When you’ve decided that it’s time to sell your existing home and buy a different home, the process you embark on could be a long and arduous one. Getting your existing home ready to sell isn’t a job for the lighthearted – in fact, there’s probably a fair amount of work you should do to your home before you even put it on the market.
The prospect of remodeling might be overwhelming in itself, but with a careful approach, you can navigate your way through the process. The Environmental Protection Agency provides tips and information to homeowners who are considering a home remodel to assist with indoor air quality of your home.
Once you know what you need to remodel before you sell your home, you’ll be ready to proceed with a well-organized plan for fixing up your home first and then finding a buyer who will pay top dollar.
If your kitchen needs serious help, then it pays to roll up your sleeves and do some major work before listing your house. A tired and worn kitchen will detract significantly from your home. At the same time, this isn’t the time to proceed with an upscale, luxury kitchen renovation because you won’t see a return on your investment. Concentrate on a midrange upgrade to your kitchen instead, replacing cabinets, countertops and flooring as needed. If you can afford to upgrade your kitchen with energy-efficient appliances, you’ll make your kitchen more appealing to energy-conscious buyers who want to use less energy and have less impact on the environment.
Bathrooms are another important room to prospective house hunters. If your bathroom is looking grungy and needs some sprucing up, try replacing the tile, upgrading the medicine cabinet and vanity, replacing light fixtures and having the grout professionally cleaned. If you have shower doors, replace them with new doors. If you don’t have shower doors, consider installing them to give your bathroom a new look. If your home only has one bathroom, adding a second bathroom can be a significant improvement if you can swing the renovation. A closet or area under the stairs might be the ideal spot to tuck a powder room.
The addition of a master suite in your home can make it more desirable to an expanding population demographic that includes baby boomers. Creating a master bedroom, master bathroom and sitting area can appeal to people of all ages. Don’t forget to think about making a bathroom handicap-accessible for a broader appeal.
Go through your home to eliminate the dated lighting. Choose current and attractive light fixtures that will give your home an updated and modern appearance. Track lighting, task lighting, ambient lighting and even LED lighting will appeal to many prospective buyers. An additional benefit of remodeling your current lighting – you won’t spend a ton of money on new and attractive fixtures.
Your home’s appearance from the street – called “curb appeal” can make or break how people perceive it. Spend some time renovating the current landscaping if it needs some help. Plant trees, shrubs and create new flower gardens. Add landscape lighting to create focal points in the yard. Trim existing plants back so they’re not overgrown and unkempt. Replace the mailbox with a new one that matches your house style.
The exterior of your home falls under the same category as the landscaping – improving the curb appeal of the house. If you have wood siding, consider painting it. New vinyl siding is another remodel that would appeal to many prospective buyers due to the decreased work necessary to maintain it. Whatever you decide to upgrade on the exterior of your home, remember – neutral is the key. Never choose any colors or combinations that won’t appeal to the average buyer. This isn’t the time to go for burnt orange or lime exterior on your house. Instead, keep the colors neutral and warm, with coordinating trim. If windows need work, replacing the windows on your home will appeal to many buyers, especially when you choose high efficiency windows. Even replacing exterior doors can improve your home’s curb appeal to appeal to prospective buyers.
The addition of a deck in the backyard can appeal to many prospective buyers. Space for outdoor living, dining and cooking is an increasingly popular way to spend quiet time at home. Decks can be simple or complex. A fancier deck might have multiple levels, a built-in fire pit, a lounge area and even an outdoor kitchen. Save some expense by doing as much of the construction work yourself so you can realize more profit from the renovation.
The interior walls of your home could probably benefit from a fresh coat of paint. If you have dated wallpaper on the walls, remove it. As you prepare to repaint, choose a neutral palette for your interior rooms, avoiding brash or bold colors. If you have dated carpeting or flooring in bedrooms or living areas, consider removing it and replacing it with hardwoods or tile to appeal to most buyers. Many realtors recommend a single, neutral flooring throughout the main floor of a home to create continuity of design.
Before you begin any remodeling work to your home, consult with a licensed real estate professional in your area to get recommendations for improvements to your home. Ask for an inspection of your home and talk about the work you are considering to get input about current market conditions in your area. The realtor will be able to tell you which improvements are important and attractive to buyers and which ones aren’t conducive to improving the value of your home. The realtor will also be able to give you precise numbers on how much value you can expect to add to your home for specific remodeling you might perform. It’s a lot to think about, but with careful planning and expert recommendations, you can perform beneficial remodeling to your home before selling.