If you're getting ready to sell a house and you want to maximize your selling price, of course you're going to want to make sure the house is in its best condition. On the other hand, unless you intend to spend years perfecting every minute detail, you're also going to want to make efficient home improvements, such that you minimize time and energy while maximizing the effect your work will have on the house's resale value. Here are five home improvements to increase the value of your REI (real estate investment) that you can probably do in just a few days without breaking the bank.
Focus on the Kitchen
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms in a house. Bedrooms come in next, followed by living rooms, dining rooms, and family rooms. This is because people tend to spend more time in kitchens and bathrooms, whereas all the other rooms are used more for optional activities. If you want to improve a home's value in a weekend, make sure the cabinets are in mint condition. As long as you're improving the kitchen, consider finding energy-efficient stainless steel appliances. In most homes, a refrigerator uses over 13% of the total home energy consumption, second only to air conditioners.
While the kitchen is vital (including large appliances as well as cabinets), according to the National Home Buyer's Association, in 2011 bathrooms became more important to home buyers than kitchens. The toilet, bathtub, and sink should not just look clean and functional and work without problems, but by adding a facade or coordinated color scheme to the bathroom, you can change a functional room into something with wider appeal. Even a fresh coat of paint and new fixtures on the sink or towel racks can really improve the look of a bathroom.
Make sure all Systems are Functional
No one wants to buy a house with plumbing problems or electrical wiring issues unless they're looking for a good deal on a fixer-upper. Before you put your house on the market, take some time to make sure all electrical wiring (including the circuit breaker and all outlets, sockets, and built-in lighting systems) are fully functional and work exactly as expected. Plumbing should be modern and fully functional. Even people who enjoy living in outdated houses still prefer the necessities to be up-to-date. Electrical, plumbing, and heating systems will also likely come up during a home inspection. While it's acceptable to have fixed a problem caught by the home inspector, it's much better to never have had that problem brought to the inspector's attention in the first place.
Check your Curb Appeal
According to RealEstate.com, replacement projects give better returns than long-term renovations, which is good news for home improvement aficionados because they also tend to be the cheaper projects.
"The ROI on replacing garage doors, siding, front doors and windows is almost 72%!"
Projects that improve curb appeal include the above, plus any front yard landscaping, fixing cracks in the sidewalk, and making sure the house is either pressure-washed or freshly painted, depending on the condition of the existing exterior paint job.
Don't Forget the Back Yard
As long as you're doing a little landscaping for the front of the house, you might as well improve the back as well. By making the backyard a place people will want to spend time in to relax, you create an inviting atmosphere that appeals to any potential home buyer. Simple projects that can really improve a back yard include:
- Install an arbor
- Improve or replace an old deck
- Consider installing a fountain or small pond
There is a wealth of information on how to improve your home's real estate value for maximal sales returns with minimal effort and cost available on the internet. Check it out!