Every seller wants to get the most value from their home. In many cases, this means making updates to the property; updates that will attract buyers, increase bidding competition, and enhance the perceived value of the property, which can translate into real value when the home sells.
But not all remodeling projects are the same. With these tips for boosting your home value, you can spend less time fussing over details and more time on the projects that make a difference.
Tips for Boosting Your Home Value
1. Think Smaller Projects
If you want to get the most value for your home-improvement dollars, it’s best to focus on smaller, lighter, less expensive projects. A top-to-bottom kitchen remodel will certainly bring the interest of many buyers, but spending money on new countertops and cabinets can have a similar effect, all at a much more affordable price. Just look at stats from Remodeling Magazine, which shows that a “ midrange major kitchen remodel” recoups less than 60% of it’s cost, while a “midrange minor kitchen remodel” recoups an average of 81%.
2. Clean the Home
Can simply picking up your clothing, putting away kid’s toys, and clearing the counter bring a better price? It certainly will make buyers more attracted to your home which, depending on the market and the buyers, could drive bidding competition. Decluttering and cleaning makes your home look larger, keeps buyers from getting distracted, and increases the perceived value, which could transition into an increased sale price.
3. Focus on One Room at a Time
Instead of trying to update the entire house at once, try to focus on one room at a time for boosting your home value. By prioritizing a single room, you can focus all your energy, time, and available money into that area. Once you are done, you can move to the next room that needs an update.
But if you have to start with one room (and one room only), which room should it be?
4. Improve the Kitchen and the Bathrooms First
Real estate agents will quickly tell you that the #1 room in the house for boosting your home value is the kitchen. Bathrooms are a close second. A small, mid-range remodeling project can attract more buyers and increase the value of your home. When making changes, go for a universally-attractive design, and add a bit of color with bright backsplashes. Stainless steel is often popular in the kitchen, as it goes with many design styles as well. When making changes to the bathroom, focus on the faucet, sink, and countertops. Consider granite or marble countertops and under-mount sinks. You might also add new grout or tile for a clean, fresh appearance.
5. A Little Paint, A Lot of Value
Few projects are as simple and affordable, and are so effective at boosting the value of your home, as painting the interior. A fresh coat of paint gives the home a new appearance, making your home look better than ever before. If you choose to paint, go for neutral colors that will attract the most potential buyers. Neutral whites and off-whites allow buyers to imagine their own decor in the home. When shopping for products, choose high-quality paints from the leading brands. If you only have time, energy, or money for a small space, start with areas that obviously need a fresh coat. You can also select high-traffic areas or the kitchens and bathrooms.
6. Increase the Home’s Efficiency
Modern buyers love energy-efficient homes. With energy-efficient upgrades, buyers will not only spend less on utility costs, they can also feel like good stewards of the environment. From insulation to windows to water heaters, modern buyers want to know that their new home won’t be an energy hog. ENERGY STAR windows, for example, are a major selling point, and can even lower energy bills by as much as 12%. While they can be expensive, they can pay off if you live in the home for a while and then sell. Other energy-efficient changes include LED lighting, spray insulation in the attic, or insulation for vents and pipes.
7. Add Technology to Your Home
Smart technology isn’t limited to your phone and your car. Your home can also be a technological haven, with features that provide connectivity, security, and greater energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat that can be controlled from a smartphone is the perfect example. Not only does this device enhance efficiency, it makes living in the home more convenient. A whole-house generator is another popular technology, especially in areas where power-outages are more frequent. Connected security systems can also provide greater assurance that your home is safe, even when you’re at work.
8. Decrease Home Maintenance
Modern buyers are less interested in household upkeep, which other generations have taken for granted for years. Instead, today’s buyers want a simple and easy way to live their lives, all without chaining their weekend to tasks like cleaning countertops or vacuuming carpet. To attract more buyers (and potentially a higher price) add features that make living in the home more convenient, such as hardwood floors and stain-resistant countertops. You could also consider installing a new roof so the buyer doesn’t have to worry about this inevitable project.
9. Never Neglect Curb Appeal
Psychologists claim that first impressions, based on someone’s appearance or mannerisms, will have a profound impact on how a person is judged by others. Right or wrong, first impressions often override hard facts. In real estate, this psychological factors is called “curb appeal.” This is a term referencing the visual appeal of the house as seen from the street, and it’s one of the most important factors for selling a home. Even if your home has all the right features, advanced technology, and a world-class kitchen, if it looks terrible from the curb, you’ll lose the interest of most buyers.
To enhance curb appeal, trim overgrown shrubs and trees, mow the lawn before showings, and repair any clear damage to the exterior, especially the front.
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