Your home will be on the market soon, if you work hard to get it ready. Selling your home as it is, is not usually an ideal situation. Every home needs work and if you can make some of those improvements before you list it, you have the opportunity to get a higher value in the sale. For example, fixing the yard alone can add thousands of dollars to the final agreed price. So, if you want to list your house, the first thing to do is to make a list of what needs to be improved.

The easiest way to get a fast and reliable recommendation on what your house needs is to work with an experienced realtor. They can review the property and determine where you need to focus your time and money if you want to maximize your return on the investment. Your realtor can also help you determine what to do with the limited time and money you have, giving you personal and customized advice and guidance.

Improvements Your House Needs

While each property is different, most of them need to focus on ten specific areas before being listed. These are ten areas of the house that buyers will look at first along with things you cannot change or improve like location, size of the property and so forth. Try to invest some of your time and money in these areas to improve your home value and potential sales price:

  1.       Paint: A fresh coat of paint can change the entire look of your house. Remember, buyers want to spend as little as they need to on the home, especially if they plan on living there themselves. A new coat of paint can make the property look new.
  2.       Yard: Work on your landscaping and when in doubt, go with simple and easy to maintain. Nice, clean-cut grass, simple plants and areas that look nice and professionally managed. A nice yard can sell a house as much as anything.
  3.       Roof: Leaks can cause any interested buyers to leave and never come back. You need to make sure that the roof is in the best possible condition if you want the property to get full asking price. Repairing or replacing the roof may be something you need to consider but it can be done quickly and for an affordable cost.
  4.       Driveway: Buyers are going to use what they see with the front yard, including the look of the property and even the driveway to be the first and sometimes primary influence on how they feel about a home. If they want to live there, they want a clean and happy look the minute they get to the property. Any areas that indicate a need for repairs will create a mindset that the entire property needs repairs.
  5.       Fence: While the fence is not a major area to focus on if you are listing your property, it may be something you want to consider. If you have it in your budget, and a new fence is desperately needed, try to get it done.
  6.       Windows: You may not have the time or budget to replace your windows but that is going to be a major cost issue at the time you list, especially if it impacts the insurance for the new buyer. You need to consider replacing the windows if it helps with aspects like insurance and makes the home more cost-effective.
  7.       Appliances: If your appliances are outdated it not only means they may not work as well, but they also use up more energy. Replacing them can make a big difference and give them house an updated look. You should consider adding these new appliances along with remodeling the kitchen and other areas of the house rather than just adding them. When in doubt, spend on upgrades.
  8.       Bathroom: The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most expensive areas of the house to remodel but they are also two of the most scrutinized areas of the home as well. New buyers want to look at these areas the most because they will try to avoid having the cover the costs of remodeling when they buy the property. This remodel could add an additional $10,000-$50,000 in costs or more.
  9.       Kitchen: The kitchen expenses are going to be primarily the appliances, the cabinets, the flooring and the counter tops. However, if you are remodeling the entire kitchen, focus on quality and cost-effective options. You do not have to go top dollar because there’s a chance that you will not get the return on that investment. Be smart with your money here and focus on quality without getting too expensive.
  10.   Clean it out: If you are planning on listing your home, consider moving out first and clearing everything out. It is so much easier, especially in a competitive market, to sell an empty home than one where the homeowner is still living there. Why? It is difficult for buyers to look at the home and see its potential and long-term options when the current owners things are there. Giving the buyers an empty place to look at gives them space and room to imagine and that’s an advantage for you.

Look at where you can make improvements on your property and consider the time and costs for fixing or upgrading these areas. Depending on the time and money you have to utilize, you may want to invest your energy into the areas that can use upgrades as much as repairs. Look for energy-efficient options as well as ways that you can improve your property from functionality to look. If you have questions about where to begin, consider asking your realtor to come out and help you create a list of areas to focus on. The more input they can provide, the better prepared you will be and know which professionals you will need to hire. Always hire licensed contractors and get permits on major work that is being done. If you have any other questions about specific upgrades, ask your realtor.