Hispanic Father and Son in Front of Their New Home with Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign.

The first and most obvious component to selling your house is listing it. You don’t want to list your home with the first realtor you come across, it could be their first day on the job. Finding an experienced realtor willing to really work for you is harder than you might think. Of course a realtor will meet potential buyers, unlock the door “here’s the living room”, “I really like these cabinets” this does nothing to help sell your home. Matching the right buyers and sellers, knowing about the real estate market, knowing about home maintenance and improvements, knowing the specifics about your home, and convincing the buyers that your home is indeed their dream home.

Curb appeal is another important component when trying to catch the eye of a buyer. The visual appeal of a home is extremely important in attracting a buyer and standing out among the competition. Chances are your property is not the only one that a buyer is looking at. There are many factors that effect curb appeal and they include things like, landscaping,  paint, exterior features such as rock work, decorative shingles, or shutters, and of course tidiness. When you think about it, the exterior of the home is the first and the last thing your prospective buyers will see so it only makes sense that this should leave a positive image in their mind.

Take a good look at your landscaping, pull weeds, prune and shape existing plants, pull out and replace any overgrown or unattractive looking plants. Make sure the landscaping adds to the look of the house and does not detract or hide it. Adding some flowers will make the house feel welcoming and bright. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to clean up the look of the yard is to add a layer of mulch in the flower beds. Another cheap way to spruce things up is to paint the front door, shutters, or deck.

I shared this infographic before but wanted to again because it does such a great job at quickly illustrating the value that different remodeling projects will add to a home. In general I don’t think that it makes sense to remodel a home just prior to selling it although I know many people use this approach. If a home is really outdated I would update what I felt was necessary to make the home look good, functional, and have the amenities that are expected in a home

Analyzing what home improvements would be the best investment for a home you plan on selling basically comes down to how much money you can recoup when the house sells. Focusing on the basics such as, replacing the roof, new siding, and new energy efficient windows are likely going to give you the best return on investment. Small remodeling projects to the bathroom or kitchen are a decent return on investment at around 90% but a larger remodel project you will not get near the return on what you have spent.  You wouldn’t want to put a fancy high end kitchen in an otherwise low end home. The amenities your house has to offer when comparing to the other similarly priced homes on the market is inevitably what is going to sell your home quickly or leave it on the market for months or years. When selling your home you want it to stand out among the rest of the similar homes on the market so it’s good to do a little research to see what your competition has to offer.

What do you think the most valuable home improvements are?