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Best Home Improvements Before Selling

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, September 24th, 2018 at 10:07am.

Home Improvement ToolsIt's official: today's housing market favors the prepared seller. While housing crises of years past created a substantial decrease in home sales for years, the return of consumer confidence has caused the housing market to rebound in remarkable ways.

According to recent studies, asking prices are at a record high and increasing in many parts of the country. Home inventory is also on the rise, causing sellers to compete for the quickest sales.

Home Improvement Fundamentals

In a housing market rife with competition, sellers can get creative to stand out and improve a home's chance of selling. Many homeowners make significant home improvements before selling to attract the ideal home buyer.

But what home improvements add the most value? With some simple, cost-effective tweaks, sellers can enhance curb appeal and showcase the home's best features. Making minor repairs also has the potential to add value to a property, allowing a prepared seller to list at a higher asking price.

Cosmetic Changes

Sprucing up a property with cosmetic changes before an open house not only attracts serious buyers, it allows sellers to highlight a property's best attributes without much hassle. Cosmetic changes are the must-have improvement to get a home in showroom condition. These minor home repairs add to the home's aesthetic and offer a unique wow factor for potential buyers.

The best cosmetic changes that add major value include fresh paint, new lighting, and replacing sections of worn flooring. After an inexpensive trip to the local home improvement store and a short weekend, homeowners can make their home look newer and improve their ability to sell quickly.

The Most Valuable Rooms

Updating the property's most valuable rooms can also increase the home's selling price and appeal to an array of buyers. What are the best investments to make money? During an open house, prospective buyers tend to heavily inspect two main rooms: the kitchen and master bath. Many experts insist that they are spaces in which the most value can be generated, meaning they most certainly need to look great at all times.

If a homeowner is determined in earning the most bang for their buck, focusing on these two lived-in spaces is necessary. Clean countertops, light fixtures, cabinetry, and tile can be effective home improvements for nabbing a purchase agreement.

High Impact, Low Cost Improvements

For less costly home improvements, sellers should consider basic home maintenanceBuyers pay attention to how well a homeowner cares for their property; poor home maintenance can keep buyers from ever committing to a sale, as it may send a message that the home was not well cared for. For example, new windows are an underrated improvement that can boost the value of a home for many sellers based on appearance alone.

On the exterior of your property, clean gutters, trimmed lawns, and smart landscaping ups curb appeal and welcomes buyers. For interior maintenance, it is suggested to regularly inspect air filters, floors, walls, and the fireplace to eliminate buildup and replace any home system that isn't working properly.

Beware Low ROI

Some house upgrades have a low return-on-investment (ROI) and can be detrimental to a sale. For instance, sellers should avoid making major repairs and conducting costly home renovations unless absolutely necessary.While a beautiful remodeling project can boost appeal, many renovations can cost more than a buyer is willing to pay. Unneeded structural repairs will also set the seller back with little added value. Homeowners should look at selling from the buyer's point of view. It can be tempting to go for improvements that you want in a City Centre home, but that is not always the most cost-effective method. Most buyers are interested in functionality first; don't compromise the sale's price with grandiose renovations.

Small Updates to Improve the Character of Your Home

If you live in a newer home, you may look around to discover that the interior looks pretty similar to all the rest of the houses in your neighbourhood.

"Builder bland" is a style that may sell houses thanks to its neutral palette and middle-of-the-road materials, but it doesn't always express your personality. To give your home some character and make it more unique, try these easy upgrades to better materials. It will only take a weekend, and you don't need any special tools to get these fun facelifts done.

Switch Plates and Outlet Covers

In most homes, the switch plates and outlet covers are a standard bit of cheap, white plastic. They don't look bad, but they're certainly nothing special. Try paintable covers to match your walls, or go for a natural wood look instead. You can also choose decorative bronze, nickel or brass plates for a luxe look, though you may want to install black light switches for a better blend if you choose a dark finish. 

Heat Register Covers

These metal grates are likely to be a dull shade of industrial beige that match nothing. You can purchase an inexpensive sprayer that will turn your wall paint into spray paint for grates that will disappear. If you have floor registers, consider upgrading to wooden grates that match your hardwood floors, or choose an oil-rubbed bronze cover for an old-fashioned look. 

Door Hardware

If you have cheap brass knobs on your interior doors, trade them in for something special. Your local hardware store will likely have dozens of styles and finishes to choose from, and this is a pretty simple project once you get the hang of the first one. Your house will look best if all the interior knobs match each other, so be sure to purchase enough for your whole home at once to make sure you don't run into an issue where your favorite knob has been discontinued.

These simple upgrades require only patience and a screwdriver to accomplish, but the results will be well worth the effort. In fact, you may even find that the hardest part is the shopping, since there are just so many choices out there to put your own stylish stamp on your home.

Larger Home Improvement Projects to “Wow” Buyers

You've decided to sell your home. Whether the reason for its sale is a job transfer or it's time to upgrade to a new home, chances are one of your sales goals is to get the best price for it.

With so much chatter on the web about home improvements, those that are the best in terms of adding value to a home—and money in your pocket—can be difficult to sift out.

The following eight improvements have proven over the long run to increase a home's value when done right. The degree to which you invest in these projects is dependent on your financial and home situation, so make sure to ask your agent before going all in!

Outdoor Spaces

As people continue to spend time outdoors as a method of relaxing, adding to that usable space will increase the value—and the appeal—of your home. Projects that improve exterior spaces can range from simple to more complex.

Replacing an outdated deck with one that is larger and features materials that are easy to maintain is one option. Another idea is to create a new patio—complete with a tiled floor and outdoor kitchen area—if your remodeling budget is more generous. 

Update Landscaping

As potential home buyers approach a home, their first impressions are important factors in the price they are willing to pay. Updating the landscaping can make those who come to view it feel welcome and excited. For the greatest appeal, think beyond simply making the yard look neat and trimmed. 

Consider adding a charming gazebo or a relaxing swing that's nestled near some blooming plants. Pavers leading the way from a freshly-graveled driveway to the front door impart a feeling of elegance before the front door is even opened. 

Remodel the Kitchen

Home Improvement Investment

Remodeling and updating the kitchen has been shown to increase the value of a home time and time again. Replacing outdated appliances, installing new countertops and having the cabinets refinished are just a few ideas that can more than pay for themselves when it comes to the sale price of a home.

Consider whether it's feasible to expand the kitchen to include desirable extras such as a breakfast nook or an island with bar stools. Some kitchen remodels can cost quite a bit, so definitely make sure that you will be making back more than you have put in!

Spring for New Lighting

There's a reason why staging a home for sale is so important. Its purpose is to make potential home buyers feel welcome as soon as they open the front door so they can imagine themselves living there. The right lighting can do wonders when it comes to making a great impression. A well-lit foyer, for example, evokes a bright image that gets the walk-through of a home off to a great start.

The strategic placement of lighting can direct attention to particular areas that you want to highlight. For example, task lighting over a butcher block island in the kitchen brings clarity to a room that often fills several different roles. Ambient lighting in the living room increases its coziness factor while updating that room at the same time. 

Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in a home. As such, they are also the most likely to show their age. When remodeling a bathroom, keep in mind the current trend to make this room much more than simply utilitarian. These days, a bathroom is often viewed as a place of relaxation and restoration.

Using focused areas of lighting signals different uses for the room. Track lighting over the basin provides convenient viewing while a busy family is getting ready in the morning. Softer lighting placed near a soaker tub increases the sense of ease and encourages unwinding after a long day at the office. Infusing the room with relaxing shades of blue or green in floor tiles and on walls helps freshen the room while making it pop. 

Update the Master Bedroom

Today, the master bedroom is seen as more than a place to simply catch some sleep. Adults across the demographics want to create a space that is all their own. Whereas the common rooms, like the kitchen and living room, need to appeal to the whole family while also being welcoming to guests, the master bedroom is a place where a homeowner's personality can really shine through.

If there isn't one, adding a master bathroom greatly improves the privacy that buyers crave. A master sitting area creates a versatile space that allows for the pursuit of indoor hobbies such as reading, painting or playing board games. 

Improve the Home's Exterior

Take a critical look at the exterior of your home. Was it just repainted recently? Consider adding vinyl siding as a method of appealing to new home buyers. Since it is virtually maintenance-free, vinyl siding—in a neutral colour, of course—adds value to a home. Year after year, vinyl siding continues to look fantastic with little to no effort from the homeowner. 

Simply cleaning and painting the exterior is also an option for those who would prefer not to add vinyl siding.

Replace the Windows and Doors

The windows and doors of a home are responsible for a great deal of heat loss. Replacing them with new and updated versions can increase the energy efficiency of your home considerably and make it more appealing to home buyers. 

These projects can take your home from serviceable to totally impressive. It is important to make sure beforehand that the money you put in will be worth the return but, even then, just a small improvement in each area can greatly improve your home's appeal and value to prospective buyers.

High ROI Home Improvements

While small projects with large impacts are nice, some homeowners will also want to look into bigger, high ROI home improvements. There are quite a few different high ROI home renovations that homeowners can look into if they can fit them into their budget. Here are some different home remodeling projects with higher price tags and ROI that is just as high:

  • Kitchen remodel: When thinking about what in a kitchen to remodel, the price tag can get very large very quickly. Just granite countertops and new cabinets are both huge investments, and it’s common for a kitchen remodel to cost anywhere from $25,000-50,000. Of all the renovations a homeowner does, the kitchen will likely be the most expensive, and it can pay off 60-85% ROI.
  • Bathroom remodel: People spend a lot of time in bathrooms across their lives, so it’s no wonder bathrooms are a popular choice for home remodeling projects. A complete remodel can cost anywhere form $10,000-20,000, and it can get an 81% ROI.
  • New windows: Installing new windows in a home is a big job that many homeowners like to avoid for as long as possible. Getting new ones in preparation for selling can not only add a another entry to the list of the home’s positive aspects, and they can bring in a roughly 73% ROI, though the price will vary depending on how many the home needs and the material they’re made out of.

The biggest projects aren’t necessarily the best ROI home improvements for every seller, but they can do a good job of helping to attract buyers to the home, and these home improvements are no exception.

Making the Most of Your Budget

Making the best home improvements before selling can increase buyer interest and ultimately secure sales. Generally, focus on cheap cosmetic changes that enhance curb appeal and update rooms that attract the most buyers. Keep aesthetics conservative as to not isolate buyers through bold choices. Also, avoid unnecessary structural repairs and any major renovations that would engulf a budget.

If remodeling, it's vital to skip pet projects and devote resources to simple changes that add the best resale value. For more home repair suggestions, sellers should canvas the neighbourhood, scope out the competition, and consult their real estate agent before making any major home improvements.

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