Boost your home’s value with Realtor Joe Zalabak

Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

In our market, homes sell all year round, but sales really increase in the spring as the weather improves and kids finish up the school year. So, if you are even THINKING about selling your home, at any time of the year, the first thing you should do is call my office to setup an appointment. Then I, or a member of my team, will come out to your house, take a look at it top-to-bottom, and explain how when you LIST WITH THE JOE ZALABAK TEAM we will use our proven system to price your house effectively to net you the most amount of money in the quickest amount of time. We will help you prepare your house for our professional marketing package which includes awesome photos and 3D virtual tours!

I often explain to sellers that what they paid for their house when they bought it, plus what they put into with improvements, never equals what they are able to sell it for. Depending on the current market conditions, comparable home sales, and the improvements, that number may be a lot more or a lot less. Part of my listing process when you LIST WITH ME is that we will go room-by-room and talk about what we need to get the rooms ready to really showcase them. However, I do have a TOP 5 LIST of improvements you can make to your home to increase it’s value the most before I put it on the market! These improvements apply to most homes.

If you only have a few thousand, or maybe even a few hundred dollars you can make some sensible improvements.

1. Paint: The best thing that you can spend your money on is a fresh interior paint job. Buyers love the feeling a freshly painted home. Now, you want to make sure that you choose a neutral paint color the compliments your home and is not a distraction. A few years ago, tans and beiges were in, but now we are seeing grays and “greiges” are much more popular, with Sherwin Williams “Agreeable Gray” being the most popular! Any bold colors like reds, yellow and greens you should avoid. White is great for ceilings, but not for walls, you need some tones, so try to stick with the grays. And paint is something that you can do yourself—just remember to take your time! If you are too impatient , or just not good at painting, and you have the budget, then hire a professional painter!

2. Lighting upgrades: If you have really old light fixtures, they really detract from your home. You can pickup some great looking fixtures from the local home improvement stores or online, and then have an electrician install them, or watch a YouTube video and do it yourself! You want your home to be bright, so any of your old fixtures, be sure to clean the glass and the ceiling fan blades.

3. “Jewelry for you home“: The door knobs, drawer and cabinet pulls, hinges and accessories like that! If what you have is tired, worn out, slathered with paint or otherwise not so great, replace it! You can transform the look of your kitchen by changing the hardware, and not the cabinets!

4. Flooring: If you have worn or tired carpet, consider replacing it with new carpet or even better, the new luxury vinyl plank flooring looks great and is waterproof. Now, this is a more costly improvement, so if it’s not in your budget, at least get your carpet professionally cleaned.

5. Staging & cleanup: This is often the easiest, most inexpensive and has the most impact on how your home as it is perceived by the prospective buyer. Now I’m not talking about bringing in custom furniture, artwork and accessories, which we certainly can do but isn’t really necessary. Rather, it’s all about working with what you have, decluttering, moving things to storage, and working with the furniture and things you do have. And, if it’s in your budget, I might send you on a shopping trip to buy some new bed comforters and bathroom towels—all things that you can bring with you to your next home. And cleanup goes for the outside too- freshening up your landscape really helps with first impressions.

If your house needs a new roof or a new HVAC system, those are improvements that you certainly have to make. All houses have roofs and furnaces, and those with newer roofs and furnaces make your house better than the competition, but Realtors and appraisers don’t assign significant value to those items when pricing the home.

And, if you don’t have a home yet, The Joe Zalabak Team works not only with sellers but also buyers! If you are thinking about buying a home, give us a call or visit our website, and we can setup a time to meet with you for a buyer strategy session, where we can sort out your financing, start your home search, and get you into your first home!

Give us a call at 217-531-6231, visit our website at