Home Improvements That Skyrocket Home Values

It’s amazing to finally be able to write this next sentence: Home sales appear to be heading upwards! Many Realtors I know are busier than they’ve been in years!

Get ready to sell your homeIf you’re a home seller — it’s time to get into the game. And, if you’d like to boost your chance of selling your home for a higher price, there’s some things you can do relatively quickly that may help you get tens of thousands of dollars more for your house.

The following article and information on boosting your property price is sponsored by the wise and wonderful Martin Orefice, who specializes in Florida rent to own homes.

The first thing to realize is some upgrades and features in a house matter more than others. Adding fancy curtain rods, door knobs and dimmer switches may make people oooh a little, but they’re probably not going to bring you the big bucks.Lights alone don't raise the price of your property

If you want to entice people to write a bigger check you’ll need to appeal to what most buyers badly want… more space, lower future maintenance costs and a grander first impression.

Here’s four upgrades you can do to help you make more money when you sell your house:

1. Finish Your Basement

The size of your property does matter. In fact, it matters a lot. One of the main factors people consider when buying a house is the total square footage — specifically, finished square footage. If you’ve got a concrete basement, it may be worth spending a “seemingly unnecessary” amount on wall-to-wall carpet and light fixtures because a house with a finished basement can add a serious amount of value to a home sale.

A small house with a newly finished basement may fetch you an extra $50,000. This estimated amount is not attached to a specific house, and can vary depending upon size, location and the condition of the house. But the point is — adding extra space that can be used as a bonus room, a home gym, or the headquarters for a budding business can give your home an edge over other houses in your neighborhood… which can result in higher digits on your closing check.

2. Make a side office or study into a bedroom

Make more money selling your homeAlong with size, one of the most important criteria when doing a home search is the number of bedrooms. The difference between a three and four bedroom home is crucial — especially if you have three growing kids. An additional room may also provide owners with a sought after guest room or, possibly, a room for a paying tenant.

If you are planning to turn an office or extra space into a bedroom, you need to make sure it is legally zoned and you’ve gotten approval from the city where your home is located. This might require adding certain details… such as windows that open, which are a certain number of feet off the ground.

The pain of dealing with these details can be worth if it increases your home sales value by a substantial amount. For example, a 3-bedroom house that would normally sell for $600,000 could possibly be worth $700,000 just by converting your study into a fourth bedroom.

 3. Create a grand first impression

How to sell your house for more by making a grand first impressionLike wrapping paper around a present, presentation is everything. That’s why people get excited if you hand them a Tiffany box instead of a wrinkled brown bag.

Upgrading the exterior of your home can mean tens of thousands of dollars more. When house hunters pull up to your house, the feeling they get is heavily influenced by what they see first. If they like the inside, but aren’t impressed by your exterior, they may feel as if they are “settling” and will want to pay less.

But you can turn this around by investing a little in landscaping and giving your garage and front door a new paint job. It’s amazing what a spiced up yard and an exterior upgrade can do for a buyer’s spirits when it comes to making an offer… and it could save you having to deal with a counter offer.

4. Upgrade Your Roof

Home Improvements That Pay Off When SellingPeople like to know your roof isn’t going to fall in on their heads or cost them a head-banging amount a couple years after they buy your home. Roofs for a large house can cost upwards of $10,000 to replace if something goes wrong, if not more. Assuming the roof on your house is not badly warn, you might consider getting a roof upgrade.

I know this may sound like a boring home improvement project – but upgrades are not as common as one would expect, which actually makes them rather interesting.

Most people wait until something goes wrong to take action. But an upgrade is different than a replacement — it preserves the original roof so you can get more mileage out of it. By upgrading your roof, you are assuring your buyers that they won’t be faced with a $10,000 swipe of the credit card when the house starts leaking… and that’s a beautiful thing when it comes to making your home more valuable.

Home Seller's Blues BookFor a book full of ideas on how to make your home more attractive and get more buyers to your front door, check out my book, Home Seller’s Blues and How To Beat Them, available in paperback and as an ebook through Amazon.com.

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Comments

We had trouble selling our home so we decided to add a backyard deck and finish the basement. We wound up selling the house for $40,000 more than we expected and the updates cost less than half that. It was a profit we did not expect and well worth it because we did a lot of the work ourselves.

What’s also a benefit of these types of improvements is if you do them before you put your house on the market you can enjoy the upgrades for yourselves. It’s great to have a beautiful deck or a guest room or a finished basement that you can use as a family room or even a home gym.

Great ideas Gale, and regarding ROOFS – they are the number one concern of BANKS…so if your roof doesn’t have at least 2-3 years of roof life left, a bank will likely require a seller to replace it prior to the close of the transaction. Taking good care of your roof, cleaning it regularly (moss is damaging) and treating wood shingles and tile roofs will absolutely save you big money when you put your home on the market.

Thank you Alexis for your comment on the importance of taking care of your roof when selling a house. It’s not just a matter of a home buyer’s preference — the condition of your roof can have real financial ramifications when buying or selling a home. Take care of your roof, and it will take care of you in the long term.

Love the idea of adding a deck and finishing the basement. I think I will do this on our next rehab. I agree they do add significant value!
Manager,
Home State Property Solutions, LLC
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There’s so many things you can do with a basement as well these days — turn it into a home gym, a home office, an art studio or a dedicated media room. It’s a shame to waste any square footage you have!

Great tips and advice to improve the home and chances of selling. Here in Austin it’s an amazing time for sellers as the market is booming…hopefully it’s not a bubble.

Thanks for your comment from Austin! If your market in Austin is anything like the market here in Portland, Oregon — things are looking very good for home sellers. Making a few strategic improvements will increase the likelihood of selling your home even more, and can lead to multiple offers that will boost you final selling price.

It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
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I love your analogy on # 3. “Like wrapping paper around a present, presentation is everything. That’s why people get excited if you hand them a Tiffany box instead of a wrinkled brown bag.” Great article Joan!

Thank you for your comment… homeowners only have one chance to make a good impression on a house hunter, so presentation is vitally important.

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