Want to increase your home’s value? Thinking of putting your house on the market? Here are some improvements you can make to your property that will increase resale value without breaking your checking account.
Here are home projects that provide serious return on investment when you decide to sell.
Before you do anything else, be sure your home’s electrical, heating, and plumbing systems are in good working order. Most buyers today are looking for a turn-key home. They will not appreciate that gorgeous granite bathroom if the plumbing makes the room un-useable. All of your basic home features should run well.
How does your house look from the sidewalk? Be honest with yourself. First impressions matter, and you can buy Don’t Forget Curb Appealyourself some exterior appeal for the low cost of an afternoon’s sweat. Painting, replacing or repairing your trim, windows, front door or garage door is often less expensive than a hefty interior remodel.
You don’t need an elaborate yard, but your property should be clean, neat, and well-maintained. Do you need mulch? Are weeds crowding out your azaleas? Is your lawn a foot high? This one’s just like Curb Appeal – first impressions matter, and a little hard work will pay off.
Buyers will notice your floors immediately. But before you spend a pile of money, consider: do you need indestructible hardwood or gorgeous Berber carpet to compete in your neighborhood? If the answer is no, replace the bath or kitchen floors first (go for some nice tile). Ask your Realtor if you should replace your carpets or splurge on a good shampoo. When in doubt, ask your Realtor to show you pictures of other homes nearby – it never hurts to know what you’re up against.
Updating your kitchen is the single most valuable improvement you can make. Nobody wants to time travel just by walking from living room to fridge. Be ruthless. Get rid of that floral wallpaper. Pull up that vinyl floor. You don’t necessarily have to replace your cabinets – a good staining or paint job can do wonders. New drawer handles and cabinet knobs are cheap and can quickly get rid of that 1980s feel. Faucets and light fixtures are another surprisingly inexpensive improvement (especially if you can do it yourself). Stainless steel appliances are all the rage right now, but before your replace that Frigidaire, think about those counter tops – granite counters get you an astounding rate of return! Buyers love them. Granite counters can sometimes sell a house more than any other feature.
Buyers love updated bathrooms, and a little TLC in there can help sell your house faster than the outdated listing down the street. Start with the floors and walls: most bathrooms are small, so some neutral paint and real tile will go a long way. If you go to a hardware store, you’ll notice that decent light fixtures, shower heads, and towel bars are surprisingly cheap. Rent a drill and go to town.
Some improvements aren’t improvements. They are eye sores and will work against you when you try to sell. Rather than give you a long list to avoid, I’ll just say this: don’t punch above your weight. Don’t do $100,000 worth of improvements and expect to add $100,000 to your home’s asking price. Check out what is normal and ordinary in your neighborhood and plan accordingly.
Oh, and just say no to above-ground pools.
…be proud of all your hard work! When you list with me, I always design and distribute a flyer about your property. If you give me a list of your home’s upgrades, I will include this list with all of my marketing so that everyone is aware of your efforts.