Avoid Over-Improving Your Home & Maximize Your Budget

By Home Bay

Posted on August 22nd, 2016

You’re probably thinking about doing a few small home improvements before you put it on the market, but you want to avoid ‘over-improving your home. Keep reading to learn how to focus on impactful upgrades that will help you bring your home up to your neighborhood’s standards and that will pay you back at closing.


Look to the Neighbor’s House for Guidance:

Unless most homes in your area have high-end interior finishes or lavish exterior gardens, spending your time and money on expensive improvements can actually make your home harder to sell. Why? Because you’ll spend money on your upgrades that you want to recoup at closing, but if it sets your home into a higher price bracket than neighboring homes, you’ll have a hard time collecting.

Focus on Affordable Fixes:

Rather than going with a big project that may or may not pay you back, look to some of these simple, affordable fixes. According to the pros at the DIY Network, these worthwhile projects will add to the resale value of your home:

  • Refresh plumbing by replacing old, clogged, or leaking pipes and faucets:
    Taking the time to fix annoyances that could turn into big problems later will make walk-throughs more pleasant and will show potential buyers that you really care about your space.
  • Clean or add fresh grout around sinks, tubs, fixtures, and tiled areas:
    Doing so will immediately make your space look cleaner and newer.
  • Re-seal windows, doors, and around the baseboards of your home:
    You can tell potential buyers about energy costs savings realized from these updates. Be sure to save energy bills to share as proof.
  • Add fresh insulation within attic spaces:
    Doing so can help turn your extra space into usable storage areas. And again, you should track your energy bills and share any savings with potential buyers.
  • Replace non-working lighting, electrical outlets, food disposals and ceiling fans:
    Potential buyers are going to check everything when they walk through your home. Make sure they work! Also, be sure to check for discount fixtures and at your local home improvement store to save even more money.
  • Repair wall holes, remove wallpaper and give each room a fresh coat of paint:
    The more neutral a space is, the more likely you are to appeal to a wider audience of buyers. That doesn’t mean you have to go with all white paint; feel free to play with beige, gray, tan and other earthy tones.
  • Tend to broken door locks and address any latching or sticking issues:
    You know that door in the hallway that drives you crazy? Take ten minutes to figure out what’s causing the issue and fix it.
  • Refresh or replace chipped, scratched, or damaged countertops:
    Countertops that are in ill-repair can be very off-putting to potential buyers. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to replace them. Check out this tutorial for advice on how to do a quick and easy refresh.These easy projects improve the visual appeal and functionality of the home without breaking the bank. While it may be tempting to install new sinks, flooring, tubs, replace cabinets, or increase living space, these aren’t typically wise investments unless they are absolutely necessary.

Profitable External Upgrades

Potential buyers get their first impressions from the exterior of your home, so you should prioritize tidying up your landscaping.However, adding a sprinkler system, outdoor pool, deck, or ornate lawn adornments likely won’t work in you or your budget’s favor. Keeping your outdoor space clean and simple is your best bet to impress potential buyers and appraisers.

Here’s a list of quick-fixes to focus on:

  • Replace any broken window panes
  • Touch up any peeling painted surfaces
  • Invest in necessary roofing or gutter repairs
  • Caulk around the foundation of your home
  • Remove any ‘junk’ or unsightly items laying around outdoors
  • Thoroughly clean any decks, fountains, or patio areas
  • Keeping your lawn neatly groomed
  • Repairing any broken heads on sprinkler systems
  • Paint or replace your front door
  • Paint or replace your old mailbox
  • Power wash the driveway and siding
  • Add a few seasonal flowers to spruce the yard

To maximize your pre-sale home improvement budget, carefully review your options and prepare a list of your “want-to-do” improvements. Then, prioritize your projects. Put the most essential improvements at the top list and put less necessary or impactful upgrades at the bottom. If you’re planning on hiring a professional home renovation expert, get at least three quotes before signing an agreement.

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Posted in Home Improvement, Selling a House