As any homeowner can tell you, a home is more than a house, it’s that place where your family lives and where memories are made. But a person can (and most commonly does) own more than one home in their lifetimes. So once you’ve made up your mind that your present property no longer satisfies your long term needs, you have to give thought to the idea of selling it. Personal experience and memories aside, once you start planning to put your home on the market it has to be viewed the same as you would any other asset. Basically it has to be made as appealing as possible to attract the largest amount of interest.

For many homeowners, long before they have a For Sale sign placed on their front lawn, a campaign of home improvement is undertaken to help draw more potential buyers to and increase the value of the property once it goes on the market. But there are home improvement plans that add value, and those that either detract from a property, or add no appreciable worth once the new owner signs on the dotted line. Knowing the difference will affect the success of any home renovation plan. The following are a few areas that have been proven to add real, bottom line value to a home once it has been put up for sale.

Paint – Inside & Out: A fresh coat of paint can dramatically enhance the appearance of any home, and its eventual marketability. This is one of the best, easiest and most financially achievable tasks a homeowner can take prior to listing their property. This applies equally to both interior and exterior painting. When planning to paint your home, think conservative not outrageous. It’s generally better to repaint the exterior of your home in colors very similar to those already used. If your home is blue now, repaint it blue, not red. It will be easier to paint and won’t jar the attention of buyers who have seen the property before. The same is true about the inside of a home. Beige and eggshell whites are safe generic colors to use when repainting a home’s interior. Psychedelic green or Day-Glo orange would only appeal to a very narrow segment of the marketplace and would likely scare away more potential buyers than it would attract them.

Exterior Cub Appeal: A blog posted recently on this website explored the value of enhanced curb appeal for a home that’s up for sale. But a few key points are well worth repeating. Curb appeal is literally that – how nice your home looks when someone drives up to the curb in front of your home and looks at your property. A home with peeling exterior paint, grass long enough to hide a gazelle or one decorated with junk, abandoned toys or features a wheel-less ’73 Chevy up on blocks in the driveway will not send the message “Buy Me” to any but the most hard core purchaser. Use common sense when preparing you home for sale. If there is debris scattered on your lawn, pick it up. Keep the yard and lawn mowed and tidy. If the exterior is showing its age, paint it as suggested above. Basically put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. If, when standing on the curbside and looking at your home you see something that detracts from the appearance of the property, do something about it. The value of the effort will be repaid once the home sells.

Master Bathroom: Bathrooms, aside from the kitchen, are some of the most important components of any home. While every home has at least one bathroom, having a separate bathroom off the master bedroom adds a level of elegance and functionality to any property. If your renovation budget is limited, spending some of that cash on sprucing up the master bathroom could be some of the best money you could spend. Upgraded plumbing fixtures, fresh paint, replacing a plastic shower curtain with a frameless glass enclosure, perhaps adding a new vanity or countertop, will all enhance the “wow effect” of a master bath. It won’t necessarily be cheap, but it will definitely make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Carpeting / Floor Coverings: Faded hardwood flooring, threadbare carpeting, or chipped and cracked tile will negatively affect the appearance of any home. A potential buyer will not want a home with dirty and worn out carpets. If there is an available renovation budget, some portion of it should be directed at improving the home’s floor covering status. The installation of a new, neutral colored carpet can bring a room to life. If entryway tile has become chipped, replace the damaged tiles if possible or the entire tile job if matching colors due to fading has become a problem. Replacing carpeting with hardwood flooring can be a great solution if there is a budget for the upgrade. Hardwood flooring is long lasting, classy and simple to maintain. If going this route use light or medium colored wood as typically darker woods appeal to a more select and limited audience.

Kitchen Upgrades: If the renovation budget is bigger, nothing makes a home more attractive to a potential buyer than a bright, new and modern kitchen. Home improvement experts agree that a kitchen renovation will typically provide the most significant return of any major improvement project. But it will also typically be among the most expensive upgrades you can do to your home. Building a full blown dream kitchen will have at least a five-figure price tag, but could easily go even higher depending on the items being upgraded. It’s recommended that this step not be taken unless you’re planning to stay in the home, your pockets are very deep or it’s something you’ve always wanted to do.

These are just some of the steps you can do to improve the likelihood of your home selling once you decide to place it on the market. One of the best things a potential home seller can do is contact their Realty Executives REALTOR® to discuss their plans beforehand. By making use of their experience and local knowledge they can advise you on the best approach to take to make your home look its best and sell quickly.