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A contractor gives advice to home sellers

Posted by Rona Fischman May 24, 2012 02:06 PM

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Paul Morse,owner of Morse Constructions Inc, a Boston-area design/build firm gives this advice to sellers of housing with good bones that need updating:

Are you trying to sell a house that needs cosmetic improvements? If a house has good bones, encourage potential buyers to look below the surface. As long as the bones are good, a new owner could remodel, add on, or make cosmetic improvements to correct any perceived shortcomings.

Houses with good bones feature:
Quality construction – Strong bones are solid. “Walk” the house with potential buyers, pointing out its solid feel , that it doesn’t bounce or list, have many cracks above doorways or in stairways, have sagging floor joists, walls that bow or a roof that sags.

Solid infrastructure – It’s relatively simple to replace aging roofing shingles or update plumbing fixtures, but it is far more complicated if the basic infrastructure of the home is lacking. Show them that the foundation, roof, heating, plumbing and electrical systems are in good shape. Then renovations become much easier.

Good floor plan –Look at how traffic travels through the house as a whole. You can easily renovate to make particular rooms more livable. If you are trying to sell a home with a floor plan that feels awkward, help your buyer envision the space with walls moved or taken down entirely. You may be able to get them excited by helping them see the house’s potential with a few, relatively straightforward changes.

Well-proportioned rooms – Are the rooms in the house a useful size and shape, or could they be easily changed? Many older homes have small rooms that are unsuited to modern lifestyles, but removing a few walls may transform tight rooms into an open and airy space.

Character – Look for unique architectural details that set the home apart. Today’s homeowners are moving away from the cookie-cutter feeling of McMansions in favor of spaces that feel handcrafted and authentic. Show buyers the special architectural touches that may currently be hidden, but could serve as a focal point with a little attention.

Natural light – A sunny, airy home feels more spacious and inviting, but don’t despair if your home is dark. You can help buyers consider small changes that could bring in more light. We’ve added skylights, transom windows and even cut openings in wall and floors to help light spread throughout a home. Removing old, dark wallpaper and painting with bright colors brings life and warmth to a home.

If your home’s bones are good and the price is right, a well-timed suggestion about ways to renovate the home or highlight architectural features may be just what is needed to excite your buyer.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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