Best Home Remodels to Get a Higher Sale Price
By Lee Wallender
Remodeling your home in a way that makes it more functional and enjoyable for the next couple of decades is usually worth any type of manageable expense and effort. But how about if you are planning to sell your home sooner rather than later?
Few large-scale remodeling projects add enough equity value to your home to pay to realize a profit or break even with an impending sale. Generally, you are better off accepting lower offers than investing in major remodels. Home remodeling in order to sell is different from remodeling to improve your quality of life.
Never Spend More on Remodels Than You Can Recoup
While this seems obvious, it is surprising how many people decide to throw vast amounts of money into a house that they will only inhabit for less than a year.
Net Zero Remodels to Attract Home Buyers
Is it a success to spend money on a bathroom remodel only to recoup the same amount from the sale? You might need to address a critical area that causes potential buyers to turn on their heels and walk out the door. Even if the rest of your house is in acceptable condition, one horrifying area might drag down the rest of the house.
Prioritize Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels
If you end up deciding to spend money, the best areas to do so are the kitchen and the bathroom. These are the improvements most likely to gain the value and attract buyers. Most realtors will tell you that the kitchen and the bathroom are the most important parts of the house.
Concentrate on Countertops
Countertops are highly visible. So if you opt for any kind of expensive rip-and-replace work within the kitchen or bathroom, this is the area. Worn laminate countertops can be replaced with higher quality laminate or solid surface materials.
Refresh the Cabinets
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are highly visible because they are at eye level. Replacing kitchen cabinets can easily erode any profit you hope to realize from the home sale. If your kitchen cabinets are in terrible condition, especially with the cabinet boxes falling apart, you have little choice but to install new cabinets. For cabinets that are in good structural shape, the better option that will return more value is to paint your cabinets or even reface them.
Upgrading Fixtures and Hardware Pays Off
New cabinet fixtures and hardware are surprisingly effective kitchen and bathroom upgrades.
Do It Yourself If Time and Inclination Permit
When you hire a remodeling contractor or tradesperson, you spend money on two things: materials and labor. Taking on any home remodel project by yourself means cutting out the labor piece of that cost.
Repair and Freshen up Rather Than Replace
Replacement removes one material and replaces it with another material. Usually, the fewer materials you hand over to the next homeowner, the better. Instead of replacing your existing hardwood, consider refurbishing your home's hardwood by sanding and finishing it.
Stress Appearance Over Function
When remodeling for sale, the best remodels are those that look good. It is better to spend money on paint or flooring rather than a water heater that still functions. As long as the water heater is safe and functional, keep it.
New Paint Works Wonders
New paint, especially well-chosen contemporary hues, will transform a house. Be careful of deep shades that darken the home. Cheerful, brighter colors reflect more ambient light.
Consider the Market's Tastes, Not Yours
Home remodels done to make the home more attractive to buyers do not necessarily have to align with your tastes. This is less a case of grabbing the latest home remodel trends than it is about correcting styles that turn off buyers.
Avoid Home Remodels That Have Lower Resale Values
Some remodels are notoriously poor at returning resale value. Areas that tend not to have good resale value are media rooms, theaters, offices, basements, attic remodels, decks, and extensive backyard work. Garage conversions are typically not held in high regard by buyers, either.