Renovating Before Selling: Best Bang for the Buck
Jim Geymont on 30 Jul 2019
If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, you’ve probably given some thought to renovations that could help your home sell quicker and for more money. While some buyers may be happy with a fixer-upper, the majority will prefer a turnkey home. The goal, of course, is to avoid spending more than you can hope to get back. You also don’t want to invest more than your neighborhood or home value dictates.
Here are some home improvement projects that offer the best value:
1. Give the walls a fresh coat
Updating walls with new paint won’t cost much and can give your entire home fresh appeal. Painting walls in a neutral shade, like grey, beige or white, is one of the least-expensive projects you can do, especially if you are willing to take on the job yourself. Spending a few hundred on paint could equal a few extra thousand from buyers making an offer.
2. Modernize your kitchen
Kitchens usually make the greatest impression on buyers, whether good or bad. For that reason, updates can deliver considerable return for your investment. Take comfort in knowing that small-to-medium updates usually offer higher returns than whole-kitchen makeovers, though the latter can contribute to a quick sale. Replacing outdated countertops is an excellent start. If putting in new cabinetry is not in your budget, consider giving your existing cabinets new life by painting them, or leaving cabinet boxes and drawers intact and replacing just the front panels. Changing out cabinet hardware is another inexpensive update that can add some “wow“ factor to your kitchen.
3. Give bathrooms new life
Once the most overlooked room in the house, bathrooms have gone from basic to spa-like, with many buyers hoping for a quiet, luxurious oasis. If you don’t want the cash outlay of a full-blown bathroom renovation, there are certain updates you can do that will help sell your home and pay off in stronger offers. If replacing the entire tub isn’t in your budget, for example, have it re-surfaced for a fraction of the cost. Replace outdated, cloudy sliding shower doors with hinged, frameless ones to open up space. Update faucets and light fixtures. Replace an old vanity or at least give it new life with updated hardware, stain or paint. Just as with the kitchen, bigger bathroom projects do not necessarily equate to bigger returns, and it is usually easier to recoup smaller project outlays than larger ones.
4. Spruce up the landscaping
You can reasonably expect to recoup your full investment when it comes to updating your home’s landscaping, as long as you keep it simple and don’t overdue with things like elaborate water features or top-of-the-line pavers. If you are unsure how to start, check with one of your local garden centers, which often offer free landscape design services. Fresh mulch and plantings will give your home a welcoming boost for little cost. Choose a single accent color and use flowers of varying heights to add a splash of color to your home’s exterior that will grab buyer attention.
5. Upgrade your garage door
It may not have been on your list, but replacing a dented or out-of-style garage door can have a big impact on your home’s overall exterior and does not take a lot of cash. Unless you have a side or rear entry garage, your garage door is one of the first things buyers will notice when they pull up to the curb and it is reasonable to expect a good return on what you invest. Buyers will appreciate seeing a heavy-duty galvanized track, insulated panel door and modern opener when they take a peek in the garage. While you are focused on your home’s exterior, check out your front door. Replacing a worn, outdated or damaged entry with a new steel door and threshold provides a welcoming touch for potential buyers. If your door is still in excellent condition, it may just need a fresh coat of paint or stain to have it looking its best.
Deciding on updates to your home when you are readying it for market can seem a daunting task. But, with a bit of foresight, you can focus your time and resources on areas that are most likely to impress buyers while also offering you a reasonable return on your investment. Keep things simple for the best return.