Listing Your House? Add Value With These Upgrades

If you have recently decided to list your home for sale, you may find yourself looking for ways to attract potential buyers in a weakened housing market. Much like buyers, your goal is to get the most from your money. Fortunately, there are many home improvement projects that translate into favorable returns on your investment. The upgrades in this article have consistently produced favorable increases in property value, regardless of market condition.

Before you undertake a major project, consult with a real estate agent who has extensive experience selling homes locally. This person will have an in-depth understanding of what features and styles buyers in the area are most attracted to. For example, an agent will have a good idea of the type of buyer your home will appeal to most: families, retired couples or professionals. Agents are also familiar with local contractors and repair companies, and most are more than happy to provide a list of trustworthy professionals who can complete any needed work.

In terms of return on investment, kitchen upgrades go above and beyond other projects. A large-scale remodel isn’t necessary, but there are a few things you can do without breaking the bank. For example, consider upgrading appliances, resurfacing cabinetry or replacing old hardware with a more modern look. Increasing the amount of kitchen storage is an excellent move, especially if you have room to spare.

As the costs of energy continue to rise, most homeowners are looking for new ways to save on their heating, electricity and water bills. For this reason, any upgrade that makes your property more energy efficient is a worthy investment. Solar screens and window films are relatively cheap and reduce heat or cold air that is ordinarily lost through clear, single-pane windows. Installing an energy efficient HVAC unit is more costly, but potential buyers will appreciate the overall value. Of course, some eco-friendly improvements are best left to the buyer–rooftop solar panels, for example.

Before selling your house, you should also make any necessary upgrades or repairs to its plumbing system. Installing low-flow toilets and water heaters is a safe bet, and it’s a good idea to fix pipes, valves and faucets. When prospective buyers consider purchasing a property, most would prefer to purchase a house that requires little or no repairs after they move in; otherwise, the value of the house is greatly diminished.

While you live in your house, it is only natural to decorate it according to your personal tastes. Unfortunately, not everyone shares your affinity for details like purple carpets and bright orange walls. Your goal should be to create a neutral, tasteful atmosphere that allows potential buyers to picture themselves living, eating and sleeping there. Consider staging your home with off-whites, ivories and other light, earthy shades.

In light of economic conditions, the demand for luxury details and high-maintenance homes is falling off rapidly. Practical, universally appealing upgrades are far more likely to attract would-be homeowners of all types. The projects from this article are almost guaranteed to recoup your costs when all is said and done. For more ideas, contact a local listing agency or visit a home improvement center.