Real Estate Geek: Preparing for Next Season

Our seasonal residents and visitors are now “summering” in Rehoboth, Fire Island, Ptown, Ogunquit and places in between. A large opportunity now comes for property owners thinking about selling next season, who are willing to invest a bit to maximize sale price.

Of course, one must be careful when doing so. It's easy to make improvements that are not economically sound. However, as discussed previously, my research has shown that certain improvements will return more than the improvement's cost.

So, what are three things a property owner can do to boost their return when they list and sell next season?

  1. Enclose your carport.

It'll give you better secured protection for your car and perhaps some yard equipment. Depending on the design of your home you might be able access your vehicle without going outside. And some seasonal residents would prefer to keep a vehicle here, and a garage would make that possible.

In most areas, turning a carport into a garage can increase sale price by as much as two times the cost of the project.

It's not messy, it's outside, you don't have to go stay elsewhere while the work is done. To me it's a slam-dunk.

  1. Change the flooring!

In most areas, tile is the baseline expectation for flooring. However, terrazzo and especially carpet are huge turn-offs to buyers as shown by actual MLS sales data. If you've got terrazzo or carpet, get rid of it and tile. This is a quick 2-for-1 return.

And you can do even better? Add some wood flooring. Or even better, some marble. Yes you're going to have to vacate temporarily and move some furniture. My research shows it's a great idea.

  1. A shower (or tub/shower) for each bedroom.

Households and lifestyles have changed. Families are smaller, sometimes we have adult children returning to live with us, and here in south Florida we often have winter visitors.

If each bedroom has its own bathroom, it's usually a big selling point. Now this will require a contractor, possibly an architect, and may not be possible with all homes. But the return on investment is worth it.

There are other value enhancing improvements, of course, but I'm not going to tell you about them here. Some things stay in my bag of tricks for my customers alone.

James Oaksun, Broward's Real Estate Geek(SM), is a Realtor at the Wilton Manors office of RE/MAX Preferred. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI).


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