Top 5 Improvements That Will Add Value to Your Home

BY: PIERRE LAUTISCHER

There is definitely a difference between what improvements will enhance your lifestyle and those that provide value or a higher return when trying to resell a property. An acquaintance, Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV’s “Income Property”, agrees that any improvements or renovations that provide income from the property can dramatically increase the resale value of the property, as you are not only selling a home but providing the buyer a stream of cash flow.

Of course being a landlord is not for everyone and perhaps a future article can explore this idea. For this reason, we shall focus on specific improvements within the home that will bring the biggest return upon resale. This article won’t provide you with all the answers but perhaps it will steer you in the right direction.

When considering resale value of your home and what projects to undertake, think “aesthetics”. From the Encarta Dictionary, aesthetics is defined as, “outward appearance” ... the way something looks, especially when considered in terms of how pleasing it is. Those things that are visual are upmost in the buyer’s mind.

The seller must take their emotions out of the equation. Most people believe their home is worth more than it really is. Buyers will only pay what they think the home is worth not what a seller believes its’ worth.

Every home is unique and has pros and cons. Do some research and view the homes for sale in the immediate area. When you do your tour, think like a buyer, take notes and pcitures. This exercise will provide insight as to what is available, at what price and allows a comparison as to what you’re offering.

Keep in mind the subject of this article. Make the best use of money to maximize the resale value. As a minimum, each dollar spent should result in more than a dollar increase in value. 

The top of the list is curb appeal. Sounds simple but there is a lot involved in this. The house and the surrounding grounds are included in this category. When a buyer pulls up to the front of the property, this initial view can set the tone for the rest of the showing. In fact, there have been occasions where a prospective buyer arrives and because of disappointment of this first impression they’ll actually leave without exploring the inside.

So cut the lawn, trim the foliage, rake the sand, clean, remove clutter, make minor repairs and if it needs paint then paint. If there is a pool make sure it is clean and minor repairs are done (such as replace missing and damaged tiles). Broken tiles on the roof? Replace them. Clean the windows and put a welcome mat at the door. These are very inexpensive ways to add tremendous value to your home.

OK you got them in the door, what’s next? Take the clutter out of the home, the daily living items. The effect you are trying to achieve is that the buyers are walking into a showroom where there is ample space for their stuff. So remove photographs, those cute little items collected over the years and perhaps the scatter rugs you may have. Removing clutter and scatter rugs create the illusion of a bigger space.

Number three includes fresh paint and minor repairs but only if needed. Fix hairline cracks, leaky faucets and odors. Inspect the window coverings and either fix / clean or replace them.  Most of the time painting will get rid of odors. A great sales technique is to bake some cookies for the showing. Not only will you create a beautiful smell (unless you burn them) but also the buyer will get that, “I am home feeling”.

Staging is next. If the house is vacant have it professionally staged. If the house is not vacant consider removing worn and outdated furniture and staging part of the house. A professional stager will advise on more than just furniture.

Finally, you’ve heard it before, Kitchens and Bathrooms. These are the rooms where you should get a reasonably amount of value for money spent. Start small, as a full renovation may not be necessary. You might be able to spruce things up by making minor repairs and replacing certain items. Replace outdated faucets, realign or even paint cabinetry, try to replace appliances so they all match in color. Replace outdated toilets and clean or replace countertops. Remember the tour you did of the other houses for sale? What did those kitchens and bathrooms look like compared to yours?

As always, education is the key to success. Should you want to do further research, start by picking up Scott McGillivray’s bestselling book, “How to Add Value to Your Home”.

Pierre Lautischer is an agent with Cabo Gold Realty and author of the book entitled, “BECOME A MILLIONAIRE FOR WHAT IT MAKES OF YOU!” He can be contacted at 624-121-0890 or via email at prlautischer@hotmail.com.