Preparing Your Home for Sale? Be Smart About Home Improvements

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Selling one’s home ranks right up there with life’s major stressors.  How much money a homeowner should put into enhancing a property for sale is a controversial issue.  If you spend too much, you might not get it back; if you don’t do enough, your property doesn’t compete well in a crowded market.  Despite what you hear on TV and what conventional wisdom says, the most important improvements for selling your home may not be the sexiest.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the greatest return on your investment will come from projects such as replacing the front door with a steel one, adding a wood deck, replacing old siding, replacing the garage door, and replacing old windows.  These aren’t big-ticket items in terms of price or luxury, but they give your home an instant updated aesthetic that buyers are seeking.

When determining how much to spend, consider price range, region, and what comparable homes for sale in the neighborhood have to offer.  Your home improvement strategy should be uniquely tailored to what your home needs to be competitive.

If you live in a hot market and complete a popular project, it’s possible that you will see a return on your investment.  Homeowners in San Francisco are likely to see huge payoffs on midrange attic bedroom, kitchen, basement and bathroom remodels; bathroom, deck, family room, second-story and garage additions; entry-door and garage-door replacement; and siding replacement.  Returns range from 109.8% to 177.6%.  Even if you don’t live in a hot market, you might see a significant jump in your home’s resale value when you make changes that bring it in line with the majority of homes in the neighborhood.

Don’t let TV shows, your personal taste, or your emotions guide your home improvement decisions.  Consult with a real estate agent about the conditions in your local market, and stick to the upgrades that research and experience have proved worthwhile.

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