While some cities are seeing a rebound in the housing market, sellers still aren't enjoying the high prices we saw in the mid-2000's. If you're considering selling your home, you're probably thinking about ways to increase the purchase price of your home while amping up its curb appeal.
One of the easiest ways to make a good first impression to potential buyers is with a beautifully landscaped yard. If you already have established trees and bushes, make sure they're trimmed and neat. Any large branches hanging over the roof should be trimmed back, and bushes around your house should be trimmed so they don't block any of the windows. Depending on the time of year, annuals can add splashes of color. Even in late fall or very early spring, cold-hardy plants like pansies and primrose can withstand frost. While you're outside, inspect your home's exterior. Tighten any loose gutters, scrape and paint window and door trim where needed, and power wash your sidewalks and siding.
Another area to impress potential homebuyers is your entryway. And an entry door replacement consistently ranks among the highest returns on investment in the annual Cost vs. Value report. In fact, 12 of the top 17 projects on this year's report were exterior projects. In addition to a new entry door, such as an energy efficient steel door, replacement windows are one of the top exterior remodeling projects to improve your home's value.
A can of paint can take a room from blah to wow. Avoid very bold color choices, but consider today's popular neutral colors such as gray and beige. You can change the color of your bathroom pretty quickly, and while painting a kitchen will take more time, the results will be worth it. Even if you decide not to repaint, look at high traffic areas of your home for wear, scuffs, or damage to painted surfaces. Entry door trim, switch plates, and around door knobs are all areas that can build up dirt and show wear. A quick clean with a Magic Eraser may do the trick, but touch up paint where necessary.
A full kitchen remodel may not make sense since you likely won't see a good return on the investment. But you can spruce up your kitchen in less expensive ways. New cabinet knobs and drawer pulls instantly update the look. New energy efficient appliances, such as an ENERGY STAR refrigerator or dishwasher, and a new faucet will create a more current look. Apply the same ideas to bathrooms. New faucets, light fixtures, and shower heads give a bathroom a fresh update.
Even if you're not looking to move for a few years, always keep resale value in the back of your mind when undertaking home remodeling projects. Anything that improves the energy efficiency of your home will allow you to enjoy the benefits of greater comfort and lower energy bills long before you move. In addition to replacement windows and doors, consider sliding glass door replacement and beefing up attic insulation as other top energy savers.
Whether you plan to sell your home in the next few months or the next few years, home improvement projects should be undertaken with resale value in mind. From simple low- to no-cost projects like landscape trimming and planting, to more extensive projects like energy efficient window replacement, projects that recoup the largest amount of investment will put you ahead of the game when it comes time to list your house.