If you will be or are considering selling your home this year, chances are you’ll be making some updates and upgrades before putting it on the market to increase its resale value. Across the board, most real estate agents and industry professionals agree—the kitchen and bathrooms should be the biggest focal points. This is because they tend to be two of the most important features homebuyers look at when house hunting.
But, there are a number of ways to add value to your home, and while some may require extensive work, there are also plenty of smaller projects you can complete that will give you the biggest bang for your buck!
With extensive experience with buyers and sellers, as well as renovating houses, two of our experts at Infinity Realty Group have weighed in—let’s check out their top home improvement recommendations to make before selling.
“Not surprisingly, buyers are still willing to pay a premium for things like granite or quartz countertops and good quality cabinetry,” says Terri Byerly, Realtor at Infinity Realty Group, “but other elements, such as lighting fixtures, a tile backsplash/surround, etc. can be equally important, so don’t forget the details!”
If the thought of a full-on kitchen renovation has you seeing stars or more pricey upgrades simply aren’t affordable, there are plenty of smaller, more budget-friendly options that will still add that refreshed feeling to your space. “If your cabinets are in good shape but outdated, they can be painted,” says Cheryl Hazzard, Broker-Realtor at Infinity Realty Group. “And, white subway tile is cheap and makes a nice, clean look as a backsplash,” she adds.
When it comes to updating your bathroom, consider which changes will have maximum impact. If your bathroom is outdated, you’ll want to update old tile. As with the kitchen, subway tile and neutral-toned, 12”x12” or 12″x24″ porcelain tiles give a much more modern feel.
Full renovations and fixture changes are not always necessary, however. Simple and applicable for both kitchen and bath, “Changing cabinet knobs and light fixtures, as well as plumbing fixtures, to a modern oil rubbed bronze finish makes a big difference,” says Hazzard.
Landscaping and Curb Appeal
First impressions count, which means you should not discount your home’s exterior or landscaping! The average return on investment for landscaping work done is 100 percent, so it is well-worth the effort.
“To increase curb appeal, plant some colorful flowers or bushes, touch up the mulch, power wash dirty surfaces, and replace the mailbox,” says Byerly.
Paint your front door to add a splash of color at the front of your house or add a focal point like a walkway to improve aesthetics and increase the value of your property.
You also can hire a landscaping company and designer, or, if you’re more hands-on, many local nurseries and garden centers offer classes or free design services. Perhaps most importantly, when it comes time for sellers to schedule showings, make sure your property is properly maintained!
Updating decor and fixtures can make a big difference when presenting your home to buyers, as can the way you stage your home! Smaller details like new light switches, outlet covers, heating and cooling registers, trim and molding, and modern paint colors can really capture potential buyers’ attention.
“If renovating isn’t in the budget, there are plenty of less expensive ways to add value to your home,” says Byerly. “One of the easiest is to paint the walls and trim and to touch up the woodwork.”
When it comes to staging, pull furniture away from the walls to make a room feel larger and more open. You can also draw buyers’ attention to showcase features like a fireplace by creating a seating area around it. And, modern drapes often add a fresh, inviting look to living spaces, and if you have low ceilings, can create the illusion of more height if you position the curtain rod higher on the wall.
Look at Your Home Objectively
“Above all, when deciding what and where to improve, look at your home objectively. If it doesn’t appeal to you, it probably won’t appeal to a buyer!” says Byerly.