If you’re planning to sell your house anytime soon, you may want to spend some money sprucing things up before you schedule that open house. According to life123.com, there are several easy, inexpensive things you can do that will make a world of difference in the eyes of a buyer. Their advice? Focus your time and money on the exterior, which makes a first impression, and the kitchen and bath, which buyers tend to scrutinize. Then move on if you have more time and money. To start:
• Power-wash the exterior siding and windows. For a minimum investment—it costs about $50 to rent a power scrubber for a day—you tend to get a huge improvement.
• Paint the exterior trim and the outside doors (but don’t bother to repaint the whole exterior unless it really needs it).
• Tidy the yard by pruning branches, trimming shrubs and hedges, weeding the flower beds, and adding a bright potted plant or two near the entrance to your home. Water and fertilize the lawn so it’s as lush and green as possible.
• If you don’t have one already, think about adding a deck, a must-have for many buyers. It doesn’t have to be fancy to do the trick.
• Replace corroded bathroom fixtures. This quick fix lets you avoid costlier renovations but still add a bit of polish. Though you may be tempted to buy gold or zinc, stick with standard chrome as the more neutral the finish, the more it will appeal to a broader range of buyers.
• Swap out old kitchen hardware—drawer pulls and doorknobs—for something spiffier. You’ll be surprised how much better things look without having to replace the cabinets themselves. (Just don’t make them so fancy they make everything else look shabby!)
• Buy a new garage door opener if yours is more than ten years old, as new ones tend to be safer, more sophisticated and easier to use, and they don’t cost a whole lot.
• Consider adding a gas fireplace. One that needs no venting system is fairly easy to install but delivers plenty of charm.
What to Skip
Things that aren’t worth the investment, according to myspendingplan.com? New floors, central air, and a swimming pool or tennis court.
But if you do happen to have more money to invest, bankrate.com has calculated the major home improvements that recoup the most money percentage-wise at resale, as follows:
- an upscale bathroom remodel: 93.2 percent.
- a major kitchen remodel: midrange, 91 percent; upscale: 84.8 percent.
- a deck addition: 90.3 percent.
- basement remodeling: 90.1 percent.
- window replacement: 89.6 percent.
- a bathroom addition: midrange, 86.4 per cent; upscale, 85.8 percent.
- roofing replacement: 84.7 percent.
- a family room addition: 83 percent.
- a master suite addition: midrange, 82.4 per cent; upscale, 80.1 percent.
- a home-office remodel: 72.8 percent.