It’s hard to know which home upgrades will show the best return on investment when it comes time to sell your property. You may be aware that renovating your kitchen and master bath are the most valuable upgrades, in general, but they also come at the greatest expense. And if you’re planning to sell soon, you simply may not have time for this kind of major overhaul, which could take several weeks to complete, even without any setbacks to slow down the process. In truth, there are better ways to spend your time and money when it comes to fixing and upgrading your home in preparation for sale. Here are just a few areas where you may want to focus your attention.
You will naturally want to start by fixing any problems that could prohibit the sale of your home. This might mean replacing an outdated and faulty roof, plugging a leak, or upgrading dangerous electrical wiring, just for example. If you hire a home inspector you’ll find out exactly what you need to fix in order to get your home up to code and ready for sale. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to spend a few hundred dollars to hire this professional before you list your home; as soon as an interested buyer starts loan proceedings with the bank, their lender will insist upon an inspection anyway. So it’s probably best to get ahead of any potential problems.
Following that, you should probably skip major renovations in favor of cosmetic fixes. The reason to take care of seemingly minute issues like picture holes in the walls, chipped and cracked tiles, and filthy carpets is for the sake of reassuring prospective buyers. Failing to take care of these small issues will not only turn off buyers, but it will leave them wondering about larger problems that may be at play. After all, if you can’t even be bothered to fill a nail hole after removing a picture from your wall, or steam clean the carpets once in a while, what else might you have neglected during your tenure as the homeowner? It costs you relatively little (in both time and money) to make these small, cosmetic fixes and the payoff is that viewers won’t be troubled by tiny flaws that you could easily have repaired before showing the house.
Now, if you have the time and money after making major repairs and cosmetic fixes, there are a few more places you could focus your attention. For example, painting and replacing old carpeting are two great ways to make your home look brand new, not to mention provide the neutral palette that allows buyers to visualize their stuff and their style in the home. And of course, you should definitely consider hiring a maid service to deep-clean the space, and possibly even a professional stager to make your interior look like a designer, model home. If you want to go the extra mile, you could certainly address issues in the kitchen or bathrooms in order to make them more appealing to the modern buyer. But you may also want to throw a little dough at the front yard. It does provide a first impression of your home, as any L.A., New York, or Philadelphia real estate agent will tell you. So cleaning up the landscaping, replacing hardware, and perhaps even painting the facade could lure buyers into the home, whereas neglecting the curb appeal could send them packing before they even set foot over the threshold.