Unless you custom-designed your home, there are probably some renovation projects sitting on your wishlist that could help make it a little more functional for you and your family. If you’re considering a move, there are likely updates that could drastically increase your home’s value and attract potential buyers. But should you update your home before selling? What projects bring the biggest return on investment? Here’s what you need to know!
Should I Update My Home Before Listing?
The answer to this question varies per home. But before you do anything, getting some advice from a real estate agent is always a smart decision. Oftentimes, homeowners spend an excessive amount of money making updates that don’t end up being profitable or aren’t appealing to buyers in their market. A good real estate agent will be able to guide you through the process and give you insight into what your potential buyers want.
Before you jump in headfirst with updates, there are a number of variables to consider. Where is your neighborhood located? What’s your goal asking price? Is your priority a speedy sale or maximum profit? The answers to these questions could help you pinpoint which projects should be at the top of your to-do list.
If you have some time before you plan to list your home, there are a number of projects that not only achieve your renovation goals but are also fairly safe bets when it comes to your return on investment. If you think you might sell within the next few years, these projects can significantly increase the value of your home.
Improve Curb Appeal
When potential buyers visit your home, you want to make a great first impression. Many home improvement projects focus on interior space. But sellers shouldn’t underestimate the value of good curb appeal. Are your hedges nicely trimmed? Is your front lawn well-maintained? By planting new flowers and shrubs, touching up paint, improving the entryway with new brick or stone veneer, or replacing the gutters, your home can instantly stand out from the rest. If you find that your house is too dark at night, consider adding extra exterior lighting. Make sure your sidewalks and driveway are clear. Cleaning the yard and clearing debris can also help improve the look of your home.
Learn More: How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home
Replace Your Roof
When buyers are shopping for a home, they tend to look at parts of your property that could be a potential problem in the near future. A worn roof can be a deal breaker when you’re trying to sell. Interested buyers could try to knock thousands of dollars off your asking price if your roof needs updating. Installing a new roof helps you avoid a massive negotiation ordeal that slows the selling process and helps determine a strong asking price.
Replace Your Front Door
The front door of your home is a major exterior focal point and one of the first things potential buyers see. Investing in a new front door can help instantly improve curb appeal and potentially increase the value of your home. Replacing your old door with an energy-efficient steel door is one of the highest-performing home improvement projects. You may even be able to recoup 102 percent of your investment. If your front door is already in good shape, consider a fresh coat of paint to make it look as good as new.
Give the Garage Door an Upgrade
Just like your front door, replacing your garage door can help significantly improve your home’s value and curb appeal. With improved seals, a new garage door can increase energy-efficiency by keeping hot air out and cool air in. It provides more secure protection for your car and other belongings. It also communicates that you’ve been an attentive and detail-oriented homeowner and your property is worth the investment. A garage door replacement can give you a 97.5 percent ROI.
Upgrade to New Energy Efficient Windows
If you have older windows in your home, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Investing in high-quality, insulated windows provides several incredible benefits:
- Increased energy efficiency in your home
- Improved curb appeal
- Reduced maintenance
- Reduced energy costs
Upgrading to energy-efficient windows could get you up to 75 percent ROI, and save you hundreds on your energy bills in the meantime.
Spruce Up the Exterior
Faded, cracked, or mismatched siding, or damaged brick or stone makes your home look rundown and poorly maintained. Naturally, this can be a major turnoff to potential buyers. By replacing or repairing the materials used on the exterior of your home, you can improve its look and get up to 75 percent ROI.
Pay Attention to the Inside
Utilize Your Home’s Unused Space
Take a look around your home. Are there any areas that aren’t being used as efficiently as they could be? Making better use of unused or underused space in your home could reward you with a major ROI. A full room remodel can be expensive. But even small projects can make a big impact. Consider turning an empty corner into a reading or breakfast nook, converting an empty room into a game room or entertainment space, or transforming the space under your stairs into a study area. Even small improvements to unused space can have a huge impact on the value of your home.
Increase Storage Space
Adding built-in cabinets or shelves to any room can give your home storage space that excites buyers. Converting a closet near your kitchen into a pantry or installing a small island can give your kitchen some much-needed storage. Adding shelving units to your closet can help keep clothing and accessories organized. And building cabinets in a mudroom or laundry room can make your space much more efficient.
Update the Floors
Depending on the condition of your flooring, you may want to consider an update. Replacing worn-out carpet, wood or laminate flooring can give potential buyers the impression that your home is up-to-date throughout the floorplan. Any new flooring should be in a neutral color to appeal to as many buyers as possible. If your carpets are in good shape, make sure they are professionally cleaned so they look their best before listing your home.
Touch Up the Paint
Of all the projects with a big ROI, nothing gives a home a more dramatic facelift than a new coat of paint. Neutral colors can appeal to more people and open up the space, making it seem larger. Whether you’re selling or staying put, new paint can revitalize your home and make it more enjoyable.
Make Small Updates to the Kitchen
A full kitchen update can be costly. But thankfully, there are plenty of minor upgrades you can make that increase value. Consider upgrades like:
- Updating major kitchen appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher or range to energy-efficient models
- Replacing your countertops with granite or quartz
- Replacing or repainting kitchen cabinets
- Creating a casual breakfast nook area
- Installing a kitchen island or additional counter space
- Updating lighting
- Adding an upscale backsplash
- Upgrading fixtures and hardware
Learn More: Make the Most Of Your Kitchen
These small upgrades can not only make your kitchen more efficient but can also significantly increase your ROI if you’re contemplating a sale.
Upgrade the Bathrooms
If you’re selling your home, your bathrooms can make or break a sale. While completely renovating or adding a bathroom can be expensive, there are minor upgrades you can make to your existing bathrooms that could help increase your home’s value. You could receive a 102 percent ROI for:
- Updating bathroom fixtures like faucets, showerheads, and towel bars
- Adding a tile floor or backsplash
- Replacing your tub with a shower stall
- Re-finishing or replacing bathtubs
- Re-tiling shower stalls
- Re-caulking the tub
- Upgrading toilets to more water-efficient models
These easy, budget-friendly upgrades can go a long way toward increasing the value of your home when it’s time to sell.
Get Techy With It
Adding smart features to your home can make your life easier, improve security and attract the interest of buyers. Consider technology upgrades that can add to the value of your home, such as:
- Alarm systems
- Outdoor cameras at points of entry
- Motion detectors
- Upgraded smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Wi-Fi-enabled switches and lighting
- Remote-activated door locks and garage openers
Learn More: Smart Home Features That Sell
Set Up Staging
Believe it or not, staging your home before listing it on the market can drastically increase its value. A well-staged home can help potential buyers envision their lives in your space. It creates an emotional response in them that positively sways their decision to buy. It helps your home stand out from the rest, getting that sold sign up faster.
If you’re planning to sell your home in the next several years, making a few simple changes can help you sell faster and for a higher profit. If you’re staying put, updating your home can make your space much more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family.