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Monday, October 4, 2010


Home improvement can be key to selling your home. It is an investment in your property and although $10,000 in improvements may not add $10,000 to a home’s value, it can help it sell faster and at closer to asking price.

Many buyers assess a house based on improvements needed, and the cost of improvements will often make them “low-ball” an offer, or even make no offer at all.

Here are some “best bet” home improvements that will score points with buyers and help you get the best price for your property.

OUTSIDE – First Impressions Really Matter

The exterior of a home sets the tone. If the outside of your home looks old, worn and uncared for, Buyers will assume the inside is too.
• Paint the front door. For a Buyer, it’s the first ‘close-up’ look at your home.

• Paint the exterior. This will give your home a fresh clean look.

• Changing shutters or adding awnings is an way to enliven a home’s exterior

• Replacing old porch railings instantly updates a home

• Paint or replace your old shed, but don’t let it ruin an attractive yard

Bigger Payoffs
 • Some homes need more than paint. New vinyl siding or other exterior can be a worthy investment.

• Outside space is a huge selling point for Buyers. The two most requested outside features are a front porch, and a deck large enough for entertaining. These additions increase square footage of a home in a very cost effective way.

• Fencing will broaden a home’s appeal because fenced yards are a “must have” for families with small children or pets.

INSIDE – The Devil’s In The Details

Yes, while most major interior improvements do focus on the kitchen and baths and granite counters and designer cabinets make a big difference, there are less costly ways to improve a home. You may be immune to your environment and unaware of “eye-sores” needing the most help, so before you tackle large projects, ask a Realtor® or home stager about the most worthwhile improvements for your home.


• Replace old blinds and faded window treatments with fresh new ones.

• Replace dated light fixtures. New ones cost $20-$40

• Replace those awful bi-fold closet doors that don’t work.

• Stylish new door knobs can add extra flair to your home.

• Replace kitchen and bath faucets if they are old or ugly.

• Replace shower curtains or install sliding glass doors.

• Old kitchen cabinets can look fresh with paint and new hardware.

• New kitchen flooring is easily installed and makes a huge difference.

 Bigger Payoffs

• Remove stained or worn carpets. If you have hardwood floors, show them. Otherwise install new carpeting in neutral colors.

• Fix or replace broken windows. It will reduce your utility bills, and an energy efficient home is important to buyers.

• Central A/C is a major plus. Many buyers will not even look at a home with window units.

• If your appliances are mismatched or look outdated replace them. A full set of white appliances can be purchased for under $1,500.

• Replace old bathroom vanities and countertops, and have tile in tubs re-grouted.

Remember, sometimes small improvements make a big difference. Above all prioritize: Figure out your budget, what is most needed and what you will enjoy. This is still your home and you should benefit from home improvements until you sell it.

(This article will appear in the October 2010 issue of Homes and Land Magazine)

1 comment:

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