In the state the real estate market is nowadays, it is not easy to sell a house. But there are always houses to be sold, and people to buy them. You either need to be patient and wait for that one buyer to come along, or you can be proactive and try to speed up the process.
How can you do that? The answer is simple but the execution may not be. You need to increase the value of your home. When it comes to execution, it takes time, patience and a little hard work, but it will all be worth it in the end. The key is to make some changes around your house – it is time for renovations. They may be smaller or bigger, it depends on the general state of your home, how much you maintained it and took care of it, how old it is, and, in the end, on what your target price is.
Here are some of the most important renovations you could tackle that could increase the value of your home, and help to sell it in the future.
1. Refresh your home with new paint
One of the simplest, but also most effective things you could do is repainting your home. This is also one the most cost-effective renovations and one that you can do yourself, or with the help of family and friends.
Take a look around your house and see which rooms need to be updated, or simply repaint all of them. Freshly painted rooms will grab the buyers’ attention and add value to your home. It will look clean, new and updated, and that is what prospective buyers like to see. When they come into the house they want to feel comfortable, they want to see that it was cared for, and that they, too, can make a home out of it.
When it comes to the color, the safest are neutral and light colors. They will open up the space and make the house look more spacious, and they also work well with other colors, so you can combine some darker or more colorful furniture with them. Lighter colors are also easier to paint over, so if the prospective buyers wanted something different, they could easily repaint it in any way they want.
2. Kitchen – the focal point of home
The kitchen is usually the busiest part of a home, the place where families gather for meals and spend a lot, if not most, of their time. And for those who love to cook, or who are in charge of cooking in the family, it is the first thing they will notice and inspect when looking at houses. So take a good look at your kitchen and get to work. This will probably be the most important renovation, as well as one of the biggest.
When it comes to the kitchen, there are several things you can do to update it, which will in turn significantly increase the value of your house.
If you are thinking about seriously remodeling and updating your kitchen, then the first and smartest thing to do is to replace all your appliances with Energy Star-rated appliances. They are energy-efficient as well as cost-effective, and will undoubtedly add value to your house. They save money, use less energy and are good for the environment, and that is what the buyers will appreciate.
If you don’t have the budget to replace the entire kitchen or buy all new appliances, then think about the layout and workspace. It is a smaller project but it will also mean a great deal, have a significant visual impact, and it won’t drain you financially. Consider the general layout of your kitchen and how functional it is. It should have a nice flow in the way that everything is close enough and reachable when you cook (cooktop close to the sink, sink close to the dishwasher etc.), but also not too close and cluttered. Also, make sure to have enough countertops and storage room, and don’t forget to freshen it up with new paint.
3. Decrease the bills and increase the value with proper insulation
Buyers will undoubtedly set aside more money now to purchase an energy-efficient house, so that their future living expenses are lower. Most of the buyers look at the whole picture when looking at houses – the visual aspect is the first thing they notice, without question, the house has to fell “homey,” it has to be clean and maintained, but after that they go a little deeper and wonder about the quality of the house and the life in it, does it need a lot of maintenance, how high are the utility bills, will there be many repairs needed in the future. For the most part, installing quality, energy-efficient insulation is the answer to these questions.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, make it your top priority. If you already have some kind of insulation, inspect it and add a little extra if needed, especially to your attic. Make sure to include the doors and windows in your insulation project, because installing it will do very little if you have old doors and windows that let in hot or cold air.
Quality insulation prevents leaks, which means less damage to your house and fewer repairs, it prevents outside air from coming in, which means you will spend less energy and money on cooling and heating. All of this is very important to buyers, and will significantly increase the value of your home.
Matt Reilly is an operations manager and home improvement writer for Fortified Roofing, in Cherry Hill, NJ. He is a promoter of sustainable living, both on a large scale and through the use of Eco-friendly technology in everyday life.