pieces. Conversely, if the entire deck is dangerous, it should be completely rebuilt or you might consider offering the buyer a credit, which would be a welcomed concession to the new owner.
Most buyers appreciate flooring that flows from one room to another to bind the space together. In the process, a sense of harmony is created throughout the home. Buyers, especially in Hawaii, have little tolerance for homes with dissimilar floor coverings. It would be an absolute no-no to have a different size and or color of tile or carpet in each new room, with a threshold to delineate the spaces. This hodgepodge effect should be avoided at all cost because you will get less money for your home. If this is your home, this is how to tackle that problem:
- Find a theme and stick to it. If you currently have four or more different carpets throughout the home, replace the carpets with the same carpet throughout.
- If you have more than one type of tile on your floor, tear out the tile that will take the least amount of work and either replace all other tile with the same tile, wood laminate or carpet. Variety on a floor is never a good idea.
- If you have a wood laminate floor and it is warped, damaged or weathered, replace it with new laminate flooring.
A little paint goes a long way towards selling your house. Maybe the pink paint with the cute trim was adorable in your daughter’s bedroom. If you buyer doesn’t have a young daughter, it will be a turn off.
This is also true for dramatic bold colors anywhere in the house. Stick with a neutral palette to attract the most buyers.
The curb appeal of your home is the perfume that will draw your buyers through the front door. This is your first impression and you only have a few seconds, make it count.
- If you have a wooden fence, repair any damage and add a fresh coat of paint.
- If you have a stone wall, repair any loose stones and power wash.
- If you have established landscaping, add a pop of color with flowers.
- Power wash the side walk.
- Repair any cracks in the sidewalk or steps.
- The front door should be in pristine condition. If you have a portico or overhang above the door, add a bench for shoes and a welcoming, door mat.
- The doorbell must work.
- The light at the door must be attractive with absolutely no rust.
- Add an audio source for soft Hawaiian music that can be heard when the door is opened.
Working on these improvements will take some time and effort. In the end, the work will pay off with a higher sale price and less time on the market. If you need support, we have a team of trusted professionals who will be with you every step of the way.
If you thinking of selling, we would love to help you. Email us at cathy(at)cbislandhomes(dotted)com or call 808.800.1823.