A home is the largest investment most people will make in their lifetime, so when it comes time to sell, homeowners often wonder what they can do to get the most return on their investment. Many have the misconception that remodeling is the way to go, but that isn’t always the case. Rather than going all-in on upgrading your home, you should know which home improvements are worth it, and which ones aren’t.
We’ve sifted through the research and come up with a quick list of five home improvements that’ll help buyers fall in love with your home when it comes time to sell.
1. Add a little curb appeal
Curb appeal is critical. As the name suggests, it’s the first thing buyers see when pulling up to the front of any home so it needs to be in nearly pristine condition.
Landscaping can go a long way for a minimal upfront investment. Six rounds of fertilizer and weed control will set you back about $415, but when it comes time to sell, you’ll see a return on investment (ROI) of about $900 according to a 2023 survey by the National Association of Realtors.
Other improvements you can easily make to your curb appeal include:
- Pressure wash the exterior
- Liven up your front door with a fresh coat of paint
- Replace hardware such as doorknobs and knockers
- Install updated house numbers
- Make your walkways pop with new greenery or flowers
- Plant a succulent garden
- Update your porch lights
- Add a little charm with window flower boxes
- Stage your porch
2. Convert your HVAC to an electric heat pump
According to the 2023 Cost vs. Value Remodeling Report, replacing an oil or gas furnace with an electric heat pump is one of the hottest trends (and offers an unusually high ROI of 104%). Their earth-friendly efficiency is especially appealing to younger buyers and those concerned about climate change. Additionally, they offer summertime cooling, which is a big bonus in the PNW given our recent hot and smoky summers!
3. Refresh your kitchen
Here are some smaller updates to boost your home’s value:
- Organize your pantry
- Use a little Murphy Oil Soap and hot water on all of your cabinets
- Polish cabinets with Howard Feed-In-Wax
- Tighten all hinges
- Clean grout and tiles
- Shine your sinks and hardware until you can see your face in it
- Deep clean your stove
- Give your kitchen a fresh coat of neutral paint
- Update lighting fixtures, and replace light bulbs
- Add new and trendy door hardware to your cabinets
- Consider replacing your countertops with a hard surface like quartz or quartzite
- Upgrade your appliances
4. Go green
Today’s younger generations are embracing eco-friendly living, and millennials are leading the pack. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, millennials make up the largest segment of buyers, holding strong at 43 percent of all buyers.
When it comes to attracting buyers who are willing to pay top dollar, going green makes sense. A Nielson study found that, of more than 30,000 millennials surveyed, 66 percent are willing to shell out more cash for conservation-conscious, sustainable products. Depending on where you live, consider installing solar panels, wind turbines, and eco-friendly water systems.
No matter where you live, attic insulation replacement and weather stripping are safe bets. Attic replacement costs can vary but typically have a good ROI. Weather stripping costs about $350 if you hire a professional, but you can easily DIY for a fraction of that cost.
5. Install hardwood floors
Installing or upgrading hardwood floors is pretty failsafe as most buyers love it. Ninety-nine percent of real estate agents agree that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell, and 90 percent of agents say that they sell for a higher sale price, according to the National Wood Flooring Association. Similarly, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that wood flooring was among the top 10 home features most desired by home buyers.
When it comes time to sell, a Windermere agent will help you get the highest possible ROI for your home. We can connect you with tried-and-true contractors, suggest strategic upgrades, and help you develop the right pricing plan based on up-to-the-minute market analysis.
© Copyright 2023, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.
Adapted from an article that originally appeared on the Windermere blog November 12, 2018. Written by: Sarah Stilo with HomeLight.
Cost vs. Value data ©2023 Zonda Media, a Delaware corporation. Complete data from the 2023 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.
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