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Home Renovations that have High Returns when Selling

The question I’m asked most frequently on a listing appointment is, “What do I need to do to get the most for my home”?  We all know the main things: declutter, pressure wash exterior, fresh coat of paint on the front door and curb appeal.

What about the things that add the sizzle; ones that really bring the buyers, and often result in multiple offers and offers over asking price?

As a realtor with almost 20 years’ experience as a licensed interior designer, this is my area of expertise.

A modern, updated kitchen tops the list of ideal home features, registering for many as “most important”. If you plan to sell, you don’t need to rip your kitchen down to the studs. A smaller investment can have great impact. For as little as $5,000 – $10,000, you should be able to add new flooring, counter tops, appliance package, fresh paint, backsplash and handles on cabinets.  This had a 96% return on investment in a study done by the National Association of Realtors.

Bathrooms are next on the list of features affecting a home’s value.  It has been reported that new flooring, new faucets, paint, re-grouting, painting or replacing outdated worn out cabinets had as much as a 92% return on investment.

Perhaps nothing does more toward return on investment than painting the home inside and out.  Tired paint or owner specific color pallets and wallpaper can kill a sale due to potential buyer’s perceived cost to redo the paint. Chipped, worn and dirty paint may lead buyers to believe there is deferred maintenance throughout the home. Most savvy builders use neutral color palettes in model homes to appeal to a greater majority of buyers.

Curb appeal is one of the most effective factors in selling a home.  I often ask my sellers to focus their dollars on giving the home a “fresh” look from the curb.  If the home looks tired or neglected, buyers may be dissuaded before even entering the home.  If the exterior has a clean inviting entry with a well maintained lawn, my job selling the home just got easier.

In addition to these aesthetics, sellers may want to consider a new roof before listing their home for sell.  Research indicates the average homeowner could recoup as much as $8,000.00 on a roof costing $7,600.00.  That’s a 105% gain!

Now, for a realtor, this is a no-brainer – If you have a street facing garage door and it has a weather-worn look or more than a few minor dents and dings, the cost of a replacement is minimal compared to the cost of less than “appealing” curb appeal.  Some say that a new garage door ranks as one of the highest returns on investment.  The value it has toward curb appeal is priceless.

Sizzle sells!