How to Increase the Value of your Home – A Seller’s Guide

Are you wondering what updates to do to your home? Well… you’re at the right place!

Keep in mind every home is unique, the market changes every day, and style is SO personal and individual. Knowing what updates to make to your home that will add the most value can be a challenge. That’s why I am here and can help navigate you through this process so you don’t spend money in the wrong places.

So what will bring value to your home?

If you are in a sellers market (there is not enough inventory on the market – typically less than 6 months of inventory) then you are not going to have to do quite as much to impress buyers. On the other hand, when there is an excess of inventory on the market you are going to have to really set yourself apart! Some updates, no matter what kind of market we are in, will typically give sellers a great return no matter what!

The first thing to keep in mind is what kind of house you have and what price point your home is in. Make selections that go with your home. For example, if you have a $500,000 home do not put the cheapest peel and stick vinyl floors in your living room. Make sure what you’re putting in goes with something someone would expect when buying a $500,000 home. If you have a $200,000 home, don’t put in the most expensive hardwood floors if you’re trying to get a great return on your investment. I recommend sticking to a budget and ensuring you don’t go overboard respective to the value of your home.

See below some of my best recommendations for adding value to your home!

Landscaping :: Landscaping is the first thing someone sees when they pull up to your home. I recommend making sure all your beds are mulched, yard is mowed and green, plants are appropriate height and everything is cleaned and trimmed (this goes for both the front and backyard). You want the house to be seen so trimming back overgrown trees can make such a difference. We want to make a good first impression and this is how you do it!

Paint :: The second thing to think about is paint. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to make the biggest impact! Make sure you focus on neutral colors. Avoid bold colors like pink, red, lime green, etc. Your whole home doesn’t have to be all the same color but it is advantageous to have colors that go together and that are again, very neutral. Neutral is important because these are colors that you can furnish with greys, blacks, whites, or browns for versatility. Need a painter or need help picking out that paint color – you can always reach out to me for my recommendations!

Staging :: While this may not be something you do until you decide to sell this this is still an important point to make! When we go to sell a home, SO much of the magic is in staging the home. I personally offer this in my services and have a professional staging consultant come to your home to optimize your space. This helps people visualize the home like it was meant to be. We ensure the amount of furniture and positioning of furniture is optimal for the space. We add decor to enhance the feel and ambiance of the home. This is why you hire a professional!

Kitchen & Bath Remodels

When we start talking about kitchen or bathroom remodels so much depends on the market you are in! I recently had a client who had a remodel done about 10 years ago to remodel their kitchen with beautiful oak cabinets and new granite. They strongly felt that the market was demanding white painted cabinets. I suggested for them to NOT paint their cabinets white because I could not honestly say that in this time of a sellers market, I couldn’t guarantee they would see the return on their investment. It was more important for the home to be cleaned and staged.

Does your bathroom have cultured marble? This was a huge trend in the 90’s and early 2,000’s. It can yellow over time and this leaves it looking very outdated. For bathroom updates, look at the expectation of the neighborhood (always keeping in mind what kind of market you’re in). You might be wondering if you should rip out that cultured marble shower or bath tub and the answer simply varies. It depends on the house and the market! Is that the expectation in the neighborhood? Is that the expectation in the market? While cultured marble can look outdated it is also a very durable product that, if taken care of, can last many years. Often times if the cultured marble is in really good shape we leave it alone. One of my tricks I use all the time (especially with cultured marble) is re-caulking around the shower and tub. The old caulk can grow mildew and I recommend getting a handyman to scrape out all the old caulk and re-caulk the shower. This will make the space seem clean and new without having to rip out the shower itself.

Hardware is one thing that can get VERY pricey very quickly but is also something that can make a big impact if done right and on budget. This is why it can be so important to set your budget before hand. Backsplash can also change the whole look of the room relatively inexpensively. Granite can even be added or changed relatively inexpensive with the right contractors as well.

In general, kitchen and bathroom updates are great investment ideas for your home and if you’re going to spend ten or more years in your home and you want to enjoy it, by all means this is your sign to do it! Rip out that cultured marble and enjoy your new bathroom. Always keep in mind to create a budget, though!

On A Serious Budget? :: Are you looking for little bathroom or kitchen fixes that are cheaper than ripping out a whole bathroom and starting over? You can touch up cabinet paint, replace hardware, clean your stained cabinets, and replace your plumbing fixtures. Also adding or changing the mirrors in the space can be a quick inexpensive update that gives a more custom feel.

Light Fixtures :: Light fixtures can be a huge change for your home to make it feel updated without breaking the budget. Maybe you have a box light in the kitchen? In a lot of cases, it does make sense to replace that with can lights! But again, it varies. This is why I recommend having the conversation with your realtor early on so you can have time to analyze the market and make these home-specific decisions. Even if you aren’t looking to sell for 1-2 years, it is NEVER too early to have that conversation!

Flooring :: In general, carpet in bedrooms is accepted if it is clean. If it is heavily stained I absolutely recommend replacing it. In general, hard floors throughout the entire home is HIGHLY recommended but again, if it doesn’t align with the budget it is important to be clean and have fresh carpet. At a minimum I always recommend hard surface flooring throughout the common spaces and carpet in the bedrooms. You want to avoid chopping up floors as much as possible and make the flow of flooring as seamless as possible throughout the home. If you can continue the same flooring throughout the home, that is ideal. If you’re thinking about installing carpet, you might want to do it closer to selling. Sometimes if it is not too bad, you can always get away with a deep steam clean as well.

Cleanliness :: Finally, no matter what the market looks like…it is important for your home to be CLEAN! You can have all the updates in the world but if your home is not clean (mopped floors, counters wiped down, shelves dusted, baseboards and fans not collecting tons of dust) people have a hard time seeing past this issue! It makes buyers wonder what else was not taken care of in the home. It is worth it to hire a cleaning service for a deep clean before putting your home on the market.

Finally, what if you’re planning to live in this home for the long haul but you want to remodel now to enjoy it? A lot of people are in your shoes! For this, don’t stress about what will sell. Do something you will love! At the end of the day this is your home and it is important to be comfortable. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the ROI and forget that this is HOME – a place to make memories and be with loved ones!

Have specific questions or other topics you would like me to cover? Leave me a comment below!

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