Traditional wisdom says that spring and summer are the best months for selling a home, but that’s not always the case. Regardless of the season, if your house has lingered on the market, you’re probably looking for ways to freshen its appeal.
Perhaps you’re even ready to go big and invest in value-packed upgrades to improve its interior allure and curb appeal so potential buyers will fall in love with it.
In some cases, investing in upgrades and improvements is a fantastic idea – but you should always check with your Realtor® before you dive into big (and costly) projects.
Should You Make Upgrades Before You List Your 30A Home for Sale?
If you’re thinking about making big upgrades, call your agent. Every community, and even every neighborhood, is different – and what buyers are looking for can vary dramatically.
Before you call your Realtor, ask yourself how much you can reasonably invest. Will the improvements you want to make increase your home’s value so much that you’ll recoup your investment at the closing table? If not, could the improvements and upgrades result in a faster sale and make your return on investment less important?
Next, look at areas of your home where improvements will have the biggest impact – spots that are the least appealing or those that have the most appeal. Upgrading a less-than-great room can bring it up to snuff, but upgrading a good room could make it absolutely smashing. For example, painting a small bathroom in a bright color could make that cramped space feel bigger. Adding a skylight to your kitchen, bath, or other area in your home can really make a splash with abundant natural light and fresh air.
Where Home Improvements Pack the Most Powerful Punch
For many people, the best places to make home improvements that sell are in the kitchen, bathrooms and living room. Check out this room-by-room game plan for high-impact upgrades that demand buyers’ attention.
Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades That SellHomes
Great kitchens and bathrooms can sell a house. For many people, they’re the make-or-break rooms. If your kitchen and bathrooms are only so-so, they could be stopping buyers from making great offers – and that means you need to start at Square One.
Even the most spectacular kitchens and bathrooms need the basics: cleaning and decluttering, repainting, and replacing dated cabinet hardware. If you’ve already done that, consider:
- New appliances. New appliances can cost you a few thousand dollars, but they can really impress prospective buyers. They look great, but they’re also more energy-efficient than your originals. Even better, buyers know they’re not going to have to fork over their own cash for replacements soon after they move in.
- New fixtures. Touch-free faucets and rainfall shower heads add an element of luxury that’s tough to replicate in other rooms. While all-new fixtures can cost you a little cash right now, they can pay off by way of a faster, more lucrative sale.
- Tile, stone or salvaged-material backsplashes. In many homes, the kitchen is the hub – it’s where family and friends gather at all hours of the day. Adding a tile, stone or salvaged-material backsplash can modernize the space and make it feel more welcoming for future guests.
- Better flooring. You don’t have to add hardwoods throughout the whole house, but making small improvements can make a huge difference in the way buyers feel about your home. Laminate flooring or stone tile in the kitchen, or new tile in one or more bathrooms, can give your house the appeal boost it needs to impress prospective buyers.
Improvements in the Living Room or Family Room That Buyers Love
One of the first rooms potential buyers spend time in is the living room or family room. They’ll stand in the middle of the room, trying to picture their sofa and loveseat, TV and bookshelves in the space – and the impression they get there can set the tone for how they feel about the rest of the house. Like the kitchen and bathrooms (and the rest of the house), it’s important that you clean, declutter and make sure the paint looks good.
After that, look at:
- Your fireplace. Sometimes adding a new façade, putting in larger gas logs or a better blower can make it more attractive. Upgrading the mantel, particularly if it’s outdated, and adding a few decorative elements can turn an ordinary living room into a beautifully modern gathering place. If you don’t have a fireplace, it might be worth seeing how much it would cost to add one.
- Accent lighting. Lighting makes a huge difference in any room, so if you’re going big, it’s worth considering adding recessed or track lighting to make the living room look larger and highlight its best features. Opt for LED bulbs as you backlight or uplight the room, and add a dimmer switch so your home’s next inhabitants have maximum control.
- Flooring. While hardwoods are exceptionally popular, they can get expensive quickly – so laminate, new carpet or tile may be good alternatives. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s low-maintenance and complements the rest of the home. Pick neutral colors so your buyers are able to bring in their own styles.
Improvements for Any Room in the House
Buyers are looking for value, easy maintenance and style. Any improvement that gives them all three can make it much easier to sell your home. Consider:
- Adding a skylight. Overhead natural lighting enhances a home’s visual appeal, and it gives the people living inside a better connection to the outdoors. It also makes small rooms look bigger and brighter. Check out Energy Star-qualified, solar-powered fresh-air skylights, which can provide fresh air through cost-efficient passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air. Add remote-controlled, solar powered blinds, and you can boost a skylight’s energy efficiency by up to 39 percent.
- Increasing outdoor living space. Buyers want to spend time – or at least think about spending time – outdoors, which means your home’s outdoor living space can be a big deal. If you don’t already have a patio or deck, consider adding one. Add comfortable furniture, a fire pit and all-weather décor to create a lifestyle look that buyers will love.
- Improve energy efficiency throughout the house. Upgrade your HVAC system, water heater and windows if necessary. You’ll save future owners money on their utility bills, which can be added incentive for them to buy your home.
- Put in livable square footage. A lot of a home’s value is based on its size. More specifically, though, it’s about the livable square footage. Adding a sun room, a new bathroom, an attic bedroom or a home office can add quite a bit of financial value. The only caveats: Make sure what you add is appropriate for your neighborhood (that’s where your Realtor comes in) and make sure you hang on to all the permit and code documentation, because you’ll need to give it to the buyer.
Should You Make Big Home Upgrades to Sell Your Home?
Every neighborhood, every home and every situation is different, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should invest in large-scale improvements to sell your house. It’s incredibly important that you talk to your Realtor about comparable homes – those that have sold recently, those that have been on the market but haven’t sold, and those that are on the market right now – before you make any big decisions about remodeling or upgrades. In some cases, it’s better to hold off on improvements and use your money for something else (like a down payment on your next home).
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About 30A Local Properties:
30A Local Properties is located in Grayton Beach, FL and services the South Walton community. The team of locals confidently offers the experience of over six hundred South Walton real estate transactions, nearly three decades of banking experience in commercial and residential property holding positions, and over a decade of entrepreneurial real estate experience in property investments and management. Visit our website at www.30alocalproperties.com or stop by our office and meet the team:
30A Local Properties
35 Clayton Lane, Suite B
Grayton Beach, FL 32459
P: (850) 213 3048
F: (850) 213 0035