Zillow's Secret to Selling 10,000 Homes (Down to the Paint Color)
The leader in real estate reveals the tips and tricks to get a home ready to hit the market
Feb 16, 2021, 08:00 ET
SEATTLE, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Homeowners fixing up their homes to list this spring will have to decide where to put their time and money to get the most bang for their buck. Zillow has been there, and the practical tips and tricks their experts have learned after selling 10,000 homes could help you sell yours.
Zillow-owned homes, acquired through Zillow Offers in 25 markets nationwide, are carefully evaluated, repaired and cleaned before they hit the market. Zillow invests in the projects that make a home safe, clean and functional, and each time learns more about what appeals to buyers. By sharing these tips, Zillow hopes to help all sellers prioritize their home prep projects.
Savvy sellers have two ways to take advantage of Zillow's expertise ahead of this spring's home shopping season: They can skip the prep work and showings and sell their home through Zillow Offers, or can go through Zillow Premier Agent to be connected to a local, expert agent and use these pro tips to get their home ready for a traditional sale.
Pick the Perfect Paint Color
Painting is one project nearly all sellers take on before putting their home on the market. It is an affordable home improvement project that has a high return on investment. But when you're thinking about resale, you'll want to be strategic about the colors you select.
When Zillow needs to freshen up the walls before listing a home for sale, it uses Behr Premium Plus paint in either Aged Beige, Campfire Ash or Polar Bear. Neutral greige or taupe paint colors appeal to the widest group of buyers and don't distract from a home's best features.
Fix your Faucets and Fixtures
The two most common items Zillow repairs or replaces before listing a home for sale are faucets and light fixtures. A buyer may jump to the conclusion that a leaky faucet is a sign there may be water damage, while a broken fixture could inaccurately signal potential electrical problems. Either can suggest a home hasn't been generally well-maintained.
These are both DIY-friendly fixes that could boost your home's value. If you'd rather hire a professional, a Zillow and Thumbtack report finds you can expect to pay, on average, $205 to replace a faucet and $380 to replace a light fixture.
Clean the Carpet
A clean carpet is critical if you want your home to make a great first impression. Steam cleaning will often do the trick, but if your carpet is torn or has permanent stains, you'll want to replace it.
Zillow uses Mohawk brand carpet in either Charger Classic or Scout Highgate. Selecting a high-performing, stain-resistant carpet in a neutral taupe color will appeal to the most potential buyers and add value to your home.
Sweat the Small Stuff
Zillow takes care of all the items that make life easier for the home's next owner. These items include landscaping, servicing the HVAC system, and replacing all light bulbs and batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
By taking care of these items before putting your home on the market, you can boost curb appeal and give a potential buyer confidence that your home has been well-maintained.
Say No to a Full Reno
Home improvement TV shows often suggest you need a gut renovation to get top dollar in resale. However, Zillow research finds big renovation projects hardly ever pay for themselves when it comes time to sell, with a few exceptions.
Zillow rarely completes any major upgrade to a home that would dramatically alter its footprint or its value. Instead, Zillow focuses on the projects that make a home clean, safe and functional for a buyer, repairing items instead of replacing them when possible.
"Buyers often want to put their own stamp on a home and have it reflect their taste," says Lindsey DellaSala, a broker with the DJ and Lindsey Team in Jacksonville, FL. "Let's say you decide to upgrade your backsplash before selling. The trendy statement tile you love may not be what a buyer is looking for, and that could hurt, rather than help, your chances for a speedy sale."
"When a buyer walks into a Zillow-owned home, they know it is move-in ready and they can add their personal touches over time," says Claire Caldwell, Senior Director of Renovations at Zillow. "By creating that same kind of blank canvas in a safe and clean home, you can help buyers better envision their lives there."
Online curb appeal is more important than ever, as most home shopping has gone virtual. Zillow-owned homes are listed for sale with professional photography, a floor plan with dimensions and a virtual 3D Home tour that gives shoppers an immersive experience of a home from the safety and comfort of their own living room.
Sellers can harness the power of tech to showcase their home's best features by using the free 3D Home app to create a virtual tour, and explore other digital tools such as virtual staging.
About Zillow Group
Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life's next chapter.
As the most-visited real estate website in the U.S., Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions.
Zillow Group's affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®, Zillow Offers®, Zillow Premier Agent®, Zillow Home Loans™, Zillow Closing Services™, Zillow Homes, Inc., Trulia®, Out East®, StreetEasy® and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
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