How to increase the value of your home: A guide for your clients
Selling a home for a higher price benefits both the owners and the real estate agent who works for them. They get more money at close, and that means a better commission for you.
Helping your clients understand how to increase the value of their home is simply in your best interest.
This guide can help your clients take practical steps that can boost their sale price, whether they own a fixer-upper or a relatively new and modern home.
Feel free to share it with them – and to supplement it with your own in-depth knowledge of the specifics of the market you work in, current trends and the other information you keep a close eye on as a real estate professional.
Which home improvements add the most value?
There are a variety of short- and long-term projects that can add significant value to your home. Minor bathroom remodels and landscaping provide the best return on investment, according to HGTV.
While more involved work is likely off the table if you’re already committed to selling your home, there are plenty of other projects you can take on. Landscaping can involve a total transformation of your yard, but it may also mean just a few weeks of work by a professional or, if you’re confident in your abilities, following your own strategy for improvement.
Home Light pointed to several relatively quick projects that improve your house and attract potential home buyers while providing an attractive return on investment. They include:
- Installing a steel front door.
- Adding a new garage door (while keeping the existing motor and support structure).
- Cleaning the exterior of your home and touching up paint chipping, scratches and other marks. You can consider an entirely new coat of paint, too.
- Swapping in modern fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Installing a new HVAC system.
While these home renovations all have a price tag associated with them, they can often be completed on a short timeframe. Sometimes, as with HVAC replacement, it usually comes down to finding the right service providers with an opening in their schedule. In other cases, like touching up exterior paint, installing a new front door or adding fixtures, it’s entirely possible that you can complete these projects yourself. That means more money saved on labor and the potential to increase your home’s value ahead of a sale.
What increases the value of a home appraisal?
It’s important to understand the difference between home improvements that add value in potential buyers eyes, such as a new coat of paint or garage door that can add curb appeal, and projects that increase home appraisal value. A home appraisal is required for, or an option offered in, nearly every common real estate transaction except for ones involving an all-cash buyer.
The appraiser is a trained, neutral professional who reviews the home, similar properties in the area and other data to reach a concrete figure, which is then used in a variety of financial contexts. That includes the mortgage lender’s willingness to extend a loan to the buyer. A low appraisal can slow down the closing process or even stop a buyer from moving forward. Home buyers may also use a low appraisal as a negotiating point to lower the sale price.
There are many steps you can take to potentially increase appraisal value. That includes cleaning carpets – and replacing damaged sections if necessary – as well as adding a new coat of paint. Installing new light fixtures, refinishing countertops and removing wallpaper can all help, too. In many cases, projects that increase curb appeal, like cleaning up flower beds, can also boost appraisal value.
For a more locally relevant approach to increasing appraisal value, Redfin suggested checking out open houses in your area as well as recent sales. Looking for cues from the properties can help you make smart additions to your home and boost the final figure offered in the appraisal. While you likely won’t install all-new hardwood floors or completely convert your house into a smart home, there are plenty of smaller, more manageable options to look for.
No matter which specific improvements you choose to make to increase value directly to buyers or through an appraisal, remember the key is to identify cost-effective opportunities. Finding the balance of value – the sweet spot in between quality and price – should be your foremost concern.
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