Potentialbuyers are now ready to move off the sidelines, mortgagepreapproval letters in hand, for the chance to findtheir dream home. Housing inventory has been tight the last couple of years,which means more competition among buyers, especially during these busy months.
Asa seller, this is good news, because competition among buyers drives prices up.But it’s still important that sellers look to maximize their sale price byattracting as many interested buyers as they can. A great way to do that isthrough home improvement or remodeling projects.
Theword “remodel” tends to strike financial fear in home sellers, many of whomdon’t have the time or the cash to make every square foot of a home perfect forbuyers. But you don’t need perfection — a few small, inexpensive upgrades cansignificantly increase the value of your house.
Hereare some tips to help you get top dollar, no matter how much money you haveavailable to invest.
Theexterior of your home and the front yard are a buyer’s first impression of yourplace. Inexpensive improvements can add instant curb appeal, so don’t overlooksome easy fixes.
•Make sure the lawn is mowed and the house numbers are visible and attractive.You can get inexpensive new ones at any home improvement store.
•Try power-washing the exterior of the home or putting on a fresh coat of paintto brighten it up.
•Make a home more inviting by adding some flowers or other plants.
•If the home has a patio, add some cozy furniture to show buyers the space’soutdoor entertaining potential.
•Add great outdoor lighting, because people will be cruising by your listing atall hours of the day and night.
Insome cases, you may find that a few larger external remodeling projects canreally raise a home’s resale value, according to a reporton remodeling impacts by the National Association of Realtors.
Anew garage door, which typically costs around $2,300, recovers about 87% of itscost upon resale, according to the report. A new steel front door will get backabout 75% of the cost, more than a fiberglass door, which tends to bring backabout 60% of the cost upon resale.
Youmay also want to consider a fence, which can help attract people with pets oryoung children, who are normally looking for a little extra privacy and safety.
Movinginside the home, plenty of projects require relatively small amounts of timeand money.
•In the kitchen, try a fresh coat of paint, new handles on kitchen cupboards orapplying a new tile backsplash.
•Take a hard look at your closets to see if they would benefit from extrashelves or additional organizing help. These upgrades make a home feel like ithas been updated and help would-be buyers see potential.
•Before buying new interior fixtures and materials, see what you can fix. Sure,new hardwood flooring would be great, but so would refinishing the woodflooring you’ve already got (and likely for a lot less money). In fact, ahardwood flooring refinish typically costs about $2,500, and a seller recoupsan estimated 100% of that cost upon resale.
Pickpractical over pretty
It’sgreat when you can add aesthetic elements to your home to attract buyers. But,many times, practical trumps pretty.
•Pay a little attention to your roof. Wash it, clear it of any debris and takecare of any small problem spots. If it’s beyond small repair, you may have toreplace the entire thing. The typical cost of a new roof is about $7,600; however,for that cost, you’re likely to get $8,000 for the project upon resale, areturn of 105%.
•Clean out the gutters to make them look nicer and more functional. After all,potential buyers will be looking at your home in all sorts of weather, and they’llwant to see that your water drainage system works.
•Above all, make sure the major problems are addressed. Even if a potentialbuyer doesn’t notice, a home inspector probably will, meaning your sale couldfall through further down the line. You not only could lose that buyer, butyou’ll end up having to fix them anyway.
Ifyour home is outdated or needs repair — and you have the money, time andpatience — it might be in your best interest to tackle a bigger remodelingproject. Otherwise, dozens of small, inexpensive home improvement projects canadd instant appeal to your home. It’s always a good idea to talk to a Realtorto determine what features people in your market are seeking.
Thisarticle originally appeared on NerdWallet.