Today more than ever before, potential home buyers are looking for move-in-ready properties. Buyers want to purchase a “model home”- one that requires minimal fixing up and cosmetic work. Thus, sellers are no longer able to sell their properties as-is. They must make an extra effort to prep their homes for sale. Though sellers may be apprehensive to dish out the upfront costs of such improvements, the investment pays off with higher sale prices and less time spent on the market. So, if you’re considering selling your house, here are five home improvements you need to make before throwing it on the market:
5 Home Improvements Before You Sell Your Home
1. Paint all interior walls a neutral color
It’s important to keep the palette of your home as neutral as possible because buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the house. So, remove any touches of your personality, and start fresh with a nice white coat of paint. This will give the buyers the option to paint the walls whatever colors they want.
Typically, you can expect to pay about $2,800 to paint a 2,500 square foot home if you use a licensed contractor. Alternatively, you can go the DIY route and tackle the project yourself to minimize costs.
2. Tighten, Clean or Replace Carpets
Few things reveal wear more than old dingy carpets. Particularly if you have pets or children, it’s imperative that you get your carpets cleaned or replaced to prepare for sale. Sellers can be unaware of odors in their homes, so it’s always a good idea to get an honest friend or neighbor to tell you if your home has any unappealing odors. Usually, a professional carpet shampooing will lift minor stains and odors, but if you find that your carpets need more TLC, it may simply be time to replace them. Typically, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars to re-carpet a 2,500 square foot home.
3. Fix leaks & cracks
This one is a bit of a no brainer. If your house is leaking or cracking, you’ll definitely want to get that fixed and taken care of before letting potential buyers tour your property. Otherwise, they’ll immediately be put off by the potential risk of purchasing your home. Don’t try to cover up or hide these problems either, as an inspector will almost always discover these issues during the inspection period anyway. Better to solve the problem now, rather than lose out on a good deal in the future. Depending on the severity of any cracks or leaks, this may be one of the most expensive repairs required before you sell.
According to Yourson Contracting’s senior estimator, a typical roof leak repair will cost homeowners an average of $500.
4. Liven up curb appeal
Curb appeal is another aspect of the home sale that sellers often overlook. Typically MLS listings will feature one exterior photo of the property as the thumbnail for the listing. What this means is that the outside of your home is the first impression that buyers will get, both online and in person. If you drive up to a home and there are overgrown weeds, unkempt landscaping or lack thereof, it can immediately affect your overall impression of the home.
So it may be wise to invest in improving your landscaping, front porch area, front door, and every area that buyers will see before entering the property. Consider applying a fresh coat of paint to your front door and planting some low maintenance flowers.
5. Upgrade appliances, countertops or cabinets in Kitchen
Finally, when it comes to selling, the most important room in your home is the kitchen. The kitchen is where buyers fall in love with a property. If your kitchen could use some updating, it may be a good idea to install new appliances, countertops and/or cabinets to spruce up the room. You could even add a nice backsplash for extra pizzazz.
You’ll want to weigh the cost of a kitchen remodel with the return on investment you’ll make. Be sure not to overspend on the kitchen, as tempting as it may be. It’s better to tackle all five of these home improvements than to overdo it in one area.
According to Yourson Contracting, a basic kitchen remodel costs roughly $15,000 on a 2,500 square foot home, depending on finishes and other custom design choices. Again, you could opt for the DIY route to save some money.
When it comes to preparing your home for the market, you must prioritize the items that will help your home sell quickly and for a higher price point. You may not need to do all of these items, but even if you can only tackle a few, you’ll be in great shape to sell your home.