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What is the best way to add value to my home?

What is the best way to add value to my home? I am selling next year and want to get the most for my money.
  • November 12 2010 - Lexington
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Answers (14)

I've done quite a bit of research on this topic and what I've found is that if you go to 10 different websites, you'll get 10 different opinions.  But they all seem to agree that minor bathroom and kitchen upgrades offer the highest return on investment.  Of course, I keep seeing that a new front door has the best ROI - probably due to the improved curb appeal.  Speaking of curb appeal, some new bushes and fresh mulch can do wonders to spruce up the front of your house.
  • January 26 2011
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New carpeting, fresh paint, new windows.  The first thing my wife looks at is the windows.
  • December 07 2010
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I don't want to echo what most have already answered, but it is true and deserves repeating.  Clean the house until it sparkles.  Absolutely, clean the carpets if they need it.  As for what to invest in improvements or remodeling, you should consult a REALTOR so you get a valued opinion.  Real estate is very local and different markets place special emphasis on different features.  One note, if you are going to list in the spring, I suggest you take a good look at your landscaping and welcome prospective buyers with pleasant flowers or at the very least a nicely manicured lawn.  Good Luck!

  • December 07 2010
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Curb appeal, make sure the hom eis clean (everything), no clutter in closets, garage or anywhere.  If you kitchen or bathrooms are dated and you have th emoney have them remodeled and updated....also new carpet or clean existing carpet.  If it doesn't clean then get new....good luck.  Also you realtor would be mor ethan happy to do a walk through for you now so you can prepare for sale.  Good Luck
  • November 28 2010
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If you mean to sell it, the best thing is to CLEAN it better than new. Most people do not clean homes well enough prior to listing it
  • November 26 2010
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  • November 21 2010
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This is a great question and one of the most common questions being asked in my current market.  Chicago is a location that is heavy on basements. Working the southside of Chicago and south suburbs I have found that the biggest improvement you can do to your home is adding a bathroom either to a basement or another upper level.  These are minor expenses when compared to the possible return.  You could be talking the difference in selling your home on the residential grade market or on the investment grade market as a short sale. Buyers nowadays want the bells and whistles and you have to give them a little of what they want to get a lot of what you want in regard to pricing.   If you can't do a major remodel like this then clean, declutter and paint!

  • November 21 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Sell your house before prices drop more. Most if not all improvements that you do with hired help cost more than they add for value. If you can do it yourself maybe some improvements could make sense.
  • November 21 2010
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The best way to add Value to any house is to updatebathroms and  kitchens.  They add more value than any thing else you an do.  Make sure you have a recent comparable market analysis so you know it is priced properly based on similar homes that have recently sold in your area.

If you want to move it quickly then the decluttering, fresh paint, etc will move it more quickly than competition.  No one wants to buy a dirty, neglected and cluttered home.  Many people cannot see beyond the clutter and dirt.  So make sure it is clean, decluttered (put away anything you aren't using right now) .  Kitchen counters should be clear.  Bathroom counters should be clear. Pack up your collections and neutralize colors.  Remember, you are selling your house - not your home. 
  • November 21 2010
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I agree 100% with Joan. The best way to add value to your house is to prepare it as much as you can, by cleaning it, decluttering it , fixing and repairing what needs work, changing the color of the walls if needed, changing the carpets, or best as Mark said removing the carpets.
The way your live in your house and the way you sell your house is two different things.
Too often sellers think that to add value to their home they need to spend lots of money. It is absolutely false. You really can invest a little bit of money that will come back to you and more.The investment of preparing your house for sale is always less than your first price reduction.
It pays to prepare your house for sale. It shows that you care about it. If the house is taking care of, it will attract more buyers. More buyers you  attract, more competition it will create. The sale will be a successful one.
I am a home  stager and by experience I can tell you that preparing your house for sale  will definitely add value to your house.
Lexington, MA
  • November 20 2010
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Great question!  First of all you need to define the neighborhood and see what that area warrants. I see so many people put in these big fancy kitchens and baths and that particular area may not warrant the return on that type of investment.  Let's conform and adapt and please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

  • November 17 2010
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Spruce up, clean up, declutter, define each space in your house, fix all minor repairs, neaten up the outside (and maybe plant a few things), get rid of anything that could be considered an eyesore or would appeal to a very limited few, paint some tired walls neutral colors.
Those are minor low cost things that can make a tremendous difference.

If your budget for preparation for sale is larger then look at major systems: how old is the roof, furnace, septic if you have one?  Is your electrical relatively updated and up to code?  These things may not be obvious when buyers start coming into your home but it is guaranteed to come back and bite you if you have major systems issues and it is a great selling point when buyers know that these are things they will not have to deal with.

Your kitchen and baths do not necessarily have to have all the bells and whistles such as stainless steel and granite although if your competition has it and buyers expect it in the neighborhood you are in, then you will be at a disadvantage.  If your appliances are old, replace them.  If tile in the bathroom is cracked, replace it.  Replace old fixtures. If the cabinets in the kitchen are in bad repair or noticably outdated, consider cabinet resurfacing (possibly painting although you have to be careful about colors) and new hardware).

Sellers do not necessarily have to spend a ton of money to get their homes ready for resale.  The best thing you can do is look at your home with a critical objective eye, as if you are a buyer seeing it for the first time, and notice all the little things that maybe aren't readily apparent to you but may be glaringly obvious to buyers.
It also helps to have friends and neighbors look at your house with a critical eye and be open to sometimes painful criticism.

A good realtor will also tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear in order to sell your house.  They can offer great advice but be leery about agents who pressure you to spend money you don't have.  Its not their money and if you don't have the money to address major issues you just need to be realistic about price reflecting that accordingly.

  • November 12 2010
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Removing your wall-to-wall carpet and [link removed by moderator] is your most valued hidden treasure. Defiantly adds value to your home.

There's also [link removed by moderator] . This is an affordable alternative to conventionally wood floor sanding or refinishing. You may have what I call "surface problems" that don't need to be cut or sanded. 

Your solutions had to be affordable. It has to add more value then you spend. Watch your cost. In some cases it may be worth more fixing then selling as is. Good luck.
 
  • November 12 2010
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ebb.teb,

The best way to get the most value out of your home is to make sure it presents well.  Curb appeal is very important to get prospects in.  Then the inside has to show well to keep them interested.  Fresh coats of paint, repair of anything broken, cleaning, and removal of clutter will give you the best return on your invested money and time.

Renovated kitchens and bathrooms will likely help your house sell faster but you rarely get back 100% of the money you put into the renovations or additions.

I haven't seen your home but if you'd like, I'll be happy to take a look and make suggestions.

Cheers,

 Rich
  • November 12 2010
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