Homes in neighborhoods generally sell for a maximum price for the neighborhood, no matter how many improvements you do to your home.
Realtors typically know a general price per square foot that homes sell in the neighborhood. If they have clients buying in your neighborhood, they will expect to pay a few dollars less per square foot for a lesser quality home and a few dollars per square foot more for a very nice home, but they will not advise their clients to pay much more than the average price per square foot for any home, no matter how nice it is.
If you have invested a lot of money into home improvements, you may have over improved your home for your neighborhood.
The only way to increase your home's value when you have over improved your home is to improve the neighborhood and for your neighbors to improve their homes to a level similar to yours hoping to increase the price per square foot that homes are selling.
Here are a few ideas for increasing your home's worth before you need to sell your home.
Make sure you know your current home's value and how much you have invested in your home to know how over improved your home is. Know Your Current Value
A realtor can assist you in getting this information or you can research the selling price of several similar sized homes in your neighborhood.
If your home is only slightly over improved, then you will not need to try as hard as someone whose home is very over improved.
Show Off Your Improvements
People like to keep up with the Joneses.
Make sure to show off your home improvements to your neighbors in hopes that they will also improve their homes.
Invite them to your home on multiple occasions, but don't forget the husbands since they often are in charge of the family finances.
Post photos of your home on Facebook, both close up photos and big picture photos, to give your neighbors ideas about improving their homes.
Tell About Your Experience
When speaking with your neighbors about your home improvements, make sure to be positive about all of them.
Mention that the home improvements save time and energy, didn't cost that much, are very enjoyable, makes your life easier, adds to the value of your home, you were able to do it yourself, and/or your contractor was great to work with.
Do not mention the mess, hassle, or any other deterrent that might keep them from improving their homes.
If a neighbor shows interest in improving their home also, make sure to hand them a business card of your general contractor or the store that you bought your materials.
The business card will be a little reminder once they get home that they should improve their homes.
After your neighbors get home, speak to them in a few days to see how they are doing.
Ask if they were able to get in contact with your general contractor or if they have selected a new paint color for their home.
Offer to help them with their home improvements.
A neighborhood is made up of homes and amenities, so make sure your neighborhood's amenities are also nice.
If you have a Home Owner's Association (HOA), consider asking for a rate increase to help improve the amenities.
Attempt to upgrade the parks, sports facilities, and schools as well as plant extra trees and add landscaping.
Companies and the government will often have grants to assist in this process.
The Boy Scouts or other non profit groups can also assist.
Consider creating a yard of the month club to encourage the neighborhood to make their yards very nice.
If crime is an issue in your neighborhood, contact the police to see if they can do extra patrols or start a citizen patrol.
Make sure to participate in National Night Out.
If there are homes or areas of the neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods that are not following the HOA rules or city ordinances, make sure to contact the appropriate people to get the matter taken care of ASAP.
If you have a neighbor who is not keeping their yard up, contact them to see if they have personal issues that are keeping them from their home maintenance and see if you can assist them.
Patience is a Virtue
Be patient. Your home's value will not rise over night.
Your home's value will increase when several other homes in your neighborhood sell for an increased price.
It will take at least 6 months, but probably more than that.
Get started ASAP so your neighborhood will become more desirable faster.
Try to get other neighbors involved in the neighborhood improvements in order to accomplish more.