How to Renovate Your Home for Best Selling Value

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 2, 2017

living room for walkthroughs

Everyone selling a home wants to pad the profit margin and get top dollar for the property. Yet, buyers on the other end want to make sure they’re getting a deal. Fortunately, it’s possible to make both parties happy at the closing table. It all starts with an honest look at the house and careful evaluation of how well it matches up with the potential buyers’ expectations. With these renovation tips for getting the best selling value help sellers prepare their properties for a big sale.

Make the first impression memorable.

Cozy home exterior

When it comes to real estate, first impressions count. In fact, many buyers decide within a few minutes whether they want to add a home to their short list of options or ignore it altogether. For this reason, spending a little time and money on the entryway pays off. The to-do list for this task should include the following:

  • Take down old spider webs.
  • Sweep the floors.
  • Add a coat of paint to faded floors.
  • Remove or replace broken furniture.
  • Repair broken doorbells.
  • Spruce up the area with potted plants, flowers, and throw rugs.
  • Install an awning or portico over the front door.

Homeowners who don’t have the time to clean themselves should hire a professional cleaning service to do this for a few hundred dollars. One final consideration for the entry area is replacing the existing door, especially if it shows signs of age like, is drafty, or doesn’t fit the house’s architectural style. This project has minimal costs and brings a 75 to 100 percent return on the investment.

Give the house room to grow.

Old-fashioned home interior

In general, buyers still prefer houses with open floor plans that offer flexibility. According to Consumer Reports, millennials say this is the second-most important characteristic they look for in a home. To create this, sellers can remove non-structural walls like a partial divider between a kitchen and living room or replace a bulky kitchen island with a portable one that frees up room in the center of the kitchen. In small rooms, replace heavy drapes with shutters or blinds that create a streamlined look or install cabinetry or storage units to keep space-hogging clutter out of sight. Other ways to show off the flexibility of the floor plan include finishing the basement and converting the attic to an additional bedroom or office space.

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Go green.

Ceiling fan in V-roof

Today’s homebuyers also show interest in energy efficient homes, as they view them better for the environment and more cost-effective over time. Since houses lose considerable heated and cooled air through inefficient windows and doors, sellers can boost their home’s value by replacing aging ones with energy efficient models. Another option is to replace siding with newer material that is fade resistant and offers more insulation. One such product is fiber-cement siding. Although it costs more than vinyl siding, it offers an attractive look and excellent durability. Other energy-efficient remodels include:

  • Replace traditional light fixtures with LED lights.
  • Add solar panels to the roof.
  • Replace an aging air conditioner or heating system.
  • Install tubular skylights to bring in natural light.
  • Add or replace insulation in the walls and attic.

Homeowners who are not sure how energy efficient their homes are can hire a professional to evaluate the home. These individuals can also give tips for improving the energy efficient of the home.

Find the right floors.

Porcelain wood pattern floor

Buyers inspect houses from top to bottom, and they do pay attention to the surface they’re walking on. Sellers need to replace broken tiles or damaged laminate flooring, scrub stains out of carpet, and spruce up natural hardwood. It’s also a good idea to get rid of mismatched floors or dated pieces made from vinyl or linoleum around the house. Updating the flooring doesn’t cost as much as other home renovation projects, and it makes a big difference in the look of the room. Natural hardwood and cork floors are popular with today’s buyers who want durable, yet eco-friendly floors. Flooring is also an important consideration for buyers who have concerns about allergens. Instead of carpeting, the prefer hard-surface floors like laminate or tile since they are easier to clean and do not harbor potentially dangerous allergens.

Give the heart of the home some character.

Wood-based kitchen

Kitchen remodels still rank at the top of the list of most desired home renovations, which should be no surprise since the kitchen is the busiest room inside. These renovations range from simple upgrades of fixtures and hardware to complete remodels, such as replacing the following:

  • Cabinet and drawer pulls
  • Appliances and sinks
  • Flooring
  • Cabinets or cabinet doors
  • Counter tops
  • Faucet

Stainless steel appliances remain popular with buyers who enjoy the sleek, modern look they bring to the room. Durable counter tops made from material like quartz and sustainable flooring like cork also score points with buyers.

Photos courtesy of Home Advisor’s DesignMine Gallery

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