What is the state of the L.A. real estate market? It's important to know what type of market you're getting into before listing your home for sale. Los Angeles home prices can vary significantly depending upon location. For example, in Beverly Hills the median sale price in July for single family homes was $3,677,500, compared to $1,830,000 in Pacific Palisades and $773,564 in Sherman Oaks, according to RealEstate.com.
There are many factors that influence the real estate market, but it's no secret the market has been soft in recent years due to the economy and unemployment. The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is up to 13.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 4.8 percent just six years ago.
So, the key to maximizing home value in a soft real estate market is focusing on home improvements that will add value to your home, not suck money and value out of it. The most cost-effective way to boost the value of your home is simply cleaning and decluttering it.
HomeGain, an online real estate community, found that of 500 real estate agents surveyed nationwide, 99 percent of them recommended clients clean and declutter their homes prior to putting it on the market. The same survey found that the average cost of cleaning and decluttering the average house is about $402, and this small investment offers a return of more than $2,000. That's over a 400 percent ROI, more than any other home improvement.
The $400 investment typically will cover the cost of hiring a junk removal service or getting a dumpster rental in Los Angeles. There's little or no other expenses involved, and if you recruit friends and family to help, you can often declutter a home in a weekend.
After decluttering, it's critical that your home sparkle. Clean it like never before, including inconspicuous areas like under the refrigerator, inside cabinets and along molding. Once the cleaning is complete, congratulations! You just boosted your home value by $2,000+ with just a very small investment and little elbow grease.
With such a wide gap between the listing price and the final sale price of homes currently in the L.A. metro area, any home improvement or upgrade you can do to your home to help increase its value is certainly worth considering. After all, it's all about getting maximum value for your home in the end.