Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sellers – Choose the right upgrades and get better bang for your buck

Your home is your sanctuary and when it comes time to sell, you want someone else to think of it as their sanctuary too. So how do you make your home stand out among all the new construction homes available? It is all in the upgrades.

To prepare your home for sale, the tricky part is deciding where to begin. This is where your real estate agent comes in.

Too many times I have witnessed well-meaning sellers make improvements to their home which are not appealing to the masses. My clients use my complimentary home inspection for an early glimpse as to what buyers may want repaired or improved.
Heating and cooling efficiency items are becoming more common upgrades in the St. Charles area. Homeowners are spending the extra $150 for this perk. I am also starting to hear more about solar alternatives as an amenity.

Many people believe the bathroom is the place to start upgrading. Sellers can turn a dated bath into a luxurious haven by installing a jet tub, a double bowl vanity or pedestal sinks.
An inexpensive way to upgrade any room is with improved lighting. But a great impact can be made in a bathroom with the addition of new vanity lights, a shower recessed light, or a skylight. A major bathroom remodel provides a great return on investment when the house is sold.

The kitchen is the heart of the home for most buyers. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are “in” and that may be all it takes to bring a kitchen into the 21st century. However, a blast-from-the-past kitchen in need of a significant overhaul will be worth the investment when the house sells.
Sellers should not forget to consider the outside of their home when contemplating improvements. The addition of a deck is the most economical way to add square footage to a home and usually brings a significant return on your investment.

The top 10 remodeling projects with the highest return on investment (ROI) according to REALTOR magazine are:
10. Sunroom Addition
9. Roof Replacement
8. Family Room Addition
7. Deck Addition
6. Basement Remodel
5. Attic Bedroom Remodel (adding an extra bedroom)
4. Moderate Kitchen Remodel
3. Bathroom Remodel
2. Siding Replacement

And the number one remodeling project with the highest return for sellers is window replacements.

Minor touchups can also be invaluable for sellers. Nothing says (or smells) of an upgrade like freshly painted walls. Other worthwhile minor fixes include: installing new ceiling fans, pressure washing the house and sidewalks, installing closet organizers, repairing all cracks in walls and ceilings, among others.Make sure your chosen contractor follows all the current county building codes and applies for the necessary permits. Saving the $50 and skipping the permit process will only come back to haunt you when your house goes on the market.

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