Selling a home is an intricate dance of making repairs and alterations to try and gain the most profit from the transaction. Some home projects seem like they offer a great increase in home value, but the sticker price of the job can actually cost you money. In fact, in 2018 homeowners were found to have spent between $5,000 and $10,000 on home improvements.
So, how do you decide which projects are worth it?
We have put together a list of the six most lucrative home improvements to help you sell your house for the highest price possible. If you’re in the early stages of selling your home and looking to make improvements, just keep reading!
1. Roof Repair
When taking on home improvements before selling, you should start by taking a look at your roof.
Unless you’re selling your home “as is,” you’re going to be required to prove that your roof is in good shape. So, you might as well get it out of the way before people start looking to purchase your home.
The first step of the project is assessing if your roof has damage or weak areas. This can be done on your own, but most homeowners find the trouble of climbing the roof and trying to identify damage to be both dangerous and cumbersome.
Instead, do your research for residential roofing services in your area. Some providers will offer an evaluation for free. Take advantage of these offers and assess whether or not you have a need for repairs.
Having a clean bill of roof health from an inspector can help quickly move along the process of selling your home. Additionally, if they do find damage, you can get it repaired or have the roof replaced before beginning your sale. This is appealing to buyers as failed roof inspections are a major player in the delay of the home buying process.
2. Electrical Work
This is another one of the first home improvements before selling that you should consider . like roofing, the electrical work in your house will need to pass an inspection before your home can be sold.
When thinking of electrical work to check and change, most homeowners know to look in the electrical panel, check their wall outlets, and look for exposed wires both in and out of the house.
However, if you were considering having your home repaired by local home electrical services and technicians, you might want to consider adding some electrical upgrades that can add value to your home.
Here is a list of a few changes you can make that have a great ROI (return on investment):
- Rewiring internet and other entertainment cables to avoid floor clutter.
- Upgrading basic electrical services to be remote controlled, including lights, heating and cooling systems, and sprinkler systems.
- Installing smart technology, like thermostats, smoke alarms, and security systems
- Installing video surveillance or surveillance doorbells.
- Installing app-controlled drapes and blinds
Studies show time and time again the improving the curb appeal of your home has a fantastic return on investment. For some homeowners this means adding or repairing fencing. However, we all know that fencing a yard can get expensive, fast!
One modern solution is to use vinyl fencing.
The final fencing does tend to be more expensive than standard chain link or mesh wire fences, but you can’t argue with the beautiful look they create. The benefits of vinyl don’t end at the aesthetic.
First, vinyl fencing is extremely low maintenance – it doesn’t need to be painted, sealed, sanded, or have any other prep done. It also can’t be eaten by termites or wood boring pests, so you don’t need to coat it in toxic chemicals.
Similarly, since it’s not made of metal or wood, it’s not going to rust, rot, or be in constant need of repair.
Vinyl fencing is interesting in the way that it can mimic the look of other expensive fencing types. If you’re looking for an 8-foot privacy fence but don’t want to spend money on all the wood panels, vinyl fencing is a good alternative. If you want to go for a slightly darker aesthetic but don’t want to spend 10s of thousands of dollars on a wrought iron fence, vinyl is the way to go.
Most companies that sell vinyl fencing also include a long warranty due to the durability of the material. It is a nice selling point for your home to be able and pass that warranty off to the new buyer, which is why we consider it one of the best home improvements before selling your home.
When buyers are searching for a home there will be certain details or amenities which they exclusively look for. Though that list can vary by region and the economic background of the buyer, one consistent keyword in home buying searches is HVAC.
HVAC or (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are important to a lot of buyers. Without a central heat and air system, the buyer will need to install a home air conditioner in multiple rooms of the house along the floor heaters or gas wall heaters, which can be extremely expensive.
HVAC systems can save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year on their electric and gas bills as well as add an increased level of comfort to their new home. That’s why making performing maintenance on your existing HVAC system is important to your sell.
If you already have a modern central heating and air system, one of the best home improvements before selling your home is having a professional duct cleaning performed.
This can not only improve the air quality of the home, but it keeps dangerous, dirty ducts from being discovered during a buyer’s inspection.
5. Decks and Patios
Now that we’ve looked at some areas of home improvement before selling that focus on the general maintenance of your home, let’s talk about some great add-ons for your house that statistically improve the selling price.
Two of those add-ons are decks and patios.
There is something extremely pleasing about the look of a deck on a home. Even a small deck can add fantastic value to your property. In fact, decks are so popular that they are considered one of the highest value home improvements before selling.
Typically, a wood deck can be constructed by a home by a local or commercial construction company and made to fit your specific needs for the space in your yard.
The cost averages out to around $10,000 and the ROI is usually over 80%. However, many homeowners have stated that by using lower cost wood and performing much of the construction, sanding, and sealing on their own, they actually achieved an ROI of over 100%!
Patios are another outdoor addition that can add a large amount of value to your home.
Some people use patios as an extension of a porch area or to replace the lack of a porch in general. Others like to put patios in their yard for a place to put items that require level ground like, pools, sandboxes, trampolines, etc.
Whether you want the patio to be an aesthetic piece or a functional one, the return on investment is often quite high. This is especially true because it is a very DIY friendly project.
The reason it is one of the best home improvements before selling is that it cannot only create an aesthetically pleasing amenity to the home, but it is also a fantastic way to tackle improving the condition of your yard.
6. Parking Covers and Vehicle Storage
You may not consider adding parking coverage and vehicle storage as one of the best home improvements before selling, but these items solve a lot of problems that buyers will see when looking at properties.
Perhaps you have mature trees that are beautiful but lead to increased damage to vehicles during storms and went. Maybe your home is in a neighborhood that has had a rash of vehicle break ins. It might be that your region is known for hailstorms and ice.
There are a lot of reasons that a homeowner may want to keep their car protected from the elements or out of sight altogether.
Awnings/ Covered Parking
One way to add a little protection to your parking area is to install a parking awning. These can be purchased as pre-constructed items from most home improvement stores. However, many homeowners prefer a more cohesive look which requires having the awning constructed from scratch to match your home materials.
If you’re like the latter, you may want to contact the home building contractors responsible for your home or homes similar to yours. These individuals will typically have increased access to the materials it takes to seamlessly add covered parking to your house.
If you’re looking for a more permanent vehicle storage solution you may want to consider adding a garage to your home.
Garages come in a couple options – attached and detached.
An attached garage requires a set amount of space alongside the home so that an appropriately sized garage door can be installed. Some homeowners prefer this technique, but it can be a lot more expensive and have a lower ROI.
Instead, consider choosing a detached garage. This is a standalone building that is made to match the design of the home and provide a secure place for vehicles; however, it does not need to be attached to the walls of the home itself.
That minor difference opens up the options of placement greatly and makes the idea of having a full garage reachable for many more homeowners. Detached garages are fun home improvements before selling because they can also be marketed as an office space or work area.
Additional Tips for Selling Your Home
We know that selling your home involves a lot of other difficulties and expenses beyond just making improvements. Here’s a mini-guide of tips that may help you with the selling and moving process.
- Utilize moving and storage combos
- Navigate overlapping mortgage payments
- Pick the right realtor
1. Utilize Moving and Storage Combos
One way to improve your overall earnings is by utilizing home improvements before selling but when the time comes to stage for showings and switch between homes, you may end up spending a large chunk of your earnings!
You want to be certain that you are making a moving and storage plan that is the safest and most cost effective. A great way to do this is by researching local moving companies that provide storage services in their costs.
By grouping these two services together, you not only reduce the cost of a storage unit, you also save money on moving through a reduction in overall trips and travel time.
2. Navigate Overlapping Mortgage Payments
The first step to navigating two mortgages during a sell is to contact the lender for your current home and get a quote for the payoff amount.
With this estimate, you can determine your target sell price and make decisions about the best home improvements before selling to ensure you make the money you need.
But what do you do if your house doesn’t sell before you start paying your mortgage?
If your mortgage payments have managed to overlap on the two homes, you might consider one of two options.
- Speak to your mortgage lender about an assumable mortgage aka letting a buyer simply take over your existing mortgage.
- Consider marketing your home to cash buyers who will be able to close on the purchase far more quickly than those going through a lender.
3. Pick the Right Realtor
Selling your home for the best price can come down to having the right realtor. You may be inclined to go with the realtor with the best word of mouth marketing, especially if you live in a small town, but you may want to reconsider.
For a fair and unbiased view of the marketing skills of local realtors, try accessing popular realtor apps and searching for homes in your area. Which realtor’s listings have the best terminology, highest engagement, and best pictures?
Don’t fall into the trap of hiring a realtor who isn’t marketing homes through the most modern and accessible means.