It may seem counterintuitive to put time and money into a home you plan to sell. However, knowing what improvements increase home value and investing in them before you put your home on the market can pay off.
Your efforts should go towards any structural items that need to be replaced or repaired such as the furnace, roof, a water or seepage issue, etc. Home buyers tend to be cautious and prefer a move-in ready home; so, it makes more sense to build the cost of the replacements or repairs into your selling price. You want to avoid lowering the price and expecting the buyer to address the issues. A buyer is much more likely to pay a higher asking price for the peace of mind knowing they won’t have to replace those high-cost items anytime soon.
After basic structural items, there are five key home improvement projects that add value to a home. These improvements can result in a shorter time on the market and a greater return on your investments.
1. Give your Home a Fresh Coat of Paint
A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to give your home an instant facelift. As you’re making color decisions, don’t be swayed by personal preferences; instead, keep your buyer in mind. Stay away from dark or trendy colors, and stick to neutral, warm tones. They tend to be the most appealing and work in any space. This easy weekend project will definitely pay for itself.
2. Make Updates to the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home, so it makes sense to prioritize for home improvements. However, a complete renovation may not pay off as everyone has their own opinion as to what makes a perfect kitchen.
Instead of a complete overhaul, focus on updates. Replacing the hardware or outdated appliances can go a long way for resale value. Another great trick is to install a new backsplash. A classy, tiled backsplash draws the eye away from countertops and cabinets and instantly enhances the look of a kitchen.
3. Install a Ceramic Tub Surround
The bathroom is another popular room for renovations, but again, a complete redesign is another investment that may not have a great return. Focus on a specific update such as a ceramic tub surround. This update is not too costly or time intensive, and it greatly improves the look and function of the room. If you have multiple full bathrooms, spend your money on the master bath for the best return.
4. Put in New Light Fixtures
A simple light fixture can instantly change the look of a room or entry way. Pick fixtures that are classic and in a modern color scheme (no brass!). However, watch the price tags. The price range is huge, and buying several can add up quickly. It’s wise to choose something in the middle that matches the overall tone of your home decor.
5. Lay Down New Flooring
New flooring is often a project the seller leaves to the buyer. While it’s often not a deal breaker, old flooring can leave a negative impression on the entire property. New flooring is very appealing. Buyers like to move into a home that requires little work. If multiple rooms could use new flooring, the buyer will simply see a lot of added expenses and work.
This is another home improvement area where you can simply add the cost of the flooring updates into the selling price. However, make sure the type of flooring you choose matches your home and market. In other words, don’t put marble tile in a starter home; you won’t get that money back.
These five options only scratch the surface of suggestions for successful returns. In reality, the options for home improvement are endless. Before you get out the sledgehammer or order new hardwood flooring, consult with a local Realtor. A Realtor’s insight into the market and ability to evaluate your home is invaluable. He or she will easily be able to point out specific projects that will be most worth your while and bring ultimate resale value.
If you’re making plans to sell your home, download our checklist to get your home market ready.