Selling a home can be a real challenge, whether the real estate market is up or down. Your goal is to show your house the absolutely best that it can be! There are some home improvements that you definitely want to make and there are other home improvements that you definitely want to avoid. Good home improvements add value to your home while making it show beautifully. Bad home improvements will cost you money to fix, delaying the time before you can put it on the market.
Great Home Improvements
Before you put your house on the market to sell, there are a few improvements that you want to make:
- New Flooring: Nothing shows off a home like brand new flooring. If it fits in your budget, install real hard wood floors. Homebuyers prefer hard wood flooring of all flooring that is available. If hardwood is out of your budget range, then look for high-end laminate. Replace carpeting if your carpet is threadbare and/or has stains that simply cannot be removed. If you are on the fence about replacing carpet, have it professionally cleaned. After cleaning, if carpeting looks presentable, then keep it. If not, then replace it. Finally install ceramic tile in bathrooms and, depending upon the style of your home, add it to the kitchen floor. Homebuyers would rather purchase a home with new flooring that one with old flooring that they would need to replace and/or having a flooring allowance as part of the deal. Although it might sound enticing, the buyer will still need to replace the floors.
- Counter tops: If your kitchen and/or bathroom counter tops have not been replaced recently, then it is a good investment to replace these with granite. More than half of homebuyers today will spend extra money to purchase a home that has granite countertops.
- Brand New Appliances: Install brand new appliances in your kitchen before your sell it. This does not mean you need to spend a lot of money on high-end appliances, unless your home is of the style and has the décor that demands the best appliances available on the market. Stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves should match. Again, depending upon the style of your home, purchase all white, all black, or all stainless steel appliances.
- Master Bathroom: One of the biggest selling features of homes today is having a large, updated master bathroom that is attached to the master bedroom. Known as an en-suite, homebuyers are demanding bathrooms that have two vanities/sinks, large tubs, and ceramic or other tile throughout. Today’s showers typically include handheld options as well as multiple showerheads. If you have not remodeled your bathroom in the last five years, it is an excellent project to complete prior to selling your home.
- Walk-in closets: People want large closets that offer a tremendous amount of storage space. This means that walk-in closets are a must. If you are unable to build or create one of these in your home, install organizers (such as wire baskets and shelving) and make sure your closets are neat, clean, and organized. Better yet, clean out your closets before you have an open house!
While these are all great renovations to complete before you sell your home, there are several projects you can avoid, as they do not improve the sale-ability of your house.
Home Improvements to Forget
- Home Office: If you do not have one in your home, don’t create one. If you are using one of your bedrooms as a home office, convert it back to a bedroom. Homebuyers first look at the number of bedrooms available in a home. Having a home office is far down the list of priorities.
- Sunroom: If you do not have a sunroom, do not install one. A sunroom is a nice amenity to a home, but, like the home office, it is not a priority feature when selling your home. Instead of a sunroom, build a deck. Decks are less expensive and homebuyers prefer them to sunrooms.
- Garage: If you have a garage – super! If you do not have one, don’t bother building one. Sometimes a homebuyer does not care or does not need a garage, so spending money to build one will be wasted. At the same time, do not make your garage into a man cave or living area. Buyers who are looking for a garage want the space to store their cars, gardening tools, and other items.
- Outdoor Kitchens: The majority of people grill outside on their deck. Constructing an outdoor kitchen is very expensive. Outdoor kitchen design is also very personal and quite specific. If you do build one, it may not be in the design that a future homeowner would like.
- Pool: If you don’t have a pool, do not install one. In-ground pools are expensive to install as well as to maintain. However, if your neighborhood is one where an in-ground pool is a must have, then definitely make sure it looks its’ best with clean water, workable filter system, and a well-designed pool deck area. Above ground pools do not add any value to a home. Pools cost money to maintain and are usually a personal preference of certain homebuyers, but may be a turn-off for others.
Before you put your home on the market, de-clutter and clean it thoroughly. Apply fresh paint, inside and out. Make any repairs that are required. Replace flooring and add new appliances. Replace countertops with granite. Remodel the en suite master bathroom. And, remodel closets so that they are walk-in, or, at least, remove as much clothing, shoes, and other items as possible to make the closets look spacious. Following this advice should make your home very marketable.