Selling a home is a major undertaking and in order to make a profit, you may have to invest more money first. In fact, before they even begin looking for a real estate agent, many people begin evaluating their property to determine how to sell their home more quickly. It doesn’t make sense to hire a real estate agent if your home is still in disrepair or just looking run down.
If you’re among the ranks of would-be sellers, you want to be savvy about what renovations you choose to make. These 4 improvements offer the greatest return on investment, so you’ll want to get started there.
Picture Perfect Paint
They always say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to home sales, people often do. After all, no one wants to buy a home that looks like it’s falling apart – a shoddy interior almost always indicates even worse functional problems inside. These also tend to be among the least expensive and most profitable improvements.
Get started with a fresh coat of paint, both inside and out. If you’re not up to painting the entire exterior, focus on features like shutters, the front door, and window boxes. Inside, paint the walls in neutral colors and clean up the fixtures. Buyers don’t want to be burdened with painting over quirky color schemes while moving into their new home.
Once you’ve taken care of the space’s general appearance with a fresh coat of paint, you’ll want to shift your attention to what experts term “curb appeal.” This includes trimming the lawn and any shrubs, planting flowers, and tidying up outdoor areas like the porch or patio. These are quick and inexpensive improvements, which is why both real estate agents and landlords use this strategy to increase property appeal. Even hiring a landscaper to take care of these tasks is unlikely to set you back more than a few hundred dollars for an average property.
Shed Some Light
When you live in a home, excessively bright lighting can be intrusive and uncomfortable, which is why most people use multiple kinds of light in their home and choose moderate wattage bulbs. When you’re trying to sell a home, though, it’s best to increase lighting – and you can do this in several ways. Start by upping the wattage in overhead lights and be sure to clean windows and skylights. During the day, open the curtains. All of this, combined with the fresh, light-colored paint, will make the rooms look more spacious.
Today’s homeowners don’t want a property that sucks up energy; many are young, socially responsible, and committed to sustainable living. This doesn’t mean you should rip out your walls to replace all of the insulation, but it does mean you should evaluate major energy issues like drafty doors and windows, lighting, and energy-efficient appliances. Depending on what programs are available in your area, now may also be a good time to avail yourself of solar energy discounts. Solar-powered is sure to be a buzzword among buyers in coming years, so make it work for you.
Beware Big Ticket Changes
It may seem like buyers would be more interested in a kitchen renovation or bathroom upgrade than fresh paint, but the risk with big-ticket changes is that you’ll modify the property to suit your tastes – but you’re not going to live there anymore. What’s more, these changes are often much more expensive than they can possibly make up for during the sales process. Modest improvements often make a bigger difference in the property’s appearance, and they put less pressure on the buyer to style the space around your design choices.
Save your money for your future home and keep things simple as you bring your home to market.