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Best Home Improvement Upgrades to Increase Value and Sell a House

For many years, I have had an interest in real estate valuations and how to improve real estate to increase its valuation.

Well-thought-out home improvements can dramatically increase the appeal of your home.

Well-thought-out home improvements can dramatically increase the appeal of your home.

There are undoubtedly home improvement upgrades that are the best ones to concentrate on when selling a home. Whether your goal is to sell your home for more money or to just sell it more quickly, focusing on specific upgrades will help you obtain your goals.

It is important to keep in mind that some improvements are more practical than others and are more enticing to buyers. Of course, the sky’s the limit when it comes to fixing up a home for sale; however, most people have a limited budget for fixing up their home that they must adhere to, but this is not necessarily a major limitation.

There are many improvements that can be done to get a home ready to sell that do not cost a fortune. In fact, some of the least expensive ones are also the most effective ones to increase the value of your home and entice a buyer to make an offer on your home.

Home Improvements You Should Consider to Sell a House: Curb Appeal

The following are some ideas regarding which home improvement projects that are the most effective to prepare a home to sell, starting with the front-exterior of the home, since you want to create a good first impression and entice people to come inside and take a look. Implementing these ideas will improve your home’s “curb appeal”; how favorably it looks to prospective buyers from the front curb.

  • Replace the front door and front-facing garage door. If you cannot afford to replace either of these doors, or their condition is too good to replace, then do what you can to spruce up the area around them. Paint them, clean the area around, cut back bushes, and plant flowers. Do not overlook these improvements, as research has shown they can provide the biggest return for money spent.
  • Spruce up the landscaping in front of your home and keep the lawn well cut. This is an inexpensive and relatively easy way to increase a home’s “curb appeal.” Trim and/or replace bushes, plant flowers or tend to flower beds that are already planted. Take care of your lawn and cut it on a regular basis.
  • Replace the siding or paint the exterior of your home. This project is much more expensive than the prior two exterior improvement suggestions. However, replacing worn siding or painting a home that is in dire need of a fresh coat of paint will not only increase the home’s “curb appeal,” but it may ultimately help you sell it for more money and/or sooner than otherwise.

Additional Home Improvements That Improve Your Chances of Selling Your Home

Once you get a prospective buyer into your home, you want to impress them with the interior areas. Buyers like a “move-in ready” home that can be occupied with no immediate upgrades needed. These home improvement ideas will improve how your home looks when it comes time to sell and should increase your chances of getting an offer to buy.

  • Repaint interior portions of your home that need to be painted. It is truly amazing how much better the interior of a home can look once it has been repainted. Repainting worn walls and trim is an effective way to spend money to improve the interior of a home and make it more appealing to buyers. Stick with neutral colors, since you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living there without having to repaint the walls and trim.
  • Update hardware on doors, such as hinges and knobs. If the hardware on your doors is outdated or just looks worn, update it with new hardware. It is a nice improvement in appearance that does not cost a lot of money.
  • Make improvements to the kitchen and bathrooms. The most important rooms to many home buyers are the kitchen and bathrooms. Full renovations of these rooms are not the most cost-effective way to allocate money dedicated to getting a home ready to sell, since the return on investment does not usually come close to covering the costs, and full renovations can be quite costly. However, there are incremental improvements that are not terribly expensive that should be made, if feasible. For example, you could paint cabinets or you could install a new floor. You can also update light fixtures and other small features to make these important rooms more appealing.
  • Create storage space. Buyers like homes that have plentiful storage space. If you have any areas that could be used for storage, such as an attic or crawlspace, make use of them to increase the marketability of your home. Create an easy way to access these spaces and clean them up, so buyers see that your home has extra storage space that they can use once they move in.
One of the best ways to spend your home improvement dollars is repainting interior areas.

One of the best ways to spend your home improvement dollars is repainting interior areas.

Improve the Exterior Areas of Your Home

While not as important as the front yard or front portion of a home that prospective buyers see from the street, tending to the exterior entertainment areas, such as a deck, a patio, and a back or side yard, can help you sell your home. People want a place to relax at their home. Make sure they find your exterior areas are in good shape. People shopping for a home will usually take these spaces into consideration when deciding whether they want to make an offer to buy.

  • Paint a deck or patio and clean it up. If you have a deck or patio that is in need of a new coat of paint, spend a little time and money painting it. Declutter these areas and clean them up. Adding a few planters with flowers is a good idea to make them more appealing.
  • Take care of your back or side yard. While not as important as the front yard, taking proper care of a back or side yard that can be used for recreation is an easy way to make your home more appealing. Cut the lawn regularly, trim bushes, and tend to garden beds.
  • Repair or add a fence to your back or side yard. If you have a fence for your back or side yard, ensure that it is in good condition with no holes. If you do not have a fence, consider installing one. This can be pricey; however, it can also make your home much more appealing to families with young children that require a fenced-in yard and/or dog owners who want their dog to run around in an enclosed environment.

Put a Budget Together for Home Improvements

As a homeowner trying to sell a home for the most money and as quickly as possible, you will be well served by taking the time to put together a budget to decide which home improvements make sense within your budget constraints. If your budget or time is limited, focus on upgrades that will get you the most return for the money spent in the limited amount of time you have.

Upgrading the front exterior of a home should be the top priority to draw in buyers. If money is tight, then painting rooms and replacing hardware are relatively inexpensive improvements that dramatically improve the interior of a home and will make buyers feel good about your home. Think about what you liked about your home when you were considering buying it. If any of those features are in need of some care, then take care of them to entice a buyer.

Making a home improvement budget will assist you with deciding how to most effectively spend your home improvement dollars.

Making a home improvement budget will assist you with deciding how to most effectively spend your home improvement dollars.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 John Coviello


John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on May 08, 2018:

Thanks everyone! I'm happy you found this article worthwhile and the tips to be good ones. I always like to think what I liked about homes I looked at when house hunting, and keep that in mind.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on May 07, 2018:

Excellent tips. Also, I agree with Mary. They are important tips for maintaining the beauty of the house.

Eman Abdallah on May 06, 2018:

I agree with Mary. These tips are very important to keep the house neat and beautiful.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 06, 2018:

These are topnotch tips and even if you're not selling your house, it is still good to keep the house in great form. I like the budget idea for home improvement. You will certainly need it.