Looking to sell your home? Before you do, you might be planning to make a few improvements in the hope of boosting its value. This is a great idea, but it can be a tricky plan to pull off; it’s difficult to know which improvements are actually worth it.
Do you go all out and fit your home out with the shiniest, top of the range new features? Or is it best to concentrate on appearances over functionality? If you’re not sure which direction to take your home in, fear not. We’ve come up with 5 improvements that will boost the value of your home before you sell!
Freshen Up All Around
Giving your home a thorough clean is a necessity before putting it on the market. We’re not just talking about vacuuming and mopping either. You’re going to need to declutter and make space, and breathe a bit of life into your old home.
A lick of paint is a good idea and it’s relatively cheap; just make sure to stick with a neutral palette. You might also consider laying new flooring. A hardwood floor is beautiful, but expensive, though it might just tip the balance when potential buyers come knocking. Alternatively, new carpets, or engineered wooden floors can save money and will still look great, especially when paired with a fresh paint job.
Two rooms to focus on are the kitchen and the bathroom, both of which can undergo a transformation for a reasonable price. Rather than buying into high end, marble counters and top of the range appliances, it’s best to stick with a mid-range kitchen or bathroom remodel, as this will generally offer a better return on investment.
Maintenance and Repairs
Unless they’re looking for a fixer-upper, most buyers are reluctant to purchase a home that is likely to require maintenance in the near future. Dated appliances can also be a turnoff, as they too will soon need replacing, adding to extra costs that buyers would prefer not to worry about. Keeping on top of maintaining your home is highly recommended.
Replace things that are coming towards the end of their life before you sell, such as the furnace, central heating unit or roof, and be sure to keep receipts and dated proof of the work that’s been carried out. This gives the buyer the kind of peace of mind that they’re happy to pay a little extra for.
Besides the major repairs, try to fix as many of those small problems that you’ve learned to live with over the years. Squeaky floorboards, awkward doors or windows, and broken tiles aren’t what most buyers want from their new home.
Become Energy Efficient & Think Green
If you are planning to replace old appliances, or make major repairs, it’s worth thinking about how you can save energy. Energy efficient central heating systems for example can drastically cut heating bills, while a new roof fitted with quality insulation can keep your home warmer in winter.
Of course, depending on where you live, certain elements will be more important than others. For example, a buyer who is looking at homes for sale in Nashville will be less concerned about an ultra-efficient furnace compared to a buyer in Alaska. They might, however, be curious to see solar panels or solar-powered appliances.
If you are considering solar panels, bear in mind that they’re not a great idea for a short-term boost in value. Due to the initial expense and the gradual returns over the course of a few years, they’re a better long-term investment. However, solar panels do typically boost the perceived value of a home, and with an energy-efficient mortgage (EEM), the price can be reduced.
It’s a good idea to have an assessment carried out by your utility company or a certified energy auditor, to find out where you might be wasting energy. Based on their recommendations, you can determine the upgrades that will save you money and look most appealing to buyers. Just be sure to let buyers know how these additions have slashed your utility bills!
Make Space and Increase What You’ve Got
Open spaces within the home are now more popular than ever. Not only do they make your home look bigger, but they improve the flow and allow buyers to envision what they could do with the space. Open kitchen and dining/living areas are increasingly popular and can normally be created fairly easily by knocking down non-supporting walls or simply removing the kitchen island.
Alternatively, you might consider increasing the habitable square footage of your home by converting the attic or basement into a new bedroom, bathroom, or living area. While conversions are a fantastic idea, adding an extension might not be worth the investment. However, a sunroom or covered decking area might very well achieve the same results, for a far lower investment.
This is particularly true for warmer states, so again consider what works best for your circumstances. Buyers looking at homes for sale in Knoxville, for example, are likely to spend hours outside in warmer summer months, and may well enjoy an outdoor living or dining area.
Landscaping and Boosting Your Curb Appeal
No matter how beautiful your home is inside, or how energy efficient it is, it doesn’t matter if buyers are turned off before they’ve even stepped foot inside. Many buyers make a decision about a home within the first 7 seconds, so it’s essential that yours makes a good first impression.
Overgrown trees and bushes are a common problem. At worst, they can be downright dangerous and can cause expensive damage, with falling branches and overgrown roots. More often though, they darken a home by blocking natural light and obscure the view, which can lead to potential buyers just walking on by.
Work on your yard and boost your curb appeal. Start by cutting back any overgrown vegetation. Next, wash and repair your driveway and any paths. Add flowers and plants to beautify the front of your home, and ensure your front door and porch are inviting, clean and fresh. A touch of paint to freshen window frames, fences and walls goes a long way to helping your home stand out from the crowd.
A huge yard can be tricky; some buyers envision a nice play area for the kids, or dog, while others envision the hours of mowing the grass that they’ll waste each year! Consider your target market, and if you think you’re more likely to cater to the latter, it might be worth putting up decking to reduce the amount of grass that’ll need mowing.
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to boosting the value of your home. What will work for some homeowners, won’t necessarily work for you. It’s important to consider your target market, location and your own circumstances when it comes to investing in improvements. And remember, sometimes, less is more!