If you’re ready to put your house on the market, you might want to put your ambitions on pause. Although real estate remains a hot commodity, you won’t get top dollar for your property if it receives a lukewarm reception. Here are six home improvement projects that will help your home stand out and result in more money in your pocket.
1. The kitchen catches attention
The kitchen is one of the top-selling features in homes in all price ranges. And for a small investment, you can make upgrades that will make buyers buzz with excitement. Consumer Reports notes that stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops are among two of the most sought-after features. Add a coat of paint and a tile backsplash for a kitchen that will impress even the most discerning buyer.
2. It’s a space race
Most real estate agents will tell you that it’s not about the square footage but about how the home’s interior is utilized. If you want buyers to open their wallets, create open spaces, which will make the home feel larger than it is. According to This Old House Contributor Jeanne Baron, something as simple as removing a kitchen island or knocking out a non-load bearing wall will generate interest in the property.
3. Make a great landscape
You can spruce up your home’s exterior appearance by taking some time to complete routine landscaping projects. Trim the hedges, clean out the flowerbeds, and eliminate large obstructions that may obscure a buyer’s view of the home from the road. A few bags of mulch will run you less than $100 but will have a big impact at sell time.
4. The proof is on the roof
If your roof is particularly old or unsightly, it may be in your best interest to take care of this expensive home maintenance task before you list your home for sale. CNBC reports that a roof replacement typically comes with a 75% ROI and will drastically increase your home’s curb appeal. Buyers will also view this as one less potential worry when comparing your home to similar properties in the neighborhood. A word of caution here, however, as there are a number of roofing scams that target homeowners looking to spend as little as possible on their remodel. Avoid choosing a contractor who shows up after a storm or with high-pressure tactics like a door-to-door salesman. A poorly-installed roof can lead to serious structural damage and cost you more than a sell in the long run.
5. Do the math, then remodel the bath
A simple bathroom remodel can net you an 85% return on your investment. If you shop smart and do some of the work yourself, you could easily recoup your cost entirely. Gone are the days when bathrooms were utilitarian spaces good only for personal hygiene. Today, buyers want a spa-like retreat where they can relax. Consider heated floors, a high-end shower head, and marble countertops. Most importantly, keep it clean and bright.
6. A quick fix trick
One of the most effective and affordable home improvements you can make is something you can do yourself with little-to-no experience and a long weekend. Painting the interior and exterior of your home is an instant facelift that can make or break a buyer’s decision to put in an offer. Avoid trendy colors and stick with a neutral palette. Accent walls in large rooms will add visual interest. Outdoors, color coordinate your shutters, mailbox, and any exterior light posts for a cohesive look.
No matter what home upgrades you choose to complete prior to selling your property, don’t overdo it. There are a number of home improvements that you think add value, but don’t. Keep it simple and listen to your real estate agent, who has extensive experience in your area and can advise you on what will have the most impact once the for sale sign is in place.