I will never forget the time I went to an open house in Dracut, Massachusetts where the interior of the home looked like a postcard from the 1960’s. That isn’t the bad part though. The really bad news for the homeowner was that he had just spent $60,000 landscaping his lawn to put the home on the market. There was no budget left for interior upgrades and the agent and the homeowner were stumped as to why the home wasn’t moving. I wish this was the only time I had seen a situation like this but it happens more often that you would think. If you are selling your home, and you want to invest in making some changes, they should be upgrades that will result in more dollars at selling time.
So what might those big return upgrades be?
If you have the means to do it, start with the kitchen. Do your research and get cabinets that look great but do not break your budget. New, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are also changes that will result in a lot more money when you sell the house. There are some neighborhoods that we work in where granite countertops are expected by homebuyers and not having them can really put you at a disadvantage.
If you do not have the money to invest in a new kitchen or you just don’t feel like taking on a project of this size, consider updating your bathrooms. As I have mentioned before, upgrading your bathroom can be as simple as replacing a vanity and putting up a fresh coat of paint.
Upgrading linoleum to tile is another great way to make your home look newer. Tiles don’t have to cost you a fortune and if you choose the right ones they can actually make your rooms appear larger.
White trim is another big seller. White trim really gives rooms a bright, fresh look. Updating all of your trim is not an expensive undertaking. It is time consuming but really worth it. Sherwin Williams makes a super high-gloss trim that is actually acrylic so it does not smell badly. It covers wonderfully and looks amazing when dry. If you are going to paint your trim I highly recommend this product.
Carpet is another upgrade that you will be happy you purchased. Stained or dirty carpet is a real turn-off to potential buyers. With that being said, do not buy top of the line carpet. Buy something that will look good to potential buyers walking through your home period.
Also, consider finishing your basement or making the most of a partially finished basement. With the new “basement finishing systems” that are on the market now you do not have to spend hours drywalling your basement to finish it off. This is really a great way to add value to your home. A finished basement can be a great way to compensate for other short comings your home might have.
Regardless, of what project you opt for to improve the look of your home before listing, do your research. Make sure the changes you are making are desirable in your area. Renovations are time consuming, often costly, and usually inconvenient. If your goal is a return on your investment then a little research will go a long way.