It’s sort of a fine line when you decide to sell your home. You need to be the shining star in your price range, but you don’t want to “over-improve” as dollar for dollar you’ll likely not get your money back. However, the right upgrades will get the home sold more quickly and avoid your listing languishing on the market for too long.
So the key is to appeal to what’s important to the cross-section of buyers. Take the kitchen for example; you many not use it much. You’re married to your career, you pick up some dinner on the way home from work and enjoy it poolside. Your kitchen is sort of a pass-through with a frig that keeps your bottled water chilled. You therefore may not really see what a buyer who loves to cook will see.
In keeping with the realization that once you decide to sell your home it becomes a commodity – one that needs to be stripped of emotion and personal connection – you want to universally appeal to the target market interested in your amenities, in your price range. We believe there are three areas where you can’t go wrong when you’re selling your home:
- Fresh paint
- Clean and bright landscaping
- Energy efficient appliances and windows
Polishing up your interior and exterior with paint and plants is a wonderful addition to cost-saving appliances. These three are probably the most globally unanimous features that appeal to buyers.
We also found this data from U.S. News & World Reports’ March 2014 article, Which Home Remodeling Projects Are Worth Your Money? to be of particular interest. It cites some thought-provoking detail revealed in a Cost vs. Value study.
Renovations that bring the greatest percentage return on investment:
- Entry door replacement: 96.6 percent
- Deck addition (wood): 87.4 percent
- Attic bedroom: 84.3 percent
- Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
- Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent
Renovations that yield the smallest return:
- Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
- Sunroom addition: 51.7 percent
- Bathroom addition: 60.1 percent
- Backup power generation: 67.5 percent
- Master suite addition: 67.5 percent
It’s remarkable that some of the most expensive projects don’t necessarily yield the biggest return. As far as the kitchens and baths, you could completely throw caution to the wind by gutting and installing new ones.
Again, your tastes may not have that universal appeal – so the solid wood cabinets with heavy crown molding and forest green granite countertops may be stunning, but will just look like a big renovation project to a buyer with a minimalist palate.
Bottom line – give some serious consideration to your renovation choices before putting your home on the market. The goal here is to set yourself up for success; which in this case is a sale.