Last week, Denise Zarrella showed us why this is a great time for the housing market. There's an increase in demand and interest rates are still low. But how do you get the best deal? We have a new Consumer Reports survey detailing the do's and don'ts for sellers and buyers.
Realtor Tammy Turner says a three-bedroom home could sell for about 10 percent more if her clients upgrade their master bath with a new countertop and add modern tile.
"That will net them easily between $30,000 and $50,000 in their sale price," she says.
That's after paying just $10,000 to $15,000 for the renovation. Shocking, but realtors say most buyers are looking for something that's move-in ready.
In a new Consumer Reports survey, more than 300 real estate experts revealed even the tiniest improvements, such as cleaning bathroom grout or adding new kitchen curtains, can raise a home's value.
"Very soft, simple touches that can really, in the mind of the potential buyer, make the entire home feel much more livable," says Dan DiClerico, of Consumer Reports.
Clearing out clutter, touching up paint in high-traffic areas, and minor polishes to curb appeal also topped the list of easy fixes.
Additionally, Consumer Reports released a list of common and costly real estate blunders. For buyers that includes not shopping around for a mortgage and skipping the home inspection. Sellers should avoid pricing homes too high and overpaying on commissions.
"About six in 10 real estate professionals say they do negotiate their commission and 4 percent turned out to be the average," according to DiClerico.
Experts say April is the best month to put a home up for sale.
More than 5 million homes in the U.S. are expected to be sold by the end of the year.
Here are some more tips on boosting the value of your home and getting the most out of your money when buying one: