Looking to make a few investments in your property before putting it on the market, but want to ensure that you put the money it the places most likely to get you a return? These five upgrades are the best bets if you’re looking to make your property more attractive in time for an open house.
A kitchen is a place of utility and comfort. Putting in a state-of-the-art kitchen will attract attention and increase the value of your house. If time and budget allow, a complete kitchen renovation can often bring in a full return on the investment. However, making strategic upgrades like granite counters, stainless steel appliances, or an added island won’t go unnoticed and will still add value. At minimum, a fresh, neutral coat of a paint and some new cabinet hardware will help potential buyers envision their own style in the clean, fresh space.
Hardwood floors continue to be popular with buyers. They keep a room feeling light, buyers know they’re easier to clean than carpet, and they go with almost any style of decor. If your property already has hardwood floors, but they’re looking a little worn, you can have them sanded and resealed. Be sure to fix any boards that may be squeaky or loose. If the property doesn’t have hardwood floors, removing wall-to-wall carpet or worn or damaged tile and replacing it with hardwood is a great upgrade that will appeal to potential buyers.
Just as with the kitchen, people want to feel comfortable in a bathroom, so making bathroom upgrades can be a smart investment. For lower budget upgrades, removing rust stains, applying fresh caulking, or even updating the doorknobs and cabinet pulls can make a real difference. If your budget is more ambitious, making upgrades to the master ensuite (or adding a master ensuite) with luxury amenities, like heated floors or a whirlpool tub, can quickly add to the value of the property.
When you’re spending so much time focused on the interior of the house, it can be easy to forget about the exterior. However, a messy front lawn and unruly bushes and trees can block views, darken interiors, and weaken the house’s curb appeal. Making sure that your trees and hedges are neatly trimmed and flowerbeds are free of weeds can have a very positive effect. A 2007 survey of brokers conducted by HomeGain found that investing between $400 and $500 in landscaping can bring a return of four times the initial investment, so it’s smart to pay attention to the outside of your property as well as the inside.
Making sure the house is bright and welcoming is important. Replace old and worn-out lighting fixtures. Consider installing a dimmer in certain rooms so you can add to the ambiance with the lighting. The type of bulbs you choose also matters. High wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger and soft lighting makes empty spaces seem warm and inviting.
You can spend a little or a lot on upgrades to your property to help appeal to potential buyers. Remember that with each dollar you spend, you’re making an investment in your property’s final sale value. It may seem like a lot to put a few hundred or thousand dollars into repairs and upgrades, but that investment may just be the thing that gets a potential buyer to put in an offer.