7 Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value Before You Sell
Before putting your house on the market, it’s normal to think about everything you can do to increase your property value. In the past, pre-sale home renovations included some hefty projects, but today’s market is a little different. Homeowners are looking for small details that will improve their daily lives and make them feel like their home is an oasis away from the world. While you may think the best way to do this is to completely renovate the kitchen, finish the basement, or even add a brand-new patio, these projects might not provide the best return on investment. In fact, certain home improvements may actually lower the value of your property. Rather than taking on large, remodeling projects, focus on making a few key upgrades. To help you get a better idea of the investments worth making, consider the following 7 improvements to increase your home’s value before you list it for sale.
1. Add Usable Square Footage
One of the best ways to improve the value of your home is to add usable square footage. This may look like one of several things, depending on the current state of the market and homebuyer preference. In the past, installing a pool had a big impact on resale value, but that’s not necessarily true today. Enhancing your backyard living area is definitely a great addition, but not everyone looking to buy a home wants to take care of a pool. This can limit your options when selling or end up being a waste of money. Home values are often determined by the livable square feet, so a pool wouldn’t add to this.
Instead, consider adding additional square footage to your home itself to focus on optimizing function within your residence. You could add an additional bathroom, extend the kitchen, or even add another bedroom. This gives prospective homeowners more options, especially as more people are working from home. Try to avoid adding room-specific additions like an office space, as this reduces flexibility for buyers who may not need an office. It’s much easier for them to convert an empty bedroom into an office space than it is to try and make a bedroom out of a small room with a built-in desk.
For homeowners with larger properties, adding a free-standing studio or mother-in-law suite can also be a good investment. This creates additional livable space on your property that’s disconnected from your main residence. You could also look at ways to improve your home’s overall storage capacity.
2. Create an Open Floor Plan
Open floor plans provide homeowners with more flexibility for interior design. They can also make a space feel larger and more welcoming. If you have a wall that can be knocked down, consider getting a quote. With more people prioritizing open floor plans, this home improvement idea can do wonders for your overall property value. Just make sure that you work with a licensed contractor to avoid causing any structural problems in the process.
3. Improve the Energy-Efficiency
Anything that you can do to your home that will lower utility bills are going to increase the value of your property. Plus, there are several green initiatives that can help reduce the cost of investments for making your home more energy efficient. They also increase the appeal to prospective buyers. As climate change continues to affect our daily lives, more and more people are committing to doing their part.
One of the best ways to enhance energy-efficiency is to install a smart thermostat in your home. This allows homeowners to control the temperature from an app on their smartphone. Smart thermostats can also help with predictive heating and cooling based on household activity.
Other ways to improve the energy-efficiency of your home include upgrading the insulation, replacing the windows, changing lightbulbs, and replacing your appliances. However, if you plan to take your appliances with you in the move, upgrading them won’t do anything to increase property value during a sale.
4. Spruce Up the Curb Appeal
Your home’s exterior is the first thing that prospective buyers will see when they visit, so it’s worth putting in some extra effort to make a good impression. In fact, many real estate agents say that curb appeal is one of the most important factors when selling your home. When a buyer pulls up for an open house, many of them make a decision based on how they feel when they first lay eyes on your home. Even if the interior is exactly what they want, if exterior aesthetics are bad, they’re likely to continue their search.
Luckily, you can improve your curb appeal substantially without spending thousands of dollars. Whether you decide to take a DIY route by planting flowers and additional shrubbery or hiring a professional landscaping company is up to you. However, you can usually make a big impact without installing elaborate details. Make sure that your yard is weeded and there’s no overgrowth, trim your bushes, and plant some vibrant flowers out front. As long as the yard doesn’t look neglected, you’ll reap the benefits of this home improvement project.
5. Refresh Your Kitchen
Once prospective buyers enter your home, the kitchen becomes the focal point. The kitchen carries a lot of weight in prospective homebuyers’ decisions. You should take a few steps to improve your kitchen, but you shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars with a complete renovation. If you’re going to live in your home for a few years prior to selling, this may be a good idea. However, renovating your kitchen right before you put it on the market may not increase your ROI by enough to justify the price tag.
Instead, try to highlight the features that you have and make some small adjustments. You could repaint the existing kitchen cabinets and update their hardware to revitalize the area. You can also upgrade countertops or get new, smart appliances. If taking this route, opt for stainless steel to project a more modern look. Focusing on these details rather than spending upwards of $60,000 – $100,000 on a kitchen renovation are better ways to increase your home’s value without wasting money.
6. Paint Exterior and Interior Walls
Adding a new coat of paint is a great way to boost curb appeal, interior design, and overall property value. Pay special attention to both the interior and exterior paint to get the most out of your efforts. Try to avoid any unusual or funky colors and instead stick to neutral options with complementary tones throughout your home. The cost of painting will vary depending on the size of your property, but this improvement tends to have a big return on investment.
7. Focus on Flooring
The flooring is another feature that many homeowners tend to focus on. Choosing the right materials and design is a great way to improve the property value without too much effort. If changes are substantial, the price can get pretty high so try to focus on the areas in your home that get the most attention (i.e., the kitchen, hallways, living room, etc.). Keep in mind that many homeowners these days prefer hardwood floors rather than carpet.
To make sure you’re undergoing home improvements that will boost your home’s value, talk to a seasoned real estate agent like the ones at First Star Realty. Our realtors can help you navigate the housing market and get a better understanding of what current buyers are looking for. Not only can this help you save wasted time and effort, but it will ensure that any improvements you do make are helpful in the process of selling your home. Regardless, making a few key upgrades will help transform your home and can have a significant impact on your overall property value. If you have any questions about your home’s current value, or the buying/selling process as a whole, the reputable real estate agents at First Star Realty can help.
Our agents work with honesty and integrity at the forefront of their actions. We always put our client’s interest first and can help you throughout the process of selling your home, irrespective of the state of the market. First Star Realty is committed to providing five-star realtor services to Northwest Arkansas. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Our team of highly seasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service to all of our clients. Call us today at 479-267-1600 or fill out a contact form on our website.